With UNC Greensboro’s Master of Education in Teacher Education: Instructional Technology, you’ll have job options in nearly any field.
The online MEd in Teacher Education: Instructional Technology prepares students for jobs as instructional designers and training specialists in a variety of environments, including K-12, higher education, nonprofit, government, corporate, and military settings.
Launch a Career in a Growing Profession
With technology constantly changing, it’s hard to keep up. Organizations look to instructional technologists, also called instructional designers or trainers, to teach things like using new office software, searching a database, using new technologies, or checking out e-books on mobile devices.
“The nice thing about an instructional technologist and instructional designer is that’s a position that is in every field,” says Dr. Anthony Chow, associate professor in the Department of Library and Information Science. “Instructional technologists are in charge of the teaching and learning of new and existing employees, as well as customers or whoever is using the organization.”
Instructional technology is a growing field, with a projected employment growth of 9 percent through 2028, faster than the average for all other occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The majority of the growth is in online and mobile training, and employees with experience in those areas should have the best job prospects.
Better Training, Better Results
Chow says instructional technology is growing more rapidly than the typical field because our society is changing so rapidly. Much of today’s technology and ways of doing things in different organizations didn’t exist 20 years ago.
In the corporate world, an instructional technologist provides employee training, orientations, new product development, and solves learner and performance challenges. When a company establishes new procedures or buys new software or products, they rely on these employees to train everyone who will use them in a way that’s both engaging and effective.
“Making sense of it all is becoming a bigger need in most organizations,” he says. “Libraries are a perfect example where everything has become more digitized, and that’s a great level of distress for the librarians and it’s also a great level of distress for the patrons. Instructional design and needing to teach well is something that all librarians have to have as a baseline skill these days.”
Connect in Real Time Online
The MEd is offered in a synchronous online format, so students take courses during set virtual class times. With online, a traditional lecture features real-time instant messaging thanks to WebEx, where students can share screens and Web browsers. It’s a feature that Chow likens to the interaction in face-to-face courses.
“There’s an ongoing stream of consciousness through the students,” Chow says. “So how neat is it that as we are talking and discussing, not only are we asking questions, but you get to see what your fellow students are thinking or wondering in real time?”
Choose From Program Options
There’s no GRE required, instead relying on students’ previous academic performance as a testament to their work ethic and ability to succeed in the program. Students can choose from two concentrations: Online and Professional Development, and Teacher Licensure.
- The Online and Professional Development track focuses on the technical, aesthetic, and intellectual skills and perspectives required for developing online and professional learning for corporate, higher education, government, and military environments.
- Teacher Licensure provides skills for leadership roles such as Technology Teachers/Coordinators, School-Based Technology Facilitators, Instructional Technology Specialists, and district-level Instructional Technology Administrators.
The online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Instructional Design allows students to take courses in Instructional Communication and Technologies and Instructional Design, and apply some of those credits toward their master's degree.
Skills for Various Fields and Organizations
Through readings, writings, weekly discussions, small groups, and application in real performance environments, students learn pedagogy, foundational theory, and understanding diverse learners from children to seniors in traditional and online/mobile environments. Students design and use advanced features in Microsoft Office, learn to use data, and provide instruction in different environments with an emphasis on online and mobile design, including immersive technology.
“We believe very strongly that if it’s a good experience, you’re going to leave your final capstone course surprised at how much you’ve accomplished and with a stronger, collective, aggregate view of the field and what you can do with the skills that you’ve been taught,” Chow says. “The sky is the limit. With this degree you will be diverse, agile, technology fluent, and marketable across different fields and organizations.”
For information about the MEd in Instructional Technology, visit the website.
The original version of this blog was published in March 2020. It has been updated.