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Instructional Technology Online (ITMA)

M.A.Ed., Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction




ITMA, the Instructional Technology Online Master's Degree Program is designed to meet the needs of professional educators in K-12 schools, community colleges, and higher education, as well as corporate trainers and other instructional development professionals outside of the academic realm. The focus of the program is on the creation of effective solutions to support learning and improved performance. Individual professional experiences are highly valued and will form the basis for most of the projects developed throughout the program. 


ITMA is a rigorous graduate program offering an M.A.Ed. (for those who do not yet have a master's degree) or an Ed.S. (for those who already have a master's degree), designed to prepare you to be a professional instructional technologist. As a graduate of the Virginia Tech Instructional Technology Program, you will enjoy the respect and opportunities afforded by completing one of the finest Instructional Technology programs in the country. Students successfully completing this program will earn an M.A.Ed. or Ed.S. in Curriculum & Instruction with a specialization in Instructional Design & Technology.

Our Faculty and staff in both ITMA and the Instructional Design and Technology Program have very diverse interests that encompass all aspects of instructional technology and are committed to support students as they develop the professional, academic, research, and interpersonal skills required for a successful career of their choice

Our coursework is designed to help students advance their understanding of educational issues, theories, and practice related to Instructional Design and Technology.


ITMA graduates apply their multidisciplinary expertise as instructional designers, trainers, or performance consultants in educational institutions, businesses, organizations, and government, and as teachers or technology coordinators in PreK-12 or collegiate settings.

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Instructional Design and Technology is dedicated to applying what is empirically understood about how humans learn and improve upon performance to the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of learning and performance support products, processes, and environments. IDT professionals understand and leverage technologies as both product (such as a web-based course for distant learners or print-based job-aids for the workplace) and process (such as an iterative and formative approach to learner assessment). Instructional technologists practice their unique, multidisciplinary profession in a variety of settings including industry, preK-12 schools, higher education, and government.

ITMA is an online 30-credit hour degree program consisting of coursework in foundations of Instructional Design and Technology, research methods, and electives. Many ITMA students complete three credit-hours each academic semester and six credit-hours each summer, completing the program in three years. All the courses are offered every semester. This flexibility allows you to determine the pace at which you complete your degree. See the Plan of Study for your schedule of courses. 

ITMA courses include three following components:

 Foundation Courses:

  • EDIT 5154: Theoretical Foundations of Technology Enhanced Learning
  • EDIT 5164: Design for Learning
  • EDIT 5274: Foundations of IDT
  • EDIT 5534: Applied Theories of Instructional Design
  • EDIT 5904: Project and Report
  • EDIT 5654: IDT Portfolio

Research Course:

  • EDIT 5584: Program and Product Evaluation

Instructional Technology Concentration Courses:

  • EDIT 5224: Principles of Learning Message Design
  • EDIT 5564: Visual Literacy
  • EDIT 5564: Applications of Digital Media
  • EDIT 5604: Distance Education
  • EDIT 5634: Interactive Learning Media Design
  • EDIT 5774: Software Evaluation

Course Descriptions

This will be the first course you will take in the program and will provide you with an overview of the field of Instructional Design and Technology. You will learn about the history of the field, current debates, and future trends. You will be introduced to major theories about how people learn and how you can help people learn better. You will also be introduced to the historical founders, current leaders and available career paths in the field of IDT.

Credit Hour(s): 3

In this course you will be introduced to the main theories of learning. The focus is on psychological principles of learning and how these can be applied in technology enhanced learning (TEL) settings. There is not a single theory that can explain all aspects of human learning, so you will be introduced to many different theoretical perspectives on learning

Credit Hour(s): 3

This course is designed to introduce you to instructional design principles and techniques. The course will also provide you with an environment in which you can practice and apply those tools and principles. It is our goal that this experience will lead you to a more purposeful plan for creating instructional projects.

Credit Hour(s): 3

At this point in the program, you will have gained knowledge and skills regarding instructional design. In this course you will get to apply your knowledge and skills as you will learn to develop a computer-based instructional program. Using a multimedia authoring program, you will create an instructional program that will incorporate a variety of digital images, videos, and audio files.

Credit Hour(s): 3

This course is offered in lieu of a thesis. The purpose of this component of the ITMA program is to allow you to independently study an area that interests you. As students are expected to spend approximately 150 hours of effort for 3 hours of course credit, this is an excellent chance for you to learn more about a specific IDT-related topic that fascinates you.

Credit Hour(s): 3

In this course you will be provided with the opportunity to create and present an online portfolio that includes your projects and assignments that you have completed in the ITMA program. It also includes your reflections on your own learning throughout the program. You will present your final portfolio to a group of peers and a university evaluator.

Credit Hour(s): 3

In the field of IDT, we evaluate instructional programs and products to determine their worth and to make decisions that will lead to better performance. In this course you will learn how to evaluate instructional programs and products. You will be asked to evaluate a program or project yourself using a variety of methods and techniques, including both quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Credit Hour(s): 3

In this course you will learn techniques to evaluate how effective existing computer programs are for instructional purposes. One of the things you will get to do in the course is to create an expert review report about a specific instructional computer program.

Credit Hour(s): 3

In this course you will learn about current issues and trends in the field of distance education. You will be introduced to a variety of distance learning strategies and technology. You will review and critique a range of distance learning environments from both an instructor and learning perspective. You will also have the chance to plan a distance education program that meets specific instructional goals.

Credit Hour(s): 3

In your work, education and daily life, you will encounter and interact with images and visual materials on a regular basis. This course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to be visually literate in an instructional design context. Someone who is visually literate cannot only interpret visual messages; they can also create effective visuals in a variety of settings. In this course you will therefore learn how to effectively find, interpret, use, analyze, evaluate, design, and create visual messages for instructional purposes.

Credit Hour(s): 3

When you design instructional messages, there are several guiding principles that can help to make your message more effective, clear, and readable for your learners. In this course, you will not only learn about these principles, you will also be asked to apply these principles to create instruction in such a way that it promotes attention, perception, and retention. You will learn how elements such as color, typography, shapes, lines, space, motion, and texture can enhance learning.

Credit Hour(s): 3

This course is designed to help you effectively select and use a variety of digital media in your instruction. You will develop a rationale for using digital media in your instruction by identifying characteristics of relevant digital media. You will also learn to produce high-quality instructional audio, video, and images that you will present in a learning module or other type of presentation.

Credit Hour(s): 3

How do designers design when there is no design model to follow? In these instances, experienced designers have an implicit knowledge of the factors involved in a design problem based on their experiences and are able to understand the aspects that deserve priority attention and their interaction with others that may be just as important. The problem, then, is how to produce these same experiences in novice designers so they can build this knowledge. One way to approach the problem is to identify and explain the concepts involved in the design problem and present examples and non-examples for each of the concepts while demonstrating the interactions among the various concepts. Because there is no model for the design of interactive learning media (ILM), this course takes the student through an examination and analysis of several concepts involved in ILM. It is not intended to cover all concepts, however it provides a sufficient introduction for the student to gain an appreciation for the complexity of designing ILM. Students will review real world media and analyze them according to the topic of the module. Through this process, students will develop an understanding of the topic and be able to articulate an application of the topics in a single design document.

Credit Hour(s): 3


Glen Holmes smiles warmly for the camera.
Glen Holmes, Collegiate Professor and Program Leader
Dr. Price smiles for the camera, relaxed and happy, wearing a blue plaid shirt which is open over a t shirt. He is poised and confident
Kibong Song, Assistant Professor of Practice, ITMA Program Lead