Learn how to harness instructional design and performance technology to improve efficiency in the workplace.

The online Ed.D. in IDPT program prepares professionals to use instructional design and performance technology, particularly in the growing field of online learning and training, to lead and direct the training and performance in a variety of workplaces. It is the only online doctoral program of its type in the region.

Based on competencies from the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction, Baker developed the curriculum with input from an advisory panel with a wide range of backgrounds, including company presidents and CEOs, instructional design professionals, performance improvement consultants, project managers, multimedia learning specialists, e-learning developers, software engineers, and scholars in the field.

Classes are held online and course work and dissertation can be finished in about three years.

Next Start Date

October 2020


leafThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook forecasts significant growth for instructional designers and coordinators.


  • The online Ed.D. program fits the demanding schedules of working professionals.
  • Each online course lasts seven weeks.
  • The Ed.D. is delivered in our popular cohort model.
  • Course work is completed in two years.
  • The third year is devoted to completing the dissertation.


All faculty are experienced professionals in instructional design, training, or performance and bring diverse perspectives to each course.


Baker graduate programs are approved for federal financial loan programs. Contact Financial Aid for further information.


The Ed.D. program is approved by the Higher Learning Commission (312.263.0456,


What makes the Baker Ed.D. in IDPT program distinctive is that it unites instructional design and technology (the design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of learning) with human performance technology (the systematic approach to improving individual and organizational performance). Most programs concentrate on one or the other. By combining these two fields into an Ed.D. degree, candidates will come away with the knowledge and unique set of skills necessary to lead and direct the future training and performance needs of their organizations in the corporate, military, health care, and government sectors, and in PK-12 education and higher education.

DR. MARC CHILDRESS | Vice President for Academic Affairs

“This program has already opened many doors for me. The professors do a great job finding quality speakers to come to the classes and I have made many connections.”

AMY | Class of 2020


Our School of Education graduates are routinely honored locally, regionally, and nationally.

  • Milken Educator Awards
  • Kansas Horizon Award for Outstanding First-Year Teachers
  • Kansas and Missouri National Distinguished Principals
  • Exemplary Middle School Principal of the Year
  • Kansas Teacher of the Year
  • National Teacher of the Year Runner-Up


of Baker students who begin the Ed.D. program finish it and earn their degree. The national average is around 40%.

Our Award Winners

JOHN ERNST, Ed.D. ’15, MAEd, ’07

Milken Educator Award
Blue Valley Northwest High School | Overland Park, Kansas
“Taking the pulse” of the school each day not only ensures Ernst knows the students at Rolling Ridge, but also earned him a ticket to a black-tie event in Washington, D.C., in October. “My second graduation ceremony at Baker was such an unbelievable experience. The bagpipes were playing. It’s hard to describe how special Baker is to me.”


Outstanding Elementary Music 
Educator of the Year
South Central Kansas District of Kansas Music Educators Association
Soderstrom Elementary School | Lindsborg, Kansas
Nelson prepares her students to perform dance and music for Lindsborg’s two-day biennial Svensk Hyllningsfest, directs students in the winter St. Lucia Festival and leads a church children’s choir in addition to giving private piano lessons.


Outstanding Young Member Award
National Association of Agricultural Educators

Royal Valley High School | Hoyt, Kansas
One of just six teachers in the country to receive the NAAE’s Outstanding Young Member Award, Mitchell is responsible for reviving Royal Valley’s FFA program and was integral in gaining $12,000 in grant funds in just two years.


Kansas National Distinguished 
Principal of the Year
National Association of Elementary 
School Principals
Rolling Ridge Elementary School | Olathe, Kansas
Smithyman, who teaches English, gives up weekends to hold student leadership conferences and to work with students to improve standardized test scores and complete college applications. As a result, their scores consistently beat district, state, and national averages.


Selection to the Ed.D. program is a competitive process based on the following criteria:

  • Completed application and $50 application fee | Apply Online
  • Completed master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, with a final GPA equal to or greater than 3.50 on a 4.00 scale
  • An official transcript indicating completion of a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution (Sealed transcripts must be mailed or emailed directly to Baker University School of Education from the institution awarding credit.)
    • Mail to Baker University, School of Education – Ed.D. Admissions, 7301 College Blvd., Ste. 120, Overland Park, KS 66210
    • Email to
  • Submission of the names of four references (with contact information) who will complete the recommendation survey
    • Three of the four references must complete the recommendation survey attesting to the candidate’s academic potential to succeed in a doctoral program.
  • Writing samples that demonstrate advanced writing skills
  • A score on a university critical thinking instrument that demonstrates well developed critical thinking and problem-solving skills

How to send transcripts to Baker.

Applicants who hold a master’s degree may, after a transcript review  by the program coordinator, be able to transfer up to 8 credit hours. 
Applicants who hold a specialist degree or have earned hours in a doctoral program may, after a transcript review  by the program coordinator, be able to transfer up to 12 credit hours.
    The doctoral dissertation is conducted in accordance with guidelines established for doctoral candidates of Baker University. The doctoral study follows recommendations found in “The Role and Nature of the Doctoral Dissertation: A Policy Statement,” Council of Graduate Schools.


