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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Instructional Design Foundations and Applications by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

673 ratings

About the Course

This course, Instructional Design Foundations, introduces learners to the conceptual and theoretical foundations of instructional design as well as the analysis aspect of instructional systems design in order to create an innovative instructional solution to performance problems in organizations. This particular course also introduces learners to concepts covered in the Instructional Design MasterTrack Certificate. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: ●Describe the major concepts of instructional systems design ●Describe the major learning and instructional theories ●Describe the process of instructional design and instructional design models ●Describe various analysis activities for instructional design...

Top reviews


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Only include the first step of instructional design. The videos mostly provides the theories, there is not a lot of examples (how to apply the theories in real world)


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I really liked this course. The assignments were designed really well, giving us the sneak peek into what a instructional designer would do.

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1 - 25 of 280 Reviews for Instructional Design Foundations and Applications

By Phillip G

Aug 16, 2019

My opinion is influenced by my professional experience as a classroom teacher, that utilizes the Flip model and other non-traditional instructional practices. In teacher professional development we talk a lot about “best practices” and how best to reach our students, and this class just fails miserably in achieving “best practices”.

As a teacher, I’m not completely ignorant when it comes to the content of this course. Weeks 3 and 4 covered content I am familiar with and/or have received specialized training concerning those topics. Weeks 1 and 2 were largely new information and really just provided me with vocabulary and structured thinking to many things that I do already. Returning to “best practices”, the entire course simply fails to demonstrate the concepts it is teaching. Using Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction, the instructors have failed to gain the attention of their audience, and they fail to recognize the impact of their presentation style on the attitudes – specifically motivation and engagement – of the audience.

I would like to share a few recommendations with you. First, the instructional video format. A rule with instructional videos is that you can expect about 1 minute of attention for every grade level. So for a 9th grader, don’t make your videos longer than about 9 minutes. There is a point of diminishing returns. Keep your videos short. A thirty-minute instructional video is a bad idea in general. Break the video into multiple parts to make it “digestible”, and not overload the learner. The “talking heads” format that is utilized is not engaging. The slides have too much text; if the learner has to read the slides, then they aren’t listening to you. None of the presenters are engaging in personality or delivery. Dr. Huang may be an expert in this field, but his videos are long, his voice is monotone, and he just doesn’t have a presence on screen. Nothing about any of the presenters’ deliveries makes learning in this course exciting.

Required reading in this course needs to be altered. I could have purchased a book on Amazon for $20 that covered the same content in fewer pages and would focus more on practicality than straight up theory. The week 3 required reading was “unreadable”. You could get the same result of your required readings by just giving students a bullet list of topics and having them do their own Google Search of terms. That would at least be active learning.

Assessment design in this course is poor. The discussion prompts in videos are a waste of time as every student creates their own thread in the discussion forum and there is no incentive to dig through responses to get other people’s opinions or views because it is not referenced directly in the summative assessments. Question design in the quizzes should be changed as well. Multiple choice questions are one thing, but multiple choice-multiple answer questions are cruel. The later quizzes are extremely difficult because of this as phrasing and structuring of answers is not referenced directly from the videos. This requires content fluency from the learner that has not been practiced, developed or assessed prior to this quiz, so the learner is left guessing and hoping. Thankfully, there are essentially unlimited retakes.

THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT. At the beginning of the course it is stated that this course is part of the MicroMasters program. According to the course listing for that program on CoursEra….it’s not.

I WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND using a couple of case studies that are introduced at the beginning of the course and are examined throughout the course as topics and methods are discussed. Draw parallels; point out possible errors; DEMONSTRATE what you are talking about.

As a teacher, I always strive for student engagement. This is even discussed during the course, attitude/motivation has a big influence on the success of the learning experience. Make the course more engaging. Right now I don’t plan to continue the MicroMasters program because the experience thus far has been a soul-sucking/motivation-draining experience AND I’m not convinced the instructors can provide me with any information, methods, etc., that I’m not already familiar with that will improve my skills in the development, implementation, and evaluation of my learning resources.

