IT Master of Science Program

Computer class

What is IT?

That's a good question! Instructional Technology and Design is a relatively new field that combines ideas and practices from many different disciplines. Most people seem to agree that Instructional Technology and Design combines hardware, such as computers, with ideas, such as constructivism, in order to improve the teaching/learning process. Many people see Instructional Technology and Design as a field dedicated to innovation and change in education. Change Agents help people see the dynamic and powerful possibilities that technology offers. A good Change Agent will also help people anticipate and prepare for the inevitable problems associated with technology and change.

One way to define the field of Instructional Technology and Design would be to look at where Instructional Technologists and Designers work. Instructional Technologists work in a wide variety of environments. Many work in Business and Industry as Instructional Designers or Media Developers. Instructional Designers work with subject-matter experts and production specialists to create instructional products such as training manuals, computer-assisted instruction, and instructional films. Media Developers produce graphics, multimedia, digital video and sound, and text to be used for the World Wide Web, CAI, and other formats.

Many Instructional Technologists and Designers work as Technology Specialists in Higher Education. These positions involve working with college faculty, administration, and staff to incorporate innovative technologies into the classroom. Instructional Technologists in Higher Education often conduct training workshops, work in the development of labs and other facilities, help faculty purchase and use hardware and software, assist in the delivery of distance learning courses, and help faculty develop grants.

Many people in the field of Instructional Technology and Design work in K-12 schools, often as a Technology Coordinator or Technology Teacher. Technology Coordinators work at large schools or school districts and help teachers and administrators effectively use technology. Technology Coordinators typically help set up and maintain labs, administer networks, troubleshoot problems, conduct workshops, advise teachers on copyright law and software piracy, and work with vendors to order hardware and software. Technology Teachers usually teach one or more computer-related classes such as Tech Prep or Computer Discovery.

There are many other jobs in the area of Instructional Technology. Other popular careers in IT include sales, network management, evaluation, research, private consulting, and corporate training. To find out more about Instructional Technology, please contact IT faculty members at the USM Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education.


What is the M.S. in IT?

The Master of Science in Instructional Technology at The University of Southern Mississippi is a unique online systematic graduate-level study program with over 50% of the courses being offered online. The program designed for individuals who wish to become dynamic and innovative leaders in the field of instructional technology, whether they are in the private or academic sector. The mission of the Master of Science in Instructional Technology is to prepare instructional technology professionals with a strong theoretical base and practical hands-on experience in the design, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of leading-edge educational technologies.

The Master's program requires between 33-36 hours of post-baccalaureate work depending upon the selected graduation requirement. Courses within the program focus upon different areas such as instructional design, learning theory, multimedia development, Web-based education, and technology research and administration. Thus, students graduating from the program are qualified for the field because of their spansive background in instructional technology.

Instructional Technology and Design