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

666 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


Apr 15, 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.


Jul 4, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. It is well taught and well organised. The material provided a thorough overview of the field, and the readings were particularly fascinating and helpful.

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26 - 50 of 278 Reviews for Instructional Design Foundations and Applications

By Andrew P P J

Dec 27, 2020

Overall rough course. Auditors definitely recieved more out of this course because they are free of the abosulely awful assignments that come with this course. While the class offered a decent introduction to what ISDs do and how the field has changed over time, the value of this knowledge is lost in light of downright boring, monotonous, and long-winded video lectures. The professors did not display any mastery of the topics because they read scripted lectures. The assignments, particularly the last quiz, were unfair and designed to trick students. The covered insignificant details rather than big picture ideas. The list of things wrong with this course is a long one.

By Lee S Y

Jul 18, 2020

I learned a lot of concepts, took copious notes but end of the day, I don't think this is a good course as an ID foundation. There could be more practical aspects to allow learners to internalise the concepts and more attempts to break down the chunks of information rather than a dumpster to throw out all the concepts at once.

By Kenny C

Jul 13, 2021

Long and dreadful videos with a monotone voice. There were some great guest speakers, but 80% of the videos were tough to sit through. Content is not well explained, but does cover a very surface level of instructional design. There's more to say, but previous reviews have already stated them.

By Amy W

Oct 6, 2020

Disappointing. Too much about Instructional Design history, not enough about how to actually design courses.

By Stephanie C

Jun 14, 2022

This is an embarrassment to Illinois. The lectures are nothing more than stream of consciousness, which is impossible to follow. The transcripts don't help follow the logic of the lectures, and they are full of grammatical errors. The quizzes ask questions that aren't addressed in the lectures.

Ironically, a course on instructional design needs someone trained in instructional design to rework it. It is poorly thought out, the assessments do not focus on important things (who cares whether or not someone memorizies which professional societies focus on ID?), and the lectures betray a fundamental lack of thought about how to formulate information for an audience.

Don't bother with this course. You'll learn more on YouTube than you will from this.

By Nick

Jan 19, 2021


By Akram Z

Apr 4, 2021

I have learned so many things with this course. The instructor can deliver the material as well and the design on this course makes me feel smooth and understand clearly the material

By Devan B

Jan 29, 2019

This course was excellent! It provided a great overview of the instructional design field. I'm excited to take more courses from the University of Illinois.

By Rhina R N

May 6, 2019

The course was very informational. I hope there will be other courses to follow to complete the ADDIE Model.

By Josephine T

Jul 5, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. It is well taught and well organised. The material provided a thorough overview of the field, and the readings were particularly fascinating and helpful.

By Jaime D

Oct 29, 2021

This course helped me to understand the theoretical foundations of Instructional Design. In addition, I learned some of the foundational skills needed when beginning in this field.

By Surbhi

Jun 6, 2019

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

By Shana B

Jul 21, 2021

I think it was helpful as an introduction course to instructional design, but I would have preferred more opportunities to gain more experience with real world scenarios. The project on Module 3 was the only one I felt I got that experience with. Even more short answer or challenges to do things like write learning objectives in place of a quiz on Module 4 would have been more beneficial to my learning application. Also, I would have liked to have access to correct answers on the quizzes after I submitted them for grades because on some questions I didn't understand why I got them wrong even though I went back through the videos and notes. I understand there is a concern about cheating, but I feel like I may have had misunderstandings that will never be corrected.

By christopher g

Jun 7, 2021

Well thought out course that covers the basics initially, and then concludes with some good management hints for both projects and people that assist Instructional Designers in their work. Only issue with the course is that it is a MOOC so has to be all things to all people. A tough approach for any subject, at least the ones you want to be thorough. I do better with looking at a slide while the audio/briefer describes what they are showing me. But that's just me. I'd prefer seeing less of people talking. Once again though - this is good bargain - solid entry to the skills in the field and one of the few online courses that actually provides a certificate. So I recommend!

By Melissa F M V

Apr 25, 2022

Good starter for people like me who had no idea what ID really was and wanted to get the overall idea and introduction to it. Effective introduction course!