By Paddy C

Aug 12, 2019

I would give this course zero stars if i could. The presentation style of some of the presenters was incredibly monotonous, the visual style was at the cost of clarity and retention, the content was repeated across each week, the MCQs were an absolute horror show, scavenging for answers that didn't exist rather than actually learning...the irony of an instructional design course being this badly designed is outrageous! Seriously people, you need to go back to the drawing board with this one. This is by far the worst online course i have ever completed. I dont understand how people are giving this positive reviews. The one positive thing i can offer, it does help you pick up key words and descriptions for the field of ID, outside of that avoid like the plague.

By Kathy P

Jan 29, 2019

While the information is comprehensive and certainly very useful, the delivery method of talking heads, power point slides, and online reading material in this course is very stagnant.

By Regina R

May 28, 2019

I find that the content of this course is relevant to the career and it does, in fact, gives the audience a good idea of what to expect from a career as Instructional Designer. However, the way the course was instructed did not meet my expectations.

Firstly, content is recited over the videos, this means, students are to sit watching a video of an instructor that talks about complex subjects in a monochrome tone of voice, with the exception of 2-3 speakers. Reciting a content leaves no room for the audience to interpret the subjects, but to learn by heart what was said leading to no motivation from the audience. Secondly, this way of "teaching" made quizzes extremely, not to mention unnecessarily, complex for the answers needed to be a copy/paste from the lessons, changing one word could lead to an incorrect answer. Thirdly, why not providing the right answers after succeeding a test, how are we supposed to know the right answers of those questions we did not get right?. Not to talk about the various technical issues, like running out of quiz attempts after using only 2 chances making you hand in the assignments late, marking right answers wrong even when you had a screen shot of the exact words from the video lessons, finding out that your first answers were correct after 8 attempts. Not being able to interact with the instructors when in doubt or in need of clarification.

Overall, sadly, I did not have a good experience doing this course; therefore, I would not recommend. I enrolled in the course to have a better understanding of what the career was before going through admissions for a diploma degree. Now I come to realize that paying for this course was not necessary for completing the certificate did not change the outcome. I could have just followed the course without the hazard of completing the assignments, that would have been enough.

By chris a

Jul 22, 2020

Quizzes seem designed to frustrate, not reinforce material. Questions with multiple answers should not be weighted the same as single answer questions.

By Ashley O

Jul 6, 2020

Really boring to be hosted by people who specialize in ID.

By Will T

Nov 9, 2020

For an instructional design course this was not well-designed.

By Angela C

Jun 27, 2019

I feel this course would have been much better if the history portion at the beginning were removed and replaced with some real-life examples and dig deeper into the application of these concepts.

By Shelby B

Mar 22, 2021

The information was ok, but the execution was terrible. For an instructional design class.... it lacks instructional design.

By Eloise w

Apr 25, 2021

I felt for an instructional design course there would be some practical experience using a design software. But there was not.

Also the tests just tell you if your answer is correct or wrong. With no guidance as to why it is wrong or where to review for a recap to get the answers.

Considering it is instruction desgincourse, limited instructional design went into the creation of this course to actually enable learning to take place.

By Anjali C

May 21, 2019

I enjoyed the readings but felt that there could be more case studies and application based stuff because there was a lot of theory in it. Which is why the assignments were hard as questions had content which was sometimes not mentioned even briefly in the video. Considering it as a course in ID, I did expect more variations and more resources to read. Sometimes the narrators tone became monotonous. Further I struggled a lot with Quiz 4 and found the content to be highly disconnected from it. The quiz had a few application based questions, particularly question 3 and 5 which were too difficult had not reference in the video and no readings were assigned for the that week. Also It would be nice if instructors were more responsive to individual posts than just big threads, as my doubts were not responded to. More interaction with instructors through a message tool or any other way will make the course more enriching.


