Design Program

ACIP: e-Learning Instructional Design and Development Program

 Based on the industry-leading ideas from Michael Allen’s Guide to e-Learning, this program will fundamentally change the way you perceive the design and development of e-learning and the possibilities for success! You’ll learn both critical e-learning design principles and the instructional skills you need with the tools you’re already using to make a performance difference in your organization.

Completion of this program earns you an Allen Certified Instructional Professional (ACIP) Level 1 credential

Full program price: $3,200

  • Design 100: FREE
  • Design 101, 102, 103, & 104: $800 per course ($695 off standard individual course price)
  • Pay full price at registration or pay in monthly installments (up to 6 months) 

Five Courses



Design 100: Fundamentals of Design for e-Learning

Format: VILT (virtual instructor-led training)

This course is a foundation course for all Allen Academy Programs. 

Many of the traditional assumptions about designing instruction simply don’t result in captivating courseware when applied to e-learning. This course takes a deep look into the nature of instructional interactivity and reveals the simple yet profound factors that are core to understanding and capitalizing on e-learning.

In this course, you will:

  • Experience first-hand the interest created by appropriately interactive e-learning 
  • Apply the three critical success factors 
  • Articulate the specific instructional advantages offered by e-learning technology 
  • Re-evaluate the appropriateness of some traditional design assumptions 
Learn more on the Design 100 course page.

Design 101: Instructional Interactivity

Format: VILT (virtual instructor-led training)

Learn the core design principles of Learner-Centered Design, Instructional Interactivity (CCAF), the Three Success Factors (M&Ms), and the Magic Keys to enhancing motivation. Includes a brief introduction to and practice in iterative rapid design with sketching.

In this course, you will:

  • Create meaningful, instructional context
  • Manipulate risk and consequences to challenge learners
  • Focus design on meaningful behavioral outcomes
  • Employ feedback as a crucial teaching vehicle
  • Apply simple design elements to transform learner motivation
  • Develop interactivity design ideas through sketching and prototyping
Learn more on the Design 101 course page.

Design 102: Building Instructional Interactions

Format: VILT (virtual instructor-led training)

Bridge the gap between understanding design and being able to build it. In this course, you will use your preferred development tool to create robust CCAF interactions.

Participate in a hands-on workshop to learn how to use Articulate Storyline* or Captivate to build instructional interactions. Basic knowledge of the tools is assumed. Learners will learn how to create interactions outside of the traditional “test-question” model, focusing specifically on using imagery and hot-spot and hot-object interactivity to create compelling context, using variables to track actions and delay judgment, and non-linear sequencing. This will be a multi-week course with required independent work.

Learn more on the Design 102 course page.

*Currently offered only for Storyline. Sign up here for updates on the Captivate course.


Design 103: Designing for e-Learning

Format: VILT (virtual instructor-led training)

Learn how to convert a real business learning need into a powerful learning solution.

This course presents core instructional design ideas, tailored specifically for creating interactive instruction. Topics will include effective analysis techniques to identify measurable performance outcomes, writing for interactivity, and organizational tools.

You’ll learn and apply known design strategies for transfer of skills, including spaced practice, selection of appropriate examples and non-examples, procedural learning, problem-solving, and designing for attitude objectives. 

You’ll practice:

  • Effective techniques for working with SMEs
  • Writing for interactivity
  • Employing strategies for transfer of skills
Learn more on the Design 103 course page.

Design 104: Practicum and Coaching

Format: Independent project work with two short VILT sessions

Get expert coaching on your own project from Academy instructors.

  • Work on real work!
  • Individual guidance & feedback on your project from your program instructors
  • Bring CCAF and other design principles to life

Learn more on the Design 104 course page.


Digital Credentials


The Allen Academy partners with Credly to provide digital credentials on the Acclaim platform, which empowers individuals to capture opportunities and enables organizations to measure impact. The Allen Academy leverages the power of Acclaim to provide you with widely recognized digital credentials to represent your skills and connect with employers.

Upon completing the five-course program, you'll be granted the Allen Certified Instructional (ACIP) Level 1 credential through Acclaim.

Added to your LinkedIn profile or portfolio site, your certification will link to evidence of your accomplishments. Learn more about Credly digital credentials at




Ethan Edwards, Instructor

As Chief Instructional Strategist for Allen Interactions, Ethan Edwards draws from more than 30 years of industry experience as an e-learning instructional designer and developer. He spent many years teaching certification classes for ATD, and he is a frequent blogger for Allen Interactions’ e-Learning Leadership Blog


Dr. Nan Thornton, Instructor

Dr. Nan Thornton has been working in the fields of instructional design and e-learning for 30 years. Her professional experience runs the gamut from instructional designer and project manager to consultant and trainer. Nan is passionate about instructional design and cognitive science, and supports the Serious e-Learning Manifesto and the Debunker's Club