Learning Design Foundation Certificate


Are you considering a career in e-learning? Would you like to be able to design and develop digital and online learning for a range of learning contexts, including university courses and corporate training?

This exciting new course covers the knowledge and skills you will need to apply for an instructional designer or e-learning developer role. Or perhaps you’d prefer to go freelance and work from home? The course is ideal for you too.

Structured around core components of the learning design process, you will explore the strategies and technologies needed to create engaging online and blended learning programmes across a range of contexts. You will be guided through the process of building a professional portfolio and toolkit at no additional cost.

Course content

Introduction to learning design and technology

  • What is learning design?
  • The journey to online learning
  • E-learning and edtech since the millennium
  • Common terminology

Professional prospects

  • Employers and professional contexts
  • Skills and qualifications
  • Building a portfolio and profile
  • Professional networks

Project management

  • ADDIE, Agile and SAM
  • Project management methods
  • Project management tools
  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Project management concepts and processes

The learning environment

  • Working in different contexts
  • Working with subject matter experts
  • Understanding learners
  • Learning technologies
  • Mapping tools and activities

Needs analysis

  • The learning gap 
  • Analysing project and learning needs
  • Conducting a learning needs analysis
  • Aims, objectives and outcomes

Concluding the analysis phase

  • Preparing the instructional design document

Learning theories

  • What is pedagogy? What is andragogy?
  • How do people learn?
  • Attitudes and mindsets

Design strategies

  • Backward design and design thinking
  • Taxonomies for learning
  • Types of learning activity
  • Developing a structure
  • Transformation and enhancement

Content design

  • Content strategies
  • Storyboarding
  • Communicating concepts
  • Activity design
  • Assessment and quiz design

Design approval

  • Design for privacy
  • Accessibility and inclusivity
  • Seeking feedback and pitching your design

Authoring tools

  • VLE tools
  • Slide-based e-learning tools
  • Other free and premium tools
  • Web development


  • Videos, screencasts, and podcasts
  • Illustrations, infographics and animations
  • VR, AR and immersive environments
  • Managing assets

Standards and legal compliance

  • Data protection and privacy
  • Accessibility
  • Copyright
  • Open education resources and licensing

Quality assurance

  • Content review
  • Testing
  • Pilots

PLUS: virtual tutorials


  • Facilitating delivery
  • Evaluating learning
  • Project conclusion
  • Critical practice

Next steps

  • Self evaluation
  • Portfolio review
  • Conclusion

A practice assessment is available before the final assessment, which is made up of multiple choice questions.

The questions align with the learning objectives and will assess the learner’s understanding of key terms and concepts and their ability to apply that knowledge to common contexts and scenarios.

What's included?

The course is self-paced with a range of activities and content including:

  • virtual tutorials (1-1 or team) and webinars 
  • interactive tasks and quizzes
  • reading materials and videos
  • reflective activities 
  • portfolio challenges and advice
  • worksheets and job aids
  • forum discussions and links to professional networks

Current students are also entitled to associate membership of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) for the duration of the course.


We're continuously enhancing course content and working with partners to develop new course pathways and options.

If you would like to join the next cohort, express your interest, or ask a question, get in touch with us today via:


What will I need?


You will need access to a desktop PC/Mac, laptop or tablet with a good screen size and a reliable internet connection. You do not need to purchase specialist software as you will be signposted to suitable free and trial options in order to complete tasks.


There are no prerequisite skills or knowledge required. However, you will need reasonable English language proficiency and some basic digital literacy in order to get the most out of the course.

Find out more

Not sure if this is the right course for you? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

If you want to know more about careers in the e-learning industry, such as instructional designer, learning technologist, or e-learning developer roles, you might find the following useful:

  • Instinct – recruitment agency for e-learning professionals. Explore some of the job descriptions.
  • eLearning industry – Industry news and insights. Check out some of these articles on instructional design, to give you a flavour of the role.
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Pedagogy is generally defined as the art, science and craft of teaching. The first pedagogues were Greek slaves who were responsible for caring for and instructing their masters’ children. In fact, the Greek origin of the word means ‘to lead the child’.

So, pedagogy may also be considered to be about nurture and pastoral care, as well as teaching. Despite the reference to children, the term is used fairly comfortably in adult education contexts. However, andragogy, which translates as ‘to lead the man’, may be used to refer specifically to the teaching of adults.

A number of related and derivative terms may be used to define particular fields of pedagogical interest, including digital pedagogycritical pedagogy, and heutagogy.