Aug 16, 2020

Course was very demoralizing, and does not showcase the principles it teaches about Instructional Design. It comes off as a very lazy presentation with minimum effort.

On the positive, I did learn a lot that I had not known before, and there is a lot of general information given about Instructional Design. However, any pluses on the content is ruined from the learning experience as a whole.

The videos are 'talking heads' with the instructor speaking to the camera 90% of the time with a few PowerPoint slides in between. Very little visual stimulation presentation to otherwise to engage the learner. Scripts were not edited to ensure content matched the speaker. Videos often leaned toward the 20-25 min. mark for length, and some modules had 8 videos to review, making it very drudgery to complete.

Many quiz questions were often ambiguous and ill-worded, and paired with a 'select all that apply' approach made them confusing with potential for multiple interpretations that could be applicable. Test feedback was little and unhelpful. References to videos for answers were sometimes wrong. Completing the quizzes turned into a means to an end, rather than verifying learned info and comprehension.

Peer-reviewed assignments are graded by a single person, making the pass/fail grade subjective and dependent upon that person's interpretation of the assignment and course content. This creates a lot of instability and greater potential for fail rates, whereas other Coursera courses have used 3 reviewers to create a stable grading consensus. Reviews required evaluation on grammar and spelling, despite the instructions specifically telling students not to do so.

There's a lot of room for improvement.

By Robin T

Feb 24, 2021

I really wanted to like this class, but by the end it was drudgery. The irony was not lost on me that this Instructional Design course was one of the most poorly constructed and presented courses I've attended in a long time. Overly-long lectures (20 - 30 minutes in some cases) presented by talking heads reading slides is not conducive to learning. The colors of the graphical images used to support the lecture were straight from the 1970s (brown, orange, and ochre) and overly busy. The final exam was inordinately difficult. I took it multiple times (and I did the reading and transcribed the lecture). U of I, this is not the way to advertise your ID program.

By Dawn H

Dec 15, 2020

This course needs some serious revision. The instructor's video lectures were extremely difficult and painful to watch and understand. The quizzes didn't often match what was presented in the reading or the quizzes and were more a game of guess what is right. I don't think I walked away with much in the respect of new knowledge or skills but instead a high level of frustration.

By Edmundo T

Jan 13, 2019

I highly recommend this course for those who are interested in pursuing a career in instructional design. It lays a solid foundation of the history, methods, and practical applications of ID. The concepts are presented in a brief but comprehensive manner.

By Cindy R

Jan 19, 2020

I do not recommend this course. It is monotone, and full of irrelevant information that will not be used in the field. Even the useful information is merely statements without examples of how to incorporate it into your daily instructional design.

By Christian J

Jun 13, 2020

I expected more from the course. I want to understand the process of translating a Face-to-face course to an online learning environment. Also a bit more dynamism in the lectures would help a lot. It is too theoretical. I love theory but lets not forget the application. Nonetheless, thank you for the course.

By Jennifer H

Jul 20, 2021

The videos were very boring.

By Benjamin K

Jul 20, 2021

This course was a slog! There was no feedback on the quizzes and many questions were poorly written. The lectures were broad and meandering and there was very little practical/application of ID in the course, which is what I was hoping for. I would have dropped/asked for a refund but I was already halfway through. The assingments are pretty banal as well. For course on instructional design it was very poorly designed. I would search elsewhere if you're looking for something engaging and well designed. If you just want to watch ppt videos and regurgitate information in frustrating quizzes, this is course is for you.

By Rachel G

Jun 1, 2021

An excellent postgraduate entry into the field. Attracts many talented people from across the globe. Discussions with peers are helpful. It is worth paying to do the assessments to get the certificate.

The course could be improved by:

-Some of the assessment questions in week 4 need to be rewritten for clarity.

-Week 3 has a lot of work involved - should come with a warning.

