Instructional Design Basics Course

Learn the fundamentals to design effective and engaging learning

Unpack the learning design process and become confident using fundamental instructional design frameworks and models related to learning. You’ll learn how to plan effective and engaging learning that is student-centred and impactful.



Gain specialised instructional design knowledge and skills with our three-part Learning Design Series – start with principles of learning design, followed by developing your skills into learning solutions, then learn how to use AI tools to support effective instructional design (coming soon). 

As demand for learning has grown, so too has the need for quality instructional design. This course unpacks best learning design principles and introduces the models and frameworks used to design and develop effective learning. 

Through project-based assessments, you’ll identify your learners’ needs and learning contexts where they will apply their new skills. In addition, you will design the instructional strategy that will help you develop a prototype course and create an evaluation plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the course design.

Keen to expand your learning design skills? Our Learning Design and Development course is a great follow-up to this course!

This course is ideal for
  • Learning and development professionals
  • Instructional designers
  • Corporate trainers
  • Professional development specialists
  • Community and other educators


  • “The content overall was very engaging!!! And I can apply it thoroughly in my role - Love!!”

  • "I am glad I did this course. Really enjoyed it and am hoping this will help me start my career in ID.”

  • "This course appealed to me for many reasons. The course content was organised logically with a natural flow, the external reference material gave the scope for extending ourselves, and the assignments were relevant and had the right amount of challenges."

  • "Feedback on assessments was provided in a timely way and the comments were clear and felt accurate. Found the textbook articles very helpful and will be a great resource going forward."

  • "It took some level of bravery to enrol in this course having not studied for many years but I'm so glad I did! I found the course easy to navigate and enjoyed expanding my knowledge and the learning that happened while doing the required assignments."


What you'll learn

  • Basic instructional design theories and frameworks
  • How to identify the needs of your learners
  • How to develop an instructional strategy and evaluation plan
  • How to align learning objectives and assessments
  • How to design, develop, and evaluate an e-learning course

Course outline

Our courses are flexible, enabling you to plan your study around your other commitments. You can choose to study when it suits you during the learning period (7 October – 8 December, with a one-week study break from 4-10 November), followed by a 2-week review period for marking and feedback (9 –22 December).

We recommend completing around 12 hours of study a week during the learning period (excluding the study break) – you can view the course overview here for more details on assessment timings. 

Module 1: Introduction to instructional design (ID)
Foundations of the instructional design process and how people learn. Understand the role of instructional designers and who they work with.

Module 2: Analysis
Understand the needs and goals of your learners and the content you create for them – In what context will they be learning and applying their new knowledge?

Module 3: Design
Design an effective instructional strategy. Create a framework for constructive learning that includes measurable objectives and aligned assessments.

Module 4: Development
Make sure the instructional materials you're designing are accessible, usable, and inclusive. Create content your audience can relate to. It should be easy to access and engaging to interact with so you maximise value for your learners.

Module 5: Implementation
Key points every instructional designer should consider before and during the implementation phase.

Module 6: Evaluation
Do formative and summative evaluations to check whether your instructional content is effective and examine how to collect meaningful feedback.


  • Course proposal and analysis = 25%
  • Course design = 30%
  • Prototype development = 25%
  • Evaluation plan = 20%
Upon successful completion of the course you will be issued a digital badge to recognise your learning achievements. This can take up to 2 months to be delivered after the marking and feedback period.  


This course is equivalent to Level 8 Postgraduate study therefore applicants must meet the entry criteria as approved by NZQA, and have; 

  • Either a bachelor's degree or equivalent level qualification
  • OR equivalent professional experience in a relevant field. Learners will be asked to demonstrate equivalent professional experience, which can include paid or voluntary work. If you’d like to check if you have the equivalent professional experience you can email us at  

Courses are taught in English and therefore learners should be confident reading, writing and listening in English.

Technology requirements
  • We recommend a laptop or desktop computer and a reliable internet connection.
  • A PDF reader (like Adobe Acrobat Reader DC) to download PDFs with assessment instructions.
  • Word processing software (like Microsoft Word or Google Docs) to complete your assignments.
  • A prototyping tool like PowerPoint or Google Slides.
  • A digital portfolio. You can set this up using a free, online tool. We'll give you examples of tools you can use during the course. 
Course fees

Course fees must be paid before learning can begin, either via online credit-card payment, or by contacting to request an invoice. Please note: fixed invoice payment dates apply, so we recommend getting in touch with us as soon as possible to request an invoice, as this option is subject to availability.

Group discounts

Get your colleagues together to take advantage of our group discounts: 

  • 10% for 3 - 6 learners
  • 15% for 7+ learners

Contact our Partnerships Manager to learn more and enquire now.

Minimum enrolment threshold

Please note: Tuihono UC | UC Online has a minimum enrolment threshold that must be met to enable opportunities for interaction, discussion, and feedback. If the minimum number of enrolments required for a course is not met, enrolled students will be given the option to defer their enrolment to the next course date, or receive a refund. 

Crediting this course towards a degree

In certain cases the points from this course can be credited towards further study with UC. Learn more about cross-crediting and recognition of prior learning.