USC Rossier Launches Master’s Program in Learning Design and Technology

By Andrea Bennett

student sitting at laptopLearning can happen anywhere. Today, people engage in learning in many spaces far beyond the traditional classroom, such as in corporations, museums, shopping centers, military bases, or online at home.

And with the proliferation of technologies to deliver instruction, experts are needed to design, implement, and evaluate effective learning in a variety of environments.

USC Rossier School of Education has responded with the launch of the Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology program, which begins fall 2014. The online program utilizes a highly interactive learning management system that blends live, face-to-face classes with online self-paced work.

The 20-month, 30-unit program is designed for persons looking to start or advance careers in educational program design, online learning, corporate training, performance assessment, instructional design and evaluation, and management of educational settings such as museums, science centers or after-school programs. Courses are offered at times that are compatible with the schedules of working professionals.

The curriculum is informed by the real-world needs of executives in a number of relevant fields who also serve in an advisory capacity for the program. USC faculty across the university, with expertise in education, instructional design, psychology, neuroscience, and cinematic arts, jointly created the program.

Candidates will develop proficiency in applying the principles of learning and motivation research, as well as how to leverage technology for both face-to-face and blended learning experiences. Students demonstrate their achievement of the program goals with a “Master’s Studio” capstone, in which they will design or evaluate a learning product.

“This program recognizes that in our modern society learning happens in informal and non-formal environments, as well as formal school environments,” notes Helena Seli, USC Rossier assistant professor and program lead.

“We know that ‘telling ain’t training,’ but unfortunately, that is how knowledge is still often shared,” she adds. “In this program, students will understand how learning works and apply the principles to significantly increase learning outcomes in different environments.”

For more information about the Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology, visit