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Sharon Paranto, Director

or Tammy Griffith, Program Assistant 


Spafford Hall 204A
1200 S. Jay St.
Aberdeen, S.D. 57401
Phone: 605-626-2558
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Northern State University
Careers in E-learning

MSEd in Instructional Design in E-Learning


The MSEd in Instructional Design in E-Learning will prepare you to combine teaching, learning and technology in unprecedented ways and in many different career settings including higher education, K-12 education, government, and corporations. You'll learn to design instruction for distance delivery.


Career Options:

Higher Education: Most if not all higher education institutions in the United States and other countries have departments of people that focus on helping faculty improve instruction and develop technologies to be used for learning. The various departments have been called centers for instructional technology, teaching improvement, instructional design, online learning, and more. Staff within these departments must have expertise in instructional design principles and techniques in order to help faculty develop high-quality online courses and improve both online and face-to-face instruction at the higher-education level.


K-12 Education: Many school districts in the United States employ technology specialists with a degree in E-Learning who advise teachers on the most effective ways to use technologies in the classroom. These professionals use their E-Learning knowledge to: (a) help teachers find new technologies and software packages to use in the classroom; (b) teach how to use certain technologies and software packages; (c) ensure that teachers use effective instructional strategies along with technologies to improve student achievement, and; (d) provide teachers with effective ways to teach technological skills to students. In addition, many states have virtual schools that provide online classes to students who are unable to attend school. E-Learning professionals work with teachers and professionals to design and develop these classes.


Corporate: Many larger corporations have instructional design departments responsible for the design and development of online training materials for employees. These trainings may include orientation for new employees, leadership/management training, customer service training or OSHA/safety training. E-Learning professionals are primarily responsible for the day-to-day work of designing and developing these training materials. They work with subject-matter to ensure that training is relevant and effective.


Government: Many government centers and agencies need E-Learning professionals to develop online training materials for government employees and the public. For instance, E-Learning professionals at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention develop online modules to increase public awareness and preparedness for certain emergencies. Instructional designers at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation develop policy compliance training for bank personnel.


MS in Training and Development in E-Learning


The MS in Training and Development in E-Learning will prepare you for management or supervisory positions in business and industry, with a focus on innovative technologies, corporate entrepreneurship, and organizational change. This degree covers a wider range of business/industry-specific responsibilities than the MSEd in Instructional Design in E-Learning. E-Learning professionals in this area might manage a technology initiative, oversee employee training and development projects, and/or design and develop solutions to problems within an organization.


Technology Initiatives: Businesses need professionals with business knowledge and technology expertise to manage company technology initiatives. Such initiatives might be internal (e. g., making decisions about technologies that employees use to be efficient), or customer-focused (e. g., choosing the right content management system for the company website).


Training and Development Projects: Many larger businesses include employee training and development as a part of their mission. These training and development opportunities may range from externally required training modules for compliance (such as OSHA/safety training) to opportunities for personal growth (such as leadership training or problem-solving training). E-learning professionals may manage training and development project processes or take a lead role in designing materials.


Organizational Solutions: Training and development processes often emphasize the importance of problem analysis that leads to custom solutions for businesses. Individuals with training and development expertise may also be involved in performance technology, a systematic approach for improving organizational performance that is similar to the instructional design process. In this capacity, Training and Development professionals could analyze a range of organizational issues and design and develop solutions to help improve these issues using organizational change techniques.