Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Instructional Design Specialization

Instructional Design and Technology involves far more than the rapidly advancing technological tools used in today's educational and organizational environments. Its main concern is how to effectively apply technology to achieve educational goals and improve performance in a variety of settings. The specialization in Instructional Design and Technology has been elevated to a stand-alone Ed.D. in IDT. Learn more below.

Instructional Design and Technology, Ed.D.

Program Updates

Beginning in Fall 2020, we will offer a stand-alone Ed.D. in Instructional Design and Technology. The Ed.D. in IDT program is currently accepting applications. Learn more about the Ed.D. in IDT, including admissions requirements.

Specialization Description

Students currently enrolled in the Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with the Instructional Design and Technology Specialization will continue on the course catalog in which they entered their program; however, we are no longer accepting applications for the specialization in IDT.

We are accepting applications for the stand-alone Ed.D. in IDT.

The specialization offers two concentrations: Performance Technology and Distance Learning. The Performance Technology option targets individuals who want to investigate how instructional technology and systems thinking can be used to improve performance and learning in various organizational settings. The Distance Learning concentration targets individuals who want to develop expertise in the theoretical constructs and best practices associated with the design, development, implementation, evaluation and administration of distance learning. All students complete a common core, providing them with foundational knowledge related to the theory and practice of instructional design and technology in addition to electives within the chosen concentration.

Instructional Design and Technology involves far more than rapidly evolving technological tools. Its main concern is how to effectively apply technology to achieve educational goals in a wide variety of educational settings—K-12, colleges and universities, industry, the military, government, and health care.

For this, the instructional technologist must be able to analyze the learning system; determine the instructional goals; design, develop, and implement solutions for reaching those goals; and evaluate the effectiveness of those solutions.

Online degrees may not be available in all states. If you are an out-of-state student, please review our State Authorization Status to confirm that the program is available in your state.

Department Contact

Dr. Nancy Hastings
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Instructional Design and Technology

Catalog Description
Department's Website

Professional Core

Because the purpose of instructional technology is to promote learning, the 27 semester hours in the professional core required for an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction are designed to provide a solid foundation in the psychological and philosophical foundations of education. You will also examine critical issues in education and learn how to conduct educational research.

Specialization Core

All students complete a common core (9 semester hours) related to instructional design and technology, providing them with foundational knowledge related to the theory and practice of instructional design and technology. In addition to these specialization core courses, students will select from the two specialization options (Performance Technology or Distance Learning) and take courses aligned with the chosen concentration.

Performance Technology Option

The Performance Technology option (9 semester hours) emphasizes theoretical and applied perspectives for enhancement of individual and organizational performance through the systematic use of innovative instructional technologies, training, feedback systems, and incentive systems. You will gain a strong foundation in instructional systems design, needs assessment, human performance improvement, and project management. You will also examine the use of emerging technologies to increase productivity and workplace performance.

Performance Technology Program Objectives

  • Work in education and training learning organizations as instructional technologists, performance consultants, performance engineers, instructional systems designers, and researchers.
  • Implement cost-effective strategies to assist individuals and organizations in performing their jobs more effectively.
  • Analyze organizational and individual performance issues using the tools of instructional technology and the objectivity of analysis, design, and evaluation procedures.
  • Develop strong theoretical and applied models for developing problem solutions that focus on human and systems improvement within a learning organization.

Distance Learning Option

Distance Learning is quickly becoming the leading innovative strategy for the delivery of instructional systems in higher education, the military, K-12 educational systems, and business and industry. Distance and distributed learning professionals are faced with designing distance infrastructures, establishing policy directives within organizations, supporting students, developing instructional materials, and implementing distributed systems. The Distance Learning option (9 semester hours) will prepare you to research the issues, provide scholarly input on current trends in the field, and begin shaping how distance and distributed learning will work in a variety of organizations.

Distance Learning Program Objectives

  • Work in distance and distributed learning environments as instructional technologists, distance learning directors, Web designers, EPSS designers, and researchers.
  • Provide leadership in the efforts of organizational change to shift pedagogically from traditionally delivered instruction to distributed learning.
  • Design and develop instructional materials in distance and distributed learning environments such as interactive distance learning, Web-based instruction, digital video streaming, and CD-ROM multimedia resource materials.
  • Develop applied research agendas to promote active, dynamic learning environments in distance and distributed learning systems.
  • Produce plans for continuous improvement and evaluation of distance and distributed learning systems and for the future of the field itself.


The final step in achieving your doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Instructional Technology involves planning, conducting, and documenting a research study focused on an issue related to your specialization for your dissertation. The dissertation process is a major effort involving 18 semester hours, during which time you will work independently under the guidance of your dissertation committee.

Specialization Student Learning Outcomes

Specialization Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) must address each of the following five domains:


Synthesize and articulate knowledge from student’s chosen target research.

Identify research and theoretical research that informs practice and theory in instructional and performance technology.

Synthesize knowledge of field to predict, analyze and generalize.

Articulate how research designs are used to answer specific question related to instructional and performance technology.

Utilize methods, concepts, and theories effectively in real-world situations.

Synthesize and integrate related methods, concepts, theories effectively throughout all courses.

Critical Thinking

Evaluate all reasonable inferences and consider a variety of possible viewpoints or perspectives.

Integrate new explanations, models, or paradigms that may inform practice in instructional and performance technology.

Formulate new priorities in response to a reevaluation of the evidence or reassessment of interests.

Generalize problem-solving techniques to diverse research situations.


Independently design, conduct, and present original research.

Demonstrate effective behaviors across a variety of situational related to instructional and performance technology.

Develop logical, well-reasoned arguments to guide future research endeavors and projects in instructional and performance technology.

Demonstrate a commitment to the profession through activity in professional associations and the community.


Formulate and analyze alternative ways to solve an ethical problem in research in instructional and performance technology.

Consider cultural values, ethical principles, and contextual information when resolving ethical problems that arise in research.

Articulate ethical principles for conducting collaborative research.

Consider differential impacts and broader societal outcomes of research.

Recognize differences for all human lives regardless of citizenship and culture in collaborations involving human subjects.

Identify common ethical challenges that arise in research collaboration(s) in instructional and performance technology.

Project Management

Develop an in-depth understanding of research and the different ways it can contribute to the advancement of society.

Identify research tools and skills that can be used in a variety of situations.

Develop skills to think analytically and systemically and apply knowledge in the solution to real world problems.

Develop individual research capabilities in order to become effective change agents of the future in instructional and performance technology.

Admissions Requirements

We are no longer accepting applications for the Instructional Design and Technology Specialization within the Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.

Interested students should view information on the stand-alone Ed.D. in Instructional Design and Technology