By Aderonke K

Feb 3, 2020

Quite an intensive online course. Insightful as a good foundation to Instructional Design Overall i will rate the course 3.5 out of 5.

It was quite heavy on theory; typical of a school course, with all of the journal readings, but practical real life scenarios and best practice ideologies would have been great to aid learning and engagement. For example having an Instructional Designer at a company teach one of the modules or run us through one of his past projects, So we get a feel of what a real life project is like, straight from the horses mouth.

Also the quizzes- The point isn't just to score 80% as a pass grade for the quiz. The quiz is to aid learning and ensure the participants can recall what has been taught.

Firstly, when attempting the quiz more than once it will be good to show the correct options to the answers the learner got right, and not make them attempt answering those right questions again. Let the answers to the right options be visible. Looking at them over and over will aid learning.

Also, after scoring the pass mark of 80 let the participant know the answers to the failed options. The point isn't just to score grades to pass, but for learning.

By Tania R R

Jan 12, 2024

The information is good if you aren't familiar with instructional design basics. The teachers go over information and are relatively engaging, so that information can be retained. The information is pretty standard for instructional design but I did like that there was some discussion around instructional design careers. One problem is that the assessments are hard to get correct because very little information from them is coming from the course material, and you are somehow expected to synthesize the information in a manner that translates to the assessments, which does not work well at all. I only passed the assessments because I have a background in instructional design, and I had to retake them many, many times. Course questions should NOT be trick questions, and if you're an instructional designer, you should already know that! If you know nothing about instructional design, I would recommend this course, but if you already have basic knowledge in instructional design and are just looking to gain more information or different perspectives on instructional design, I would not bother taking this course.

By Kailana D

Nov 28, 2020

Very useful overview of the material for people looking to explore this profession. However - and somewhat ironically for a course about how to design engaging and effective learning experiences - the lecture styles are very dry and mostly unvaried, and the unit quizzes are incredibly vague and hard to pass (make sure to retake multiple times!). The course focuses specifically on the learning theories that inform instructional design, but keep in mind that you don't get to practice any designing yourself - in fact, the course only focuses on the procedures for context-gathering and goal-setting that precede the active phases of design and implementation.

By Kirsten C

Mar 15, 2022

While this course was very helpful, the quizzes were constructed so poorly that even quick 8-question quizzes might take hours to complete. "Select All That Apply" is very problematic phrasing, as it doesn't indicate how many choices are needed for the question. It leaves you having to use a side-paper to keep track of all the combinations you've tried. Passing difficult quizzes is not the instructional goal of the course. This could be vastly improved.

By Laura B

Apr 18, 2022

I was disappointed by the lack of interaction in this course and by the transcipts for videos. Transcipts were not written using paragraphs or any text features.

By Doug B

Jul 8, 2020

In general, I believe the course was very good and helpful to understanding instructional design. I appreciate the short and reasonable assignments and class length. The content was very interesting and encouraged me so much that I had considered more course work with Coursera and even with the University of Illinois Master Track program. Until week four! The final week culminated in fifteen retakes of the quiz and bought me to a significant level of frustration. I will use question two as an example; “Learning goals should…(Please check all that apply): 1) Focus on the big picture of knowledge gain, skill development and ability/attitude change, 2) Address a performance/learning problem directly, 3) Describe the problem and gap broadly so it can be flexible depending on strategy and the types of learning environment, 4) Describe what the learners will be able to do after instruction.” The detailed notes and my previous training background gave a level of confidence I would be able to answer correctly. I chose the first two responses: “Focus on the big picture of knowledge gain, skill development and ability/attitude change” and “address a performance/learning problem directly.” These two answers were clearly defined in part one video of week four. However, the question was marked wrong! I began to work all the options of answers to get the question correct and for fourteen tries I was still wrong. I did not ever select the last of the four answers since I knew that answer referred to learning objectives and not learning goals. In week four, part three beginning at the twentieth sentence of the video lecture, Professor states, “Learning objectives are the statements describing what learners will be able to do after the instruction.” However, the only way for me to receive a correct answer for this question was to include the fourth answer which is CLEARLY WRONG!! It is not part of the definition of learning goals as outlined in the course. SO FRUSTRATING. Not only would I continue taking the quiz every eight hours for the rest of my life, there is no way to resolve such an issue or opportunity to debate. Part of instructional design is to understand the end user experience and it would do the staff good to see things from the student perspective. My constructive criticism of the course continues with:

1. The above mentioned issue with quizzes having incorrect content, specifically week 4, question 2.

2. The quiz feedback is inaccurate and inadequate.

3. No resolution or ability to resolve questions of content. My effort to highlight this issue in the discussion help form went to never-never land.