-The process of peer review of some assignments can be stressful. The course could be improved by being able to weed out bogus peer reviewers.

-There seems to be no tutor input in discussion forums meaning that important questions from learners go unanswered.

By Nastassia E

Dec 11, 2019

The video instruction was very monotone at times. The course work at the end (assignments) are purely peer-rated not really giving insight into improvements on the course, as all the peers are doing the same course. This makes me question the credibility of the course, as part of your result is dependent on another student's interpretation of your work.

By Gerard S

Apr 16, 2021

Very clear course, provides definitions and/or discussion of terms that at are useful for a clearer understanding of the ID process. Good continuity between topics and good use of diagrams.

By Leslie D

Jan 29, 2019

Very good content and pace. Great community of encouraging fellow students

By Gerald S

Jun 11, 2021

This course has a lot of potential and good information, but it was a slog to get through. No idea how long ago it went live, but there are some problems. First, the GOOD: content and concepts covered are excellent, it's a solid overview of ID. Clear distinctions could have been drawn between how ID is used in educational institutiions and the corporate world, but perhaps a foundational course didn't need to do that. The resources screen at the end of each video lecture was a valuable resource. I was motivated to finish the course because I recognized the value of the content.

Now, the PROBLEMS: I am surprised that a course in ID seems to do many of the things that other teaching courses would caution against. The lecture videos were uniformly talking heads or Powerpoint slides or basic graphics and charts on a uniform background. Often, the font in the graphics was small and difficult to read. The slides were little more than outlines of the topics. There were frequent jump cuts and topic changes within the lectures that could be a little jarring. There were virtually no other interactive aspects to content delivery in the modules. And the most difficult aspect to speak about was the delivery of the content verbally. It's not clear at the top that there will be different instructors--Dr. Hoa may be an excellent teacher and expert in this area, but the flatness of his affect and delivery is problematic in this context. English is not his native language, and though he is just fine with the content, listening and engaging in this format was not easy.

Peer reviews of assignment are common in Coursera, and this course was no exception. But these are long assignments (especially the Module 3 case), and having only one peer review determine a pass or fail is problematic. I am not convinced that many peer reviewers understand the scoring system. You submit an assignment, and wait for other assignments to show up for peer review. That can take awhile. When an assignment does appear, only then do you see the scoring rubric by which your own assignment will be graded. It's not clear when scoring an assignment whether you are passing or failing it, unless you simply choose the highest score for every item. In other words, you don't know where the goalposts are until you've already kicked the ball. This seems a basic error in assessment design.

FINALLY, the Module 4 quiz was an exercise in frustration, with poor design for questions. I had to retake the quiz six times, and actually run a process of elimination as I tried to come up with the correct combination of answers for two questions in particular. One question (about Gagne's first rule for teaching) was consistently marked wrong, even though I am confident that error was in the test bank. (I took the answer directly from the lectures, and checked online as well.) Other students reported similar problems in the discussion area. More questions would buffer against questions with design problems.

And finally, the bloody text editor for submissions is clunky--sometimes it will jump you back to the top of the screen as you navigate, sometimes the formatting bar simply disappears, and some hyperlinks may or may not be inserted. For the longer Module 3 assignment, I sketched an outline with formatting for organization with nothing fancy but spacing. I saved drafts, previewed it, and all looked good. Yet after submitting, the spacing disappeared, and what was left was a heap of text with no paragraphs or spaces. WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) is not a heavy lift for text editors! This aspect of the Coursera platform really needs an upgrade.

I only took time to write this down because, at bottom, I really appreciated the opportunity to have this material available. But really, and ID course should model what good ID looks like, both from content and from technology.

By Lauren K

May 10, 2020

The instructors weren't interesting to listen to. I expected better curriculum since the class is Instructional Design. The male teacher mumbled a lot so I'm very glad there was a transcript. It was a good course to get a small grasp of what ID is. I definitely will need to take more courses to actually learn more valuable information.