Learning Design & Performance Technology: Evolution of ISLT

Jennie Kroeger

It’s not a stretch to say that Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies (ISLT) was born and forged at Florida State. What started in the 1960s as a minor in Educational Research, known as computer-assisted instruction (CAI), became one of the world’s first Instructional Systems programs in 1972. Now, a little more than 40 years later, ISLT offers a new major: Learning Design and Performance Technology.

With the ever-evolving field of instructional systems and educational technology, our online Ed.D. in Learning Design and Performance Technology addresses the growing needs of practitioners in the field. The program is specifically designed for working professionals and those interested in becoming exceptional scholar-practitioners. The program is cohort-based and concludes with an applied dissertation project.

What Is Instructional Systems?

For those not in the field of instructional systems, you might be wondering what exactly a career in this industry looks like—or, for that matter, who instructional systems is for. Here’s the truth: instructional systems is constantly referred to as one of the best majors you’ve never heard of. The field of instructional systems focuses on creating training programs and educational resources, improving performance through analysis, design and development, and evaluating existing systems and tools. People in ISLT-related positions typically work with the latest technology and tools to help organizations train and improve their employees.

New jobs related to ISLT are constantly opening up, and the industry has seen steady growth over the years. Graduates go on to work in a variety of settings, including public sector positions at government agencies, public schools, the military, and universities. Private sector job offerings include Fortune 500 companies, consulting firms, hospitals and medical groups, and more.

The field of instructional systems design continues to evolve as instructional technology changes and research is conducted. FSU has been a pioneer in the field since the beginning. You could say that we wrote the book, and we have—many of them! These influential figures in the field, both past and present, include powerhouses such as Robert Gagné, Leslie Briggs, Marcy Driscoll, and Robert Reiser. Their publications have helped shape the field of instructional systems and continue to influence theory and practice today.

If you’re interested in learning more about the new Learning Design and Performance Technology online Ed.D., contact us today or visit education.fsu.edu/islt.