Instructional Design for Online Learning MS in Education

Master of Science in Education

Design instruction for online learning

Help others learn through effective online instructional design. With Capella's online master's in education, instructional design for online learning degree, you’ll get the skills you need to integrate online education with ethical standards. Learn to balance instructional design, the psychology of learning, and technology, and focus on methods of online delivery, software tools, and project management. You’ll also dive deep into applying instructional theory and managing projects.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 2 Core courses
  • 7 Specialization courses
  • 2 Elective courses
  • 1 Capstone

Reduce your tuition by $3,000

Enroll in a qualified program and apply for a $3K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your master’s degree.

Apply now »

Classes Start February 8th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo FALL20).

What you’ll learn

Create innovative solutions

Demonstrate your skill and understanding of instructional design. 

Stay on track

Learn to assess and manage the process for instructional design projects.

Apply your expertise

Bridge instructional design theory and real-world opportunities.

Make ethical decisions

Integrate ethical standards in all instructional design and development activities.

MS in Education, Instructional Design for Online Learning program features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Competency-based curriculum

Our program is designed around competencies established by the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction.

Professional development plan

To help you focus on achieving your goals and stay on track, you can create a professional development plan in your first course. 

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$455 per credit, 48 total quarter credits, 12 max transfer credits

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees).  Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

$3K toward your master's

Apply for a $3K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your master’s degree.

Transfer credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.

Prior learning assessment

Earn credits by demonstrating your knowledge and/or industry certifications through our prior learning assessment process.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Master's in Instructional Design for Online Learning sample courses

Our master's in education, instructional design for online learning curriculum centers on instructional design, the psychology of learning, and technology to prepare you for a successful career.

Show course with description
Principles of Instructional Design

In this course, learners develop professional skills and competencies pertaining to instructional design process, theories, and strategies. Learners focus on the decisions that instructional designers make, the principles and concepts that drive those decisions, and the ways the decisions are interrelated. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer or prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits
Design of Instructional Media

Learners in this course examine instructional design skills and competencies including budgeting, communication, project management, program evaluation, and legal and ethical issues. Learners design theory-based instructional solutions and plan the design of instructional components using various forms of instructional media and technologies.

4 quarter credits
Instructional Design Technologies

In this course, learners apply theories and principles of instructional design and cognitive learning utilizing instructional media strategies. Learners also identify ethical, legal, and political implications of the design in the workplace. Finally, learners examine software tools that developers and instructional designers use to create innovative e-learning experiences. Cannot be fulfilled by prior learning assessment.

4 quarter credits
The Delivery of Distance Education

In this course, learners gain an understanding of current distance education delivery systems, including print, recorded audio and video, and Internet technologies. Learners also examine the ways delivery technologies inform and constrain design decisions.

4 quarter credits

Faculty & support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.


Advisors know the details of your program. Got questions about courses? Instructors? Resources? Advisors have answers.


Our courses are taught by distinguished faculty members who hold top credentials and have hands-on expertise in their fields. They know what you need to know today.

Writing support

Sharpen your writing skills with our free tutoring services and other resources.

Instructional Design for Online Learning career insights

Which K-12 Education Career Path Is Best for Me?

Want to advance in K-12 education? Consider a degree that connects with these specializations and career paths.

Choosing the Right K-12 Master's in Education for You

There are many degree specializations in K-12 education. So which master’s degree is a match for you?

Instructional Design professional paths

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online master's in education, instructional design for online learning degree.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Instructional designer
  • Instructional design specialist
  • Training specialist
  • Training manager
  • Senior instructional designer
  • Instructional technologist
  • Consultant
  • Adjunct or part-time faculty of education courses

Employment settings to explore

  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Insurance Carrier
  • Healthcare
  • Software publishers
  • Consultant firms
  • K-12 public or private school
  • K-12 virtual or charter school

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.