    The doctoral dissertation will accomplish the following:

    • Reveal the candidate’s ability to analyze, interpret and synthesize information
    • Demonstrate the candidate’s knowledge of the literature relating to the project or at least acknowledge prior scholarship on which the study is built
    • Describe the methods and procedures used
    • Present results in a sequential and logical manner
    • Display the candidate’s ability to discuss fully and coherently the meaning of the results

    The dissertation is the beginning of the candidate’s scholarly work, not the culmination. The dissertation is expected to provide the candidate with hands-on, directed experience in the primary research methods of the discipline and should provide for the type of research that is expected after the doctor of education degree is awarded.


    Once a candidate has entered the program, he or she receives a full description of the process to be used for completing the study, including the following:

    • Dissertation proposal development and approval
    • Format and publication of the dissertation
    • Adviser–advisee relationship
    • Administrative and faculty support
    • Study presentation process
    • Deadline for dissertation completion
    • Successfully complete the approved 59-plus-credit-hour Ed.D. curriculum.
    • Maintain a minimum graduate grade point average of 3.50 with no grade below a B.
    • Maintain a Professional Skills score equal to or greater than 4.0 on a 5.0 scale.
    • Successfully complete both Field Experience I and II, as evidenced by artifacts and reflections provided in the electronic portfolio, scoring “proficient” or higher.
    • Satisfactorily complete both Field Experience I and II and receive recommendations from the educational mentor and university supervisor on the evaluation form with mean scores equal to or greater than 8.2 on a 10.0 scale.
    • Successfully complete and defend the program electronic portfolio scoring at the proficient level or above.
    • Successfully complete and defend the dissertation.
    • Submit intent to graduate form three months before anticipated degree completion


    Required Courses

    IDT 9000 Instructional Design and Performance Improvement 3 credit hours
    This course is designed to provide candidates with an overview of the field of instructional design and performance improvement/technology, related literature, issues that have affected it in the past and those trends and issues likely to affect it in the future. This course provides a sense of history and an explanation of how the components of the fields fit together. This introduction to the fields of instructional design and human performance improvement/technology includes definitions, theories, histories, trends and issues, and career opportunities. Candidates will apply a framework for understanding human performance by working with scenarios and case studies to analyze performance problems, determine the level and type of intervention required, and make recommendations for a set of solutions that will achieve the desired outcomes.

    IDT 9001 Design Principles for Instructional Design and Performance Technology 3 credit hours

    This course presents candidates with an overview of design thinking, message design and user interface design as applied to instructional design and performance improvement. This course will address design-thinking skills and the application of a design-centered approach to develop innovative solutions, understand clients, create buy-in from colleagues and co-workers and create successful solutions. Message Design refers to the manipulation and planning of signs and symbols developed for the purpose of modifying cognitive, affective or psychomotor behavior. Candidates will apply perception theory, learning theory, communication theory, systems theory and visual literacy theory to the design and development of media.

    IDT 9002 Project Management  3 credit hours
    This course provides an overview and study of project management models and methodologies, including PMI, PMP, LEAN, Six Sigma and Agile (Scrum). This course addresses the elements that are essential to assuring the success of learning and performance projects including principles for managing relationships as well as project management tools and techniques. Students will study the principles of managing complex projects and teams to achieve results within project parameters in various organizational settings.

    IDT 9003 Instructional Models and Tools for Online Learning  3 credit hours
    This course provides an overview of online models of training/delivery and the tools used to support them.  Developed for professionals involved in the design, development and management of e-learning projects and products, this course reviews the basic concepts of e-learning with a focus on adult learning, and introduces the various activities and roles involved in an e-learning project. The course also covers methodologies and tips for creating interactive content and for facilitating online learning, as well as some of the technologies used to create and deliver e-learning.

    IDT 9004 Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting 3 credit hours
    This course explores the methods, designs and procedures used in assessing instruction, evaluating instructional design and training programs, and reporting of results. Candidates will explore evaluation models and theories, create a learner satisfaction survey, create criterion-referenced tests, create grading rubrics, and work with a data set to interpret data and make recommendations to improve a course or unit of training.  In addition, candidates will explore the use of big data and analytics and use data analysis and visualization tools to report results.

    IDT 9005 Informal Learning Environments  3 credit hours
    This course examines informal learning environment design and assessment for training and development with practical lessons on realizing the potential of informal learning for organizations. Much of what individuals learn in life and at work is acquired informally and socially. Some of the most critical skills to workplace success—communication, collaboration, teamwork and technical skills—are cultivated through ongoing informal workplace learning. Candidates will design and develop informal learning solutions such as mentoring, coaching, peer reviews, job shadowing, social media, learning communities and performance support materials and systems.

