Best Online Programs U.S. News & World Report Graduate Education 2018This is part of the EdTech program, housed in the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies (SISLT).

The Learning Technologies and Design degree prepares you to plan and create learning and performance support systems and resources. The degree program is available online, and several courses are offered every semester.

In this emphasis area, you will:

  • Design learning environments;
  • Develop learning systems apps;
  • Understand usability, user experience, new technology and communication;
  • Improve workplace performance;
  • Learn best practices for needs assessment, task analysis and course design and development.

Degree Requirements

The curriculum reflects the dynamic nature of the field. Your program of study consists of 30 graduate credit hours. The overall program structure includes course work in four categories:

  • Core (six credit hours)
  • Design (nine credit hours)
  • Development (nine credit hours)
  • Electives (six credit hours)

At least 15 credit hours must be at the 9000 level.

SISLT Course Descriptions

About Online Courses

All education technologies courses are delivered to you online via the Internet. Online courses allow you to fit them into your personal schedule and within time frames established by the course instructor. Our courses use two different course management systems (CMS): Blackboard and Sakai. Regardless of the CMS, the general process is the same. Throughout the week, you will:

  • Go to the website for your courses and log in;
  • Read recent announcements;
  • Check the discussion board for new postings;
  • Post your ideas and questions to the discussion board;
  • Participate in small group activities and assignments;
  • Read course documents (e.g., online postings, website resources and textbook).

Periodically you will:

  • Complete and submit assigned activities;
  • Participate in peer review and feedback activities;
  • Check your grades;
  • Send and receive emails with your instructor(s).


When you are accepted into the program, you will be assigned a faculty adviser. You should email your adviser to begin the program planning process. Use the Learning Technologies and Design Advising Aid to guide your program planning throughout your program. This aid provides information on the steps you go through in your program: getting started, planning your program of study and portfolio preparation. Develop your program using the M-1 (LSDD) Program of Study Form. This form establishes the courses required for you to earn your degree. It has to be approved by your adviser.

  • Make sure you have at least 15 hours at the 8000- or 9000-level and all required courses, as well as any other requirements.
  • The M-1 form should be filed with the student coordinator by the end of your second semester in the program.


Your will develop and present a portfolio of your work to demonstrate your mastery of the learning systems design and development competencies. The portfolio contains descriptions of competencies and what they mean to you, explanations of artifacts and reflections. You should start on your portfolio early in your course work.

Portfolio Assessment

The master’s culminates in a Web-based portfolio showing mastery of the program competencies. The portfolio is used as the comprehensive exam at the end of the program of study. Ideally, your products and process artifacts are added to your portfolio as the work is completed rather than waiting until the last semester in the program. Although each portfolio is as unique as the individuals in the learning systems design and development focus area, all share the following elements:

  • Your program of study
  • Description of the competencies including a reflection about your level of achievement of each competency
  • Products and artifacts that demonstrate mastery of the competencies, including reflection statements explaining what you have learned from the work and how the products and artifacts demonstrate your achievement of the associated competency. Also, include a description of your role(s) in group-generated products and artifacts.
  • Evaluative information regarding the quality of the products
  • A statement that represents your understanding of learning systems design development and your expectations for how you will use your competencies and talents in a professional context

Portfolio Details

A portfolio is a website consisting of products and artifacts demonstrating mastery of the learning systems design and development focus area competencies. There might be a few elements that are not actually included in the website (e.g., video clips of needs assessment interviews, a network solution you designed), but there is some representation of these products (e.g., a slide show about the interviews, blueprints or design documents for the network). Larger documents can be included as PDF files.Creating the portfolio is just like creating any other product: Design it, build it, test it, revise it. Periodically, you will probably add something to the portfolio. If you choose to build a website and you don’t have easy access to a server to host your portfolio website, an account will be provided for you on a university server. Pre-made templates are not to be used in creating the portfolio.

Portfolio Preparation and Evaluation

Portfolio preparation should begin early in a student’s program of study. Students who wait until the last semester of their program put themselves under a great deal of counter-productive pressure. Portfolio coaches are assigned to each student the semester of their intended graduation. The SISLT Student Services Office will notify the student of his or her assigned portfolio coach after each semester’s graduation application deadline has passed. Students must contact their portfolio coach within one week of receiving this notification. Failure to contact the portfolio coach within one week of receiving notification may result in the student’s intended graduation date being postponed. Portfolios can be submitted spring, fall and summer semesters. Portfolios must be submitted to the assigned portfolio coach for review no later than three weeks prior to the last day of classes; you will be notified by the SISLT Student Services Office of the specific date at the beginning of your final semester. The student will work with the portfolio coach who will provide feedback and support to the student as she or he prepares the portfolio for review. The review process asks:

  • Does the portfolio demonstrate the student’s knowledge of what the competencies mean?
  • Does the portfolio demonstrate the student’s mastery of the competencies?
  • Does the portfolio present the student in a positive and professional manner?

Once a portfolio is deemed acceptable or unacceptable by the portfolio coach, the coach will notify the student and the SISLT Student Services Office. Should the portfolio be deemed unacceptable by the portfolio coach, the student may appeal this decision by petitioning the director of SISLT and requesting that two other faculty review the portfolio.

Portfolio Samples


Before You Apply

You may take up to nine hours of SISLT course work prior to being admitted, but:

  • Taking courses prior to applying does not guarantee admission
  • Be sure to take courses that will be included in your program of study – check with the student coordinator office before enrolling;
  • No more than nine hours will count toward your degree before you are officially accepted into the program.


We have rolling admissions, so you can apply to our graduate program whenever you are ready.Course enrollment dates vary from semester to semester. For the most current information, visit the MU academic calendar for dates to remember.

Admission Requirements

  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher (A=4.0) on the last 60 hours of undergraduate course work
  • Some types of relevant experience
  • GRE scores are not required.
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable): at least 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based)

If you don’t meet one of the above standards, you could possibly be admitted on probation status. If this happens, you must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 during your first 12 hours of graduate course work, with no grade lower than a B.

How to Apply

  • Prepare electronic versions (e.g., Word files) of your resume and statement of purpose (what you hope your degree will do for you), as well as two letters of recommendation. If you have electronic versions of two letters of recommendation, you should have these ready as well.
  • Apply using our convenient online Graduate Application system. Be sure to upload your resume, statement of purpose and two letters of recommendation.
  • Provide an official copy of your transcript from the college or university where you received your bachelor’s degree and your TOEFL scores if English is not your first language.
    • Official transcripts should be sent to Graduate Admissions, 210 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211.

Admission Decisions

Once all your application materials are in place, we will review your credentials and notify you of the decision. Most decisions are made within a month. If you must have your admission decision by a certain date, please notify our student coordinator, providing the date and rationale. We will do our best to meet your deadline.


SISLT Student Services Office Student Coordinator – Amy Adam 
303 Townsend Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Toll-free: 877-747-5868
Local: 573-882-4546
Fax: 573-884-0122