Purpose and Background
The purpose of the Instructional Design Certificate at Seminole State College of Florida is to meet the needs of educators and educators-to-be, trainers, and other professionals who wish to certify their expanding and improving professional knowledge in educational technology.
This fully online certificate program offers a skill set in the evolving field of technology and education at the bachelor’s degree level, with a requirement of fifteen credits for completion. The program prepares learners from various backgrounds and levels of technological experience with the knowledge and skills necessary to design, develop, facilitate, and evaluate instruction for effective delivery in the physical classroom or online. Learners may already work in a variety of settings—including K-12, higher education, corporate, healthcare, non-profit, military, or government—or may plan to transition to such work settings upon completion of academic study. Learners will benefit from the opportunities to engage with fellow professionals on emergent topics in technology and education as they fulfill flexible project assignments that can be adapted to their relevant professional activities.
The landscape of educational technology shifts quickly; not every new educator, existing education professional, or adapting business person seeks a master’s degree to keep up with knowledge in the field. While many workplaces offer professional development workshops that provide information on technology-related issues, many learners seek a more comprehensive learning and career training experience. They want a program that moves them through application and analysis while providing individualized feedback, without the costs and time commitments of graduate school.
For sustainable lifelong learning, our undergraduate level certificate offers learners smaller classes with flexible projects, taught by education professionals, within a diverse learning community of participants, ranging from novice classroom teachers, to mid-career education professionals, to business people responsible for workforce training. Because our courses are taught by full-time professionals, including college professors and instructional designers, we can address the nuances and application of current trends and legal obligations in the field.
As educators for an open-door college, we feel strongly that our mission to serve a diverse learner population aligns well with the Association for the Educational Communications and Technology’s definition for the field: “Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.” We see our certificate program as an accessible, affordable, and useful means for learners at various levels of experience to improve continuously in the change-rich study of educational technology. Recently, a certificate graduate shared his perspective in an online discussion that reassured us our program fills the niche we've identified. Richard, formally a high school music teacher, writes, "There were a few determining factors that led me to choosing Seminole State as opposed to another college or university. The biggest for me was considering which choice would push me down the right path that I wanted to follow for my career and would do so with an easy-to-manage schedule balanced against work and family life. I ultimately chose Seminole State because I would get the certificate in far less time and with less expense. I did not need a masters degree to take the next step in my career. I actually just accepted an offer for a major company as a worker in their training consulting department, so I feel like I definitely made the right choice with Seminole State." We hope to serve many more learners like Richard with this program.
Seminole State College’s Instructional Design Certificate launched in the spring of 2014 with twenty-two students and currently serves just short of thirty students. On average, our learners have over an 80% success rate in the certificate courses across all terms since 2014. As of the 2018-2019 academic year, we have had twenty students complete the full certificate. (More specific institutional data on the program can be found in the Institutional Review portion of this application.) While some students come from our associate degree programs and have yet to work in a professional setting, most of our students have been professionals seeking more certification of their skills. The chart below showcases some students and their class projects from a recent certificate course:
|Learner’s Professional Environment||Learner’s Self-Selected Class Project Focus|
|English Speakers of Other Languages instructor||scaffolding students’ essay structure|
|high school music teacher||creating training for fellow teachers to use the sound system in the high school’s theatre|
|adjunct professor of photography and art||teaching the specifics of capturing shadow and detail in the same photograph|
|corrections officer||developing a professional training module for the workplace|
|software company instructional designer||seeking to improve eLearning post-assessments|
|publishing professional||designing online sales technique training|
|former journalist/editor||seeking to certify instructional knowledge for job transition; designing beginning computer literacy course for retirees|
|technical writer||creating training to improve engagement in webinars|
|community college outreach coordinator||creating online training for campus tour guides|
|graduate professor||improving online and technological usage in course materials|
|community college professor||certifying instructional competency and experience in lesson creation|