    IDT 9006 Systems and Process Mapping 3 credit hours
    This course is a study of systems and complexity theory, and how process mapping can assist organizations in becoming more efficient, assuring that all processes are aligned with the organization’s values and capabilities. Process mapping depicts the detailed nature of processes and workflow in order to design improvements. Using the systems and process mapping approach, candidates will discover how processes interact in a system, locate process flaws that are creating systemic problems, evaluate which activities add value, identify processes that must be redesigned, construct and analyze process flow charts, create strategies to streamline and improve processes, and leverage technology to effectively automate and redesign processes.

    IDT 9007 Leadership, Motivation and Change Management  3 credit hours
    This course is a study of organizational leadership, motivation of learners/co-workers, and change management within an organization. Candidates will explore the major theories and perspectives concerning organization motivation, development and change, apply the theories and perspectives concerning managing change and organization development in the context of human service organizations, community settings and large and small systems, diagnose the need for organizational change and interventions, formulate the strategies and tactics for organizational change and intervention, understand why people resist change and the dynamics and issues in implementing and executing a change strategy and apply techniques for evaluating the effectiveness of change and organization.

    IDT 9008 Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Performance Technology 3 credit hours
    This course provides candidates with an overview of emerging national/international trends and issues in the fields of instructional design, training/development and performance improvement/technology. Presentations and discussions will be devoted to broadening an understanding of these fields as they relate to learning and performance in the workplace as well as in schools and other organizations.

    DED 9010 Statistical Analysis  3 credit hours
    DED 9011 Methods of Inquiry and Research  3 credit hours
    DED 9900 Dissertation Development 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6  20+ credit hours
    DED 9030 Field Experience I 2 credit hours
    DED 9031 Field Experience II  2 credit hours
    DED 9032 Portfolio Presentation  2 credit hours
    Dissertation Completion and Defense 0 credit hours

    Total Program Credit Hours: 59+

    Note: The university reserves the right to modify and resequence the core curriculum as necessary.


    The curriculum consists of 59+ credit hours.

    27 Credit Hours of Core Courses

    • IDT 9000 Instructional Design and Performance Improvement
    • IDT 9001 Design Principles for Instructional Design and Performance Technology
    • IDT 9002 Project Management
    • IDT 9003 Instructional Models and Tools for Online Learning
    • IDT 9004 Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting
    • IDT 9005 Informal Learning Environments
    • IDT 9006 Systems and Process Mapping
    • IDT 9007 Leadership, Motivation and Change Management
    • IDT 9008 Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Performance Technology

    6 credit hours of research and statistical analysis

    4 credit hours of directed field experience

    20+ credit hours of dissertation development

    2 credit hours of portfolio presentation

    59+ total credit hours

    Directed Field Experience

    The two field experiences help candidates transfer and make connections between theory and knowledge and real-world instructional design and performance technology (IDPT) practices. The directed field experience accomplishes the following:

    • Helps the candidate develop IDPT skills and behaviors through the engagement in meaningful real-life instructional design, training, and performance activities
    • Assists the candidate in transferring IDPT knowledge and theory into skills, behaviors, and activities that enhance organizations and institutions
    • Provides service to the host organization or institution

    During Directed Field Experiences I and II, the candidate is expected to assist in significant and varied leadership responsibilities under the supervision of a Baker University supervisor and a field mentor, who is cooperatively chosen by the candidate, the Baker University advisor, and the directed field experience coordinator. The Baker University supervisor and field mentor work cooperatively with the candidate to select a series of meaningful field experience activities and projects from the suggested activities associated with the program objectives. Through a combination of course work and field experiences, the candidate begins to develop IDPT performance behaviors that are associated with program objectives and standards.

    The candidate must enroll in two separate field experiences: Directed Field Experience I and Directed Field Experience II. Each of the two field experiences consists of a minimum of 60 clock hours at the organization or institution site. Field experience activities should relate to program objectives and performance indicators. Time is distributed across the program standards. A candidate is expected to address all program objectives during the two field experiences.

    Candidates who are accepted into the program receive detailed Directed Field Experience Handbooks.


    Tuition for program paid over 3 years $35,400
    Tuition during years 4-6 (fall, spring, summer) $345
    One-time registration and materials fee $450
    Application fee $50
    Graduation fee $125
    Audit fee $317.80/credit hour

    Ed.D. FAQ

    1. Do I need specific experience or education to qualify for this program?

    No. The EdD in IDPT program is designed for working adults in all facets of education and training who have completed an undergraduate and graduate degree and want to improve how their employees or learners perform through instructional design and performance technology.

    2. How long is the program?

    It will take about two years to complete the coursework. The third year of the program is devoted to completing your dissertation.

    3. Do I need to take the GRE?

    No. The GRE is not required, but admission into the program is competitive.

    4. I am a classroom teacher, am I eligible for this program?

    Yes. Although the program does not target the PK-12 setting, several classroom teachers are in the program.


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