The Learning, Design and Technology program, formerly Instructional Systems Technology, underwent a change in name to reflect current trends in the field and better represent the program’s focus.
Offered through UNC Charlotte Distance Education, the Learning, Design and Technology program prepares graduates in three concentrations: school specialists, training and development and online teaching and learning. The program’s three paths are graduate certificate, Master of Education and Doctor of Education in Learning, Design and Technology. The doctorate with a concentration in learning, design and technology is a new blended-learning program for senior-level leaders in the field.
Students who graduate from the LDT program learn to create and implement effective technology-enhanced learning experiences.
For the program name change, the term “instructional” was replaced with “learning” to represent the learner-centered nature of the field and program; "design" reflects the task of designing effective learning experiences instead of the environment in which the learning takes place, and “technology” broadly captures the technological advancements for design and delivery methods including online, mobile and blended formats.
The school specialist concentration prepares graduates to become licensed leaders of technology facilitation in K-12 schools and school districts. The online learning and teaching concentration is designed for individuals interested in pursuing online teaching positions in higher education as well as K-12 environments. The training and development concentration is geared toward applications in the corporate sector as well as government, military or even nonprofit roles in instructional design and development, analysis and evaluation, content development and more.
Students engage in learning that integrates theory with practical application for advanced technology application and development in educational settings. The program is structured to meet the demands of full-time working professionals.
Beth Oyarzun from the Cato College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership, is now director of the program’s two largest paths: the Graduate Certificate in LDT and Master of Education in LDT. Her research revolves around effective online teaching pedagogies, which informs her teaching.
The LDT program is Quality Matters (QM) certified in program design and learner success, and the graduate certificates are AECT endorsed. The program has 10 QM certified courses, and the school specialist concentration certificate and master’s programs are NCDPI licensure endorsed. All of the LDT faculty are QM-certified peer reviewers and serve as QM faculty fellows. Two courses have won the Crystal Award for outstanding multimedia courses (first and third place) from the AECT Division of Distance Learning.