Published on June 6, 2017 by Sara Roman  

Orlean Beeson School of Education’s Master of Science in Education in instructional design and technology is a 30-credit-hour program designed for students interested in leading the process by which curriculum and training is developed, implemented and evaluated.

Students master the skills needed to deliver coursework and training in blended and online formats within the fields of education, business, government and health care.

“What drew me to this program is the vastness of opportunities in the job market,” said Taylor Kendrick, a current instructional design and technology student. “I could be a project manager working on a particular project, a subject matter expert or a graphic designer. There are all these different moving parts within this field that I will be able to walk into because of this program.” 

Graduates master concepts of the integration of technology into instructional systems and curricula during the course of the program. Students study the foundations of instructional design, computer applications, distance education, design and production of instructional materials, multimedia and web-based instruction, and assessment.

“I think the assessment piece is what employers love most about our course of study,” said Diana Cheshire, director of the instruction design and technology program “The fact that our students are able to bring together content, develop the best method for delivery, develop it, and then assess it using the tools actually developed in class is huge.”

The curriculum balances instructional design, technology and the psychology of learning, Cheshire said. The focus is on the practice of instructional design, including designing effective instruction both face to face and online, best methods of delivery, learning software tools and project management. The program also could be a beneficial supplement for current Samford faculty who want to integrate more into their classroom.

“When you have content that is not delivered in the best way for people to receive it, it actually becomes a distraction,” said Kendrick. “As instructional designers we take content we know nothing about and write a script for it; we ensure it is delivered in the best way for people to learn and receive the material.”

Students graduate with a deeper understanding of technology, instructional design principles, assessment and instructional materials. This allows students to learn every piece of the puzzle along the way, and ensures they are able to communicate effectively with the graphic designers, HTML experts, course writers and any others.

“It frees you to find employment within any particular field,” said Kendrick. “You are not just a technology expert; you completely understand the means and tools of technology to facilitate learning.”

The program’s first cohort is set to graduate in December 2017.

“Candidates with degrees in this field are in demand and the need for more is expected to increase in the next five years,” said Cheshire.

The program has just solidified an internship partnership with Brasfield & Gorrie, General Contractors, one of the nation’s largest construction firms. This internship opportunity is available to current students and the cohort starting the program in the fall.

Orlean Beeson School of Education is accepting applications for the fall 2017 cohort through July 15.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.