U.S. News & World Report, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2020 University of Missouri College of Education, Best Graduate Degree ProgramsThe Learning Technologies and Design degree program 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.

With this degree, 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 courses (9 credit hours)
  • Design courses (9 credit hours)
  • Development courses (9 credit hours)
  • Elective course (3 credit hours)

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

See descriptions of all SISLT courses.


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.


  • May 1 for summer admission.
  • July 1 for fall admission.
  • Sept. 1 for second 8 week fall courses.
  • December 1 for spring admission.
  • Feb. 1 for second 8 week spring courses.

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.


When you are accepted into the program, you will be assigned a faculty advisor. Email your advisor to begin the program planning process.

Use the Learning Technologies and Design Advising Aid to guide your program planning. This aid provides information on the steps you go through in your program: getting started, planning your program of study and portfolio preparation. It also lists required and elective courses.

Master of Science: Develop your program using the M-1 (LTD) Program of Study Form, available on the Educational Technology Master Degree Forms page. This form establishes the courses required for you to earn your degree. It must be approved by your advisor. The M-1 form should be filed with the student coordinator by the end of your second semester in the program.

Educational Specialist: Develop your program using the S-2 Program of Study Form, available on the Educational Technology Specialist Degree Forms page. This form establishes the courses required for you to earn your degree. It must be approved by your advisor. The S-2 form should be filed with the student coordinator by the end of your second semester in the program.


You will develop and present a portfolio of your work to demonstrate your mastery of the learning technologies and design 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

This Master of Science degree culminates in a Web-based portfolio showing mastery of competencies based on the EdTech Program goals and objectives. 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.

Each portfolio is as unique as the individuals in the LTD program; however, all share the following elements:

  • Professional resume page
  • Professional Development Plan
  • Your Program of Study
  • Description of the program goals and objectives
  • Artifacts that demonstrate mastery of the competencies (each artifact should include a description of that artifact, a statement on whether it is a team or individual artifact and your role in producing it, how it represents meeting the intended competency)
  • Other forms of information regarding the quality of the artifacts (e.g., usability testing)
  • Reflection on the artifacts (what are strengths and weaknesses, what did you learn, how would you do it differently now?)
  • Reflection on the overall LTD program
  • Statement representing your understanding of Learning Technologies and Design and your expectations regarding how you will utilize your competencies in a professional context.

Portfolio Details

There may be a few elements that are not actually included in the website (e.g., a video you produced; a simulator you designed), but there is some representation of these elements (e.g., a video clip and a script; blue prints and images of the simulator).

Creating the portfolio is just like creating any other website: design it, build it, test it, revise it. Periodically, you will probably add something to the website. Sample portfolios will be available as starting points.

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.

LT Program Goals Mapped to Competencies

Goals Competencies
  1. Goal 1: To provide students with experiences to develop theory-grounded and research-based competencies for the innovative, aesthetic, effective and sustainable design/development and management of technologies for learning opportunities and systems.

    1. Objective 1.1: Students are able to design/develop learning and performance opportunities and systems including direct instruction, constructivist learning, collaborative work, and performance support.
    2. Objective 1.2: Students are able to design/develop learning opportunities and systems for meaningful learning; promote student engagement in online learning environments; and select appropriate technology and learning objects to support learners.
    3. Objective 1.3: Students are able to conduct project management activities for both design/development, and implementation of learning opportunities and systems.
Design and Development of learning systems
(student) I am able to design and develop innovative, aesthetic, effective and sustainable learning technologies based on theory-grounded research.
  1. Goal 2: To provide students with experiences to develop skills in data collection, analysis and evaluation for reflecting on and applying to the design/development of learning opportunities and systems.

    1. Objective 2.1: Students are able to conduct analysis in order to translate and use theoretical frameworks and existing research to design/develop learning opportunities and systems.
    2. Objective 2.2: Students are able to manage and optimize analytics collected by learning and performance systems to develop criteria to measure learning impact and talent development.
Front-End Analysis and System Evaluation
(student) I developed critical and analytical skills for data collection and evaluation and can reflect and apply these skills to assess and evaluate learning systems.
  1. Goal 3: To provide students with experiences to become socially responsible, reflective/sensitive on the interaction of technologies & society and act ethically in response to current and future challenges of emerging technologies for learning.

    1. Objective 3.1: Students demonstrate technology leadership and knowledge of ethics as applied to current and future socio-technical context.
Leadership & Social Responsibility
(student) I developed competencies for socially responsible technology leadership.

Portfolio Samples