4. Only peer feedback and no instruction participation. I had a peer review that accused me of plagiarism with no proof or specific feedback. She simply stated it looked like “it was copy and paste.” Absolutely false and infuriating. The course relies too heavily on peer feedback. There should be other forms of feedback.

5. The course does not complete the ADDIE design model. There could have been one module to summarize the remaining parts of the model after Analysis.

By Dr. P G

Jul 12, 2021

As some of the other negative reviewers have noted, there is some serious irony to a poorly-designed course on Instructional Design (ID) that does not meet accepted best-practices standards for online education. I have ten years of teaching experience (including online) in higher education, so this critique is not completely unfounded.

Content is delivered by individuals who seem to lack any passion for the topic, and the majority of video modules are in the 15+ minutes range, which only adds to the drudgery. By about halfway through the second module, I resorted to simply muting the audio and reading the transcript: a strategy that I found to be far more efficient and pleasant than actually watching the lectures. In addition, there is a totally useless first "assignment" where you are told to find a posting for a job in ID, and then say why you chose it. Not sure what learning objective that was intended to accomplish, but I'm fairly certain it fell short.

So, is there any redeeming value to this course? Yes. The readings are useful, and some of the video content is fundamentally interesting, even when delivered with a complete lack of enthusiasm. In short, I learned a little bit more about the history, terminology, and principles of Instructional Design, but I will definitely not be taking any more courses on the topic from this institution.

By Regan J

Aug 2, 2020

The readings were the most useful part of this course. The videos were difficult to follow, and quite frankly, very boring, due to poor delivery. I felt that the essential learning points could have been taught in much more concise and more structured video lectures. It would have been easier for me to work through the content with slides using text only, with no speech. The video transcripts were not accurate.

The quizzes often contained elements that were not covered in either the lectures or the readings. Sometimes the wording of the quizzes was ambiguous, so it was not clear why the correct answer was the correct answer. For the final week 4 quiz, I had to retake the quiz about 8 times due to being unable to work out the correct answer for 2 out of the 8 questions. In the end, I just guessed until I got the right answer. I have no idea why the guess was correct.

While I learnt a lot, this learning came from the readings and not from the video content.

By Sophia S

Mar 23, 2021

The videos in this course were difficult to follow and not very engaging. Many of the videos were largely filled with technical vocabulary and jargon, but not very well clarified or explained. As an introductory course, this was very challenging and difficult to get through. I felt as though this course could have been more interesting and had more real life application examples.

By Jose D

Oct 14, 2022

The course present good theoretical content, however most of it lacks practical tools for the aspiring Instructional Designer. For all the cognitive and learning styles presented, the course is more a constant lecturing, in many cases without a break, an example or dynamic to it.

The Required Reading material, while good, takes several hours to get through — I spent at least 20 hours reading external content marked as Required Reading, with little to no direction.

Regarding the assessments, they are VERY difficult to complete, as there is a lot of questions of the type "Select all that apply" and, in some cases, those are not part of the content, but deductive questions, leading to a lot of trial and error, and failed attempts.

Even taking notes during the course (downloading all the transcripts and required reading material), finding the right answer among 150+ pages of content is a demanding feat. On this note, the course advises we can download the slides, which I was not able to find; and downloading the transcript of the lectures to study from gives you a plain text document that quickly becomes useless due to the lack of formatting it provides. It'd be a welcome addition if the university prepared the transcript as a formatted document, so it can be used for study/assessment purposes.

Overall, I learned a few things, but I wouldn't recommend this course unless you want some overall ID concepts.