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Instructional Technology, M.S.

The Intersection of Education and Technology
  • 99%

    Job Placement Rate

  • 36

    Credit Hours

  • 100%


program completion feature
program completion feature


A solid foundation for a rewarding, higher paying career

Rigorous courses taught by experienced IT faculty

An introduction to the best and latest technology and opportunity to develop a professional portfolio of work

Development of strong design, technical and project management skills

Authentic working experiences, working with multiple clients

Watson College faculty and staff care about the programs, students and community. Learning, valuable experiences and support are truly the focus of this school.
Ashley Instructional Technology, M.S.
Ashley, Instructional Technology, M.S.

Master of Science in Instructional Technology

Instructional Technology Program Overview
Program Objectives

UNCW’s MIT degree program is organized around five Domains within the field of instructional technology:

Instructional design refers to its planning function, and the application of such planning to the entire range of system activities, including program maintenance and evaluation. Consequently, the domain's knowledge base is complex and includes a vast array of procedural models, conceptual models, and theories (Richy, 1993).

The domain of instructional design encompasses four major areas of theory and practice that shape the nature of design in a wide variety of settings and broadly define instructional design activity on both the macro and micro levels:

  • Instructional systems design
  • Message design (technological applications)
  • Instructional strategies
  • Learner characteristics

The developmental domain of instructional technology can be defined by examining developed technologies and learning theories exerting the greatest impact on the development process (Simonson, 1993). Since theory provides the foundation for the developmental domain, theory and technology comprise this domain.

Three theories provide the basis for the development of instructional technology:

  • Behaviorism
  • Cognitivism
  • Constructivism

Utilization is generally concerned with facilitating the use of resources for learning (Molenda, 1993). The competencies in this domain will:

  1. Prepare learners to make matches between learners and specific materials and activities
    b. Prepare learners to interact with the selected materials and activities
    c. Provide guidance during engagement
    d. Provide for assessment of the results
    e. Integrate usage into the continuing operations of the organization

The function of this domain is to manage the interface between learner and instructional materials or systems, thus encompassing a wide range of activities and situations:

  • Usage: simple, one-time use of some instructional materials or techniques
    ● Installation: the material or technique embedded in a large package of instructional system
    ● Institutionalization: effort to embed the instructional innovation into the structure and culture of the organization

Models and theories in this domain have tended to focus on the user's perspective, providing a general rationale for the selection of appropriate learning activities for learners at different experiential levels.

The instructional development process is largely a plan for a management process that will result in new or improved instructional materials. Since this process is a major foundation block for the field, the instructional technologist can be described as a manager.

The successful management of the instructional development process requires a variety of management skills. The AECT Definition and Terminology Committee divides the management domain into four subdomains:

  1. Project Management
  2. Resource Management
  3. Management of Delivery Systems
  4. Information Management

Analysis, assessment and evaluation play an important role in the instructional design process and in instructional technology itself. General systems theory, which typically guides the overall design process, provides the logic for the evaluation tasks encountered by instructional technologies (Seels, 1993).

Needs assessments, formative and summative evaluations and criterion-referenced testing are prompted by the need to create self-regulated systems. They are also prompted by the belief in the positive role of feedback.

This domain grew as the educational research field grew. Evaluation domain is classified according to the object being evaluated. Common distinctions are programs, projects and products or materials.

Where Our Graduates are Now

Jerome Hoskins ’11M
Manager of Training & Implementation, Auction Edge, Inc.

“As a learning and development professional, I have a strong passion for education and its ability to shape society, improve performance, and add value to the quality of the human experience. By combining my study of the systematic approach to instructional design with a technical background including development of rich multimedia products, I oversee the implementation of instructional training programs that provide a rich learning experience and organizational solutions that improve performance.”

Melissa Harbour ’14M
Aerospace University Space and Technology Programs Lead, The Aerospace Corporation

“I am an instructional designer with an interest in gaming, user experience, and effective technology use. My goal as an instructional designer is to enable people to achieve their performance potential by creating meaningful and engaging learning experiences. My experience in the field centers on employing the ADDIE model to design and develop a variety of instructional solutions including games and simulations and interactive e-learning.”

Lucas Gillespie ’08M
Director of Technology and Media, Surry County Schools

Lucas’s many specialties include instructional/organizational needs assessment, technology and program planning, program evaluation, technology policy development, developing online and blended learning, and the educational use of video games. He is an internationally-recognized speaker on game-based learning and gamification and creator of the EPICAcademy gamified professional development program and the internationally-acclaimed WoWinSchool Program.


Defined as the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management and evaluation of the processes and resources for learning, we believe that Instructional Technology is much more than hardware and computer software development. It is a powerful tool to improve educational and training systems in organizational settings, school systems, and universities through the application of research and best practices from instructional technology.

Instructional Technologies also encompasses the instructional design process, which includes analysis, design, development, evaluation, and implementation of instructional systems and other learning environments. Some of the many related areas of study include educational psychology, organizational development, communications, message design, multimedia development, electronic distance education, management and consultation, technical writing, and information systems design.

