Message from the Director
I am very excited to be able to introduce you to Georgetown’s newest graduate degree program, the Master of Arts in Learning and Design (MLD). Our program was founded in response to challenges confronting teaching and learning in higher education. We are at an inflection point in higher education, a point at which we must sustain the core values and foundations of traditional college education, while also responding in an agile manner to disruptions caused by new technologies, curricular concerns, and rising costs. To help address higher education’s emerging challenges, the staff at Georgetown University’s center for teaching excellence–Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS)–designed and developed the MLD program, which builds on the Center’s 17 years of experience working with faculty and students on academic innovation.
The M.A. in Learning and Design focuses on the intersecting fields of instructional design, educational technology, learning analytics and higher education leadership, taking an interdisciplinary approach that balances theory with applied innovation. Students in the program will gain a deep understanding of learning and design, while being immersed in a curriculum designed to serve as an incubator for new ideas about teaching, learning, and the future of higher education. In addition, students will participate in innovative opportunities that marry theory with experience through internships, mentoring projects, and a year-long Design Studio. From these experiences, students will develop a rich portfolio of real-world work, which can serve as a strong foundation on which they can build careers in instructional and learning design, instructional technology, learning analytics, online program development, higher education leadership, and more.
In addition to our curriculum, students will benefit from our diverse set of core values, as well as our campus partnerships, which serve as helpful resources as students pursue innovations in teaching and learning. Georgetown University’s long history of innovation in teaching and learning, combined with a deep commitment to its core values, make it a unique place to educate the next generation of designers, developers, technologists, and transformative leaders who will drive learning forward in higher education.
I invite you to take this next step toward a career in design, innovation, and higher education, and welcome you to join our inaugural class!
Founding Director and Professor, Program in Learning and Design
Executive Director, Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship
Our program is driven by the belief that institutions of higher education have a responsibility to think intentionally about learning and the holistic development of students. Embedded in our curriculum are core values that we believe facilitate transformational learning experiences.
By drawing on evidence-based practice and Georgetown’s Jesuit tradition of educating the whole student, our program approaches learning and design in a way that enables meaningful engagement between students, faculty, and learning material.
Inquiry and Exploration
We value experimentation, and even failure, as learning experiences that strengthen us as practitioners. To facilitate such learning experiences, we encourage curiosity and insightful experimentation, and foster an environment where transformational discoveries can emerge.
Application of Proven Methods
We believe that design methods, which draw from a carefully developed knowledge-base, provide students a foundation to direct creative work. Therefore, our program introduces students to core methods and theories of design and pedagogy.
We believe that integration means more than combining knowledge and skills—it means understanding and navigating the many perspectives that influence meaningful learning experiences. Bringing together perspectives from multiple academic fields, MLD exposes students to a rich framework of analysis, contributing to a deeper understanding of learning and design.
We value difference as a crucial part of the learning experience and believe we must take into account the varying experiences, backgrounds, and learning styles of all students. Our program both models and teaches inclusive pedagogical practices throughout the curriculum.
MLD offers students direct access to Georgetown’s active teaching and learning center, the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), which serves as Georgetown’s faculty development and pedagogical support hub. With its 17 years of experience, CNDLS works alongside instructors to assess curriculum, rethink course design, and explore emerging technology. Through CNDLS internships and mentorship projects, MLD students will have the opportunity to collaborate with CNDLS, support their efforts, and gain hands-on experience.
Georgetown is also home to the Kennedy Institute of Ethics (KIE), which houses a variety of experimental initiatives that challenge and reinterpret the world of practical ethics. Focused on tackling real-life ethical issues in research, teaching, service, and innovation and technology, KIE brings together designers, ethics experts, students, and external partners to make progress on complex moral problems.
Steps away from the MLD office, students and faculty in the Communication, Culture and Technology (CCT) program work collaboratively to develop solutions to challenges posed by new technologies in a range of fields. CCT was founded to explore relationships between new technologies, and communication and culture.
Working in direct partnership with MLD, the Red House serves as an incubator for higher education curricular transformation under the Designing the Future(s) of the University initiative. MLD students will work alongside and take courses with Red House staff, exploring issues facing higher education with Georgetown as the incubator.