top of page

Learning design resources

“What is, and how do I use it?”

“What instructional design program is best for me?”

“What professional organizations or industry leaders should I follow?”

“What print and digital resources will help me upskill and keep up with industry information and trends?”

Congratulations, you’ve reached the final lesson of LXD Factory’s Get started series. At this point, you have identified your strengths and opportunities for growth and are now ready to explore programs and materials that will help you further develop your skills as a learning designer. In this lesson you will learn how to use as an upskilling resource and how to find other helpful upskilling resources. Then, consider moving onto the next recommended learning path: Learn the basics.

Illustration of three people looking at books and online resources

How do I use helps learning designers talk the talk, walk the walk, and win the work. Our free lessons are created by volunteers in the learning design community from across the globe who want to help others achieve success in the industry. Together, we educate, help bridge learning gaps, and offer career guidance and support to learning designers of all skill levels.

To use, you can complete learning paths with sequenced lessons, or you may select lessons that best meet your needs.

What programs can help me upskill in learning design?

Various informal and formal learning programs are offered in person and online to help you gain the skills you need to get the work you desire.

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs

Remember, a formal degree in instructional design or a related field may not be required for the role you desire. However, if a formal degree is part of your career transition plan, consider the following:

  • Do you want to work in higher education? If so, you’ll likely need:

    • A balanced focus on theory and practical application for all learning design responsibilities

    • Assessment design skills

    • Project management skills

Note: If desired, supplement a degree with courses in learner analytics, learning management systems, web development, and related disciplines.

  • Do you want to work in the corporate world? If so, you’ll likely need the same skills listed above for higher education plus:

    • A strong focus on and access to emerging technologies (e.g. Articulate 360, Adobe Captivate, Camtasia, Adobe Suite)

    • Experience with real-world clients and projects

Note: If desired, supplement a degree with courses in business, visual design, multimedia development, and related disciplines.

Review the chart below to compare a few online master’s degree programs that may be a good fit for you. To learn about other related degree and certificate programs (including onsite and online options), please see Connie Malamed's article, "Instructional Design Programs (in the US)."

Online workshops, bootcamps, and vocational programs

Depending on your desired role, a formal degree in instructional design or a related field may not be required. In that case, you may consider completing online workshops, bootcamps, and vocational programs that are designed to help individuals create solid, robust portfolios to showcase to employers. Following are a few options:

No matter what type of program you choose–a formal degree or degree alternatives–you’ll want to ensure the program offers career support (e.g. resume, LinkedIn profile, portfolio, networking, job search, coaching) to help you get the work.

How can I keep growing in the field?

Even after you’ve gained the skills to get the job you want, experienced learning professionals will tell you that successful learning designers are lifelong learners that keep updated on trends and gather insights that help them continually hone their craft. They do this in various ways including joining professional organizations, following industry leaders and influencers, and using resources (such as and other digital and print sources.

What professional organizations should I join?

Joining professional organizations is not required, but they can provide value in your learning design upskilling journey. Professional organizations offer opportunities to connect with experts and other learning professionals. These organizations typically provide professional development coursework and resources, and they often hold events that allow you to personally network with others. Listing your association with a professional organization communicates to potential employers that you are committed to your profession. Explore the organizations below to discover which may be a good fit for you.

Which industry leaders and influencers should I follow?

For the purposes of this lesson, industry leaders are recognized experts in the field (typically via academia). Meanwhile, learning influencers are experienced learning designers who use their digital megaphones to share and amplify their expertise and encourage dialogue throughout the industry. Both can provide valuable information that helps you keep up-to-date on best practices and trends in the industry. You can get started by selecting the links below, bookmarking industry leader webpages, and following industry influencers on LinkedIn.

Industry Leaders

Industry Influencers

Where can I find helpful print and digital resources?

To be sure, there are a ton of resources out there! Here are some of our favorites:


Resource and blog sites

Summary and next steps offers upskilling content and career guidance to learning experience designers of all skill levels. With a plethora of learning design upskilling resources available, both in person and online, your understanding and knowledge of learning experience design will expand, and you’ll gain more confidence in your abilities step by step.

If you haven’t yet, complete all lessons in the Get started series. Otherwise, move ahead to the next recommended learning path: Learn the basics.


bottom of page