Our graduates typically assume design/development roles in public or private organizations-both in education and corporate organizations.

Active professionals with degrees in Instructional Technology (or instructional design) are highly regarded in a variety of educational and training settings. Examples include computer-based and online learning, instructional videos, or "just-in-time learning" modules used in government or businesses. Other examples include:

  • Developing instruction/training for government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), US Coast Guard, and Department of Defense (DoD), as well as for higher education, business and industry.
  • Managing training programs for medium to large businesses or corporations, higher education, healthcare organizations, and public or private education.
  • Creating custom learning solutions for clients in an instructional design or consulting firm.
  • Supporting teachers and students at K-12 or college/universities as they incorporate technologies into their curricula.
  • Developing instructional or educational software using multiple and combined media.

These are places where are alumni are currently working (these are a few of many just to give you an idea of how far our alumni network spreads):


  • Cisco System
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • AT&T
  • SAP
  • Bank of America
  • Cone Health
  • Kindred Healthcare
  • Infina
  • DST Health Solutions
  • Proficient Learning
  • US Bank
  • Exxon Mobile
  • SunTrust banks
  • Fuji Film
  • PPD
  • 3D Robotics
  • GAP/Old Navy/Banana Republic Corporate
  • American Institute for Certified Public Accountants
  • American Express
  • New Hanover Regional Medical Center
  • *Many branches of the military and government
  • *We also have alumni working internationally


  • Duke University
  • UNCW
  • Burlington School District VT
  • New Hanover County Schools
  • Pender County Schools
  • Brunswick County Schools
  • NC State University
  • University of Louisville
  • Warner University
  • University of VA
  • Penn State University
  • Raleigh-Durham Schools
  • Charlotte Schools
  • North Carolina Virtual Public School
  • *Many more school districts and universities throughout the US

Yes! As in any profession, the economic cycles and shifts create a dynamic work search environment. During "booming" times the jobs seem to be looking for you, at other times you have to search long and hard for the right opportunity, but the field of instructionaldesign is well recognized as adding value to teaching and learning, especially in today’s complex blended learning environments.

  • Examples of job postings include:
  • Instructional Design/Course Engineer
  • Instructional Designer/Writer
  • Instructional Designer/Trainer
  • E-learning Instructional Designer & Project Manager
  • Instructional Designer/Product Development Specialist
  • Sales Instructional Developer
  • E-learning Curriculum Developer
  • Training Analyst / Instructional Designer
  • Director of Training
  • Training Specialist
  • Learning Consultant
  • Performance improvement specialist
  • Instructional Technologist
  • Instructional Systems Designer
  • Project Manager, Product Training
  • Academic Director
  • Instructional Services Specialist, Technology Specialist

The Instructional Technology program will not fulfill state teaching and licensure requirements. Licensure programs are offered through the Watson College of Education.

Currently, there is not a teacher licensure program in North Carolina for teaching computer-related skills. Teachers must fulfill state teaching and licensure requirements. Licensure programs are offered through the Watson College of Education.

All MIT courses are offered online.

Students enter our program with a wide range of technology skills, from beginners to very advanced. Because our program teaches you the skills you need, all backgrounds are welcome and there are no prerequisite technology requirements.

Most IT students are part-time; they work during the day and attend class at night. Students typically take one or two classes per term, and attend year-round.

  • Full-time Master's students typically complete their degree requirements in two years.
  • Full-time Instructional Technology Specialist students complete their certificate in one year. (University policy allows six years for completion.)
  • Part-time students tend to take three years to complete their coursework and qualify.

Yes. For the Master's Degree and Instructional Technology Specialist Certificate, the College of Education may accept a maximum of six credits of graduate work from an accredited university. Certain conditions may apply. In case of transfer credit, a Request for Transfer of Credit form must be completed and approved. Consult an advisor for specific issues in transferring credit and for the request form.

No. Although your relevant life/work experience will help you in completing the program, UNCW does not give credit for your life/work experience. However, those who enter the IT program with extensive design experience may have some degree requirements replaced with more useful coursework.

It's not a requirement, but you will find it helpful to at least have access to a computer.

There are labs with computers available for use here, but obviously, you would need to travel to campus every time you want to use them.

As a student, you qualify for academic pricing on many software packages. Visit the campus bookstore to see what is available.

The university publishes a schedule of classes three times a year (for the Fall, Spring and Summer terms).

You will register online at Please review the instructions and have your UNCW Access ID and password ready. Note that during Early Registration, scheduled days and times vary according to the first letter of your last name.

Approximately 30 graduate students are enrolled in MIT courses each semester. Typically, the program offers 6 courses each semester, with an average enrollment of 7-15 students per class.

Your faculty advisor will provide guidance and feedback about your professional portfolio.

Additionally, the MIT program supports an informal network of alumni through relationships among faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The MIT Alumni network supports students in various ways, including providing ways to network with other instructional design professionals, especially in our region.

Finally, UNCW provides employment assistance through the Career Center, located in Room 104/106 in the University Union.

Contact the IT Program Coordinator.

Dr. Daisyane Barreto
Program Coordinator