Innovations in technology have sparked a rapid evolution in how teachers use digital tools to engage students and create better learning outcomes. As these tools play a larger role in education, expertise is needed to guide educators in the best practices for the use of technology to develop improved learning environments.
Those who earn an MA in Learning, Design, and Technology provide that expertise. Graduates learn the knowledge, skills, and creativity needed to become instructional designers and technology leaders, designing effective learning for a variety of learning audiences.
It’s a career that attracts not only people with an interest in technology, but also those motivated to use their skills to create an effective, efficient, and equitable learning environment.
The Emergence of Digital Tools During the Pandemic
In an interview for the Point Park University blog, the University’s Learning, Design, and Technology faculty – Dr. Vincenne Revilla Beltrán, Dr. Barbara Frey, and Dr. Lorna Kearns answered questions about using digital tools both before and after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They noted that teachers used technology pre-pandemic for various reasons, including enriching learning, increasing motivation, and enhancing communication. During the pandemic, course management systems made content delivery to remote-learning students possible.
“The use of new technologies to deliver lessons increased dramatically across the curriculum for nearly all content areas,” they wrote. “As the pandemic wanes, new technologies remain an essential part of instruction. The pandemic provided an unprecedented opportunity to pilot the use of new and emerging educational technologies.”
Why Choose Learning, Design, and Technology?
A graduate degree program in learning, design, and technology combines the potential of tech-driven educational tools with contemporary educational concepts around important areas such as diversity, equity, social-emotional learning, experiential learning, and much more.
Professionals in the program learn how to design and develop learning environments using technology that is second nature to a generation of students who never have known a world without the internet, smartphones, and instantaneous, global communication.
It’s a field that attracts those who want to combine an interest in technology with a passion for education. Learning design and technology professionals focus on providing leadership in developing and implementing tech-enhanced educational content. They also develop knowledge in technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing, as well as their applications in an educational environment.
Learning, Design, and Technology Careers
The skills learned in the graduate program are in demand in education as well as in the corporate world. For example, those who graduate from learning, design, and technology master’s degree program often go on to work in human resources training in a large variety of industries, including healthcare, banking, and finance. They may also create interactive professional development courses or develop educational games.
Careers for graduates of the master’s degree program include Training and Development Manager, Training and Development Specialist, Instructional Coordinator, Corporate Trainer, and Digital Learning Support Specialist.
While salary depends on the specific career, location, and employer, Salary.com places the annual average salary for learning, design, and technology professionals between $85,359 and $115,445.
The Point Park University Master’s Program
While they learn about emerging tech trends, students in Point Park University’s online MA in Learning, Design, and Technology do not focus entirely on particular technologies because they change so often. The program curriculum emphasizes learning technologies, instructional design, content delivery, innovative instruction, and assessment and evaluation.
Students also participate in fieldwork and practicum courses that allow them to apply knowledge learned in classes to real-world settings.
Courses in the program include:
- Learning Technologies for Educators
- Instructional Methods for Digital Teaching and Learning
- Innovative Instruction and Leadership
- Assessment and Evaluation of Online Teaching and Learning
- Issues and Trends in Digital Learning
- Online Teaching Design and Delivery
- Research in Learning, Design, and Technology
- Instructional Technology Administration and Management
No matter what specific career graduates choose to enter, the MA in Learning, Design, and Technology prepares them for positions in leadership, administration, and management. Program graduates are prepared to design professional development programs that integrate technology in the curriculum, apply best practices to online course design, access new hardware and software application effectiveness, and use technology to meet the learning needs of diverse students.