Digital Media Design & Making in Education - Online Graduate Certificate

Examples of students' digital media design and making projects

The Graduate Certificate in Digital Media Design and Making in Education is ideal for current and future educators looking to discover ways to use technology to enrich, extend, and advance learning in formal and informal educational environments. Students who enroll in the certificate will engage in hands-on design activities to develop their knowledge and skills as digital media producers, Makers, and learning experience designers. Individuals who complete this program will be well-prepared to create accessible, inclusive, and creative learning activities and events, educational media, and makerspaces for in-person, remote, online, and blended educational environments.

The graduate certificate program is fully online, making it convenient for professionals from a wide geographic area. You can complete the program in one year by taking one course during summer and three courses during the school year (e.g., two courses in the fall and one in the spring or one course in the fall and two in spring) or you can spread the courses out over more semesters.

Who should consider the Graduate Certificate in Digital Media Design and Making in Education?

  • Classroom teachers and higher education faculty who want to strengthen their ability to provide innovative, student-centered, technology-rich learning experiences.
  • Educators who are looking for ways to create accessible multimedia and multimodal materials for remote, online, and blended educational environments.
  • Librarians and higher education professionals who supervise, or are interested in developing, technology-enhanced design-based learning spaces, such as Makerspaces, Team-Based Learning Classrooms, and Digital Media Labs.
  • Instructional designers who wish to enhance their knowledge and skills to develop accessible student-centered digital learning experiences and educational multimedia (e.g., videos, podcasts, infographics).
  • Pre-service and in-service teachers who want to showcase their dedication to innovative teaching with technology to a current or future employer.
  • Recent college graduates who are looking to pursue a career in education or instructional design.

Makerspaces are unique environments that facilitate learning through collaborative design, play, tinkering, and exploration, while Making is an iterative design process that results in the creation of an artifact (physical, digital, or blended physical/digital object). Makers are the individuals who engage in the act of creating.

Certificate Learning Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate an ability to embed student-centered digital media projects, design activities, and Making into formal, informal, in-person, remote, blended, and online educational settings.

  2. Think critically and creatively about teaching and learning with technology to develop innovative, engaging, and accessible learning experiences. 

  3. Describe the core values, principles, and theories that guide teaching and learning with digital media and Making. 

  4. Critique and use pedagogical practices and curricular approaches that facilitate creative thinking and design.

  5. Demonstrate an ability to use a variety of digital tools and technologies and integrate them into the design of educational materials and experiences.

  6. Design digital media, curriculum, learning activities, and artifacts that educate others about and positively impact social justice issues, including race, gender, and class biases as they are manifested in technologies and technological practices.

student working on tablet

Course of Study

To complete the Digital Media Design & Making in Education Graduate Certificate, students must earn 12 credits from the list of required and elective courses below. University Without Walls (UWW) sections are recommended, but not required.

Required Courses (9 credits, 3 classes)

  • EDUC 615GR - Teaching & Learning with Technology (offered every fall)
  • EDUC 615X - Designing Digital Media for Teaching & Learning (offered every spring)
  • EDUC 690L - Creativity, Technology, and Learning (offered every summer)

Electives (3 credits, 1 class)

  • EDUC 647M - Making & Makerspaces in Education
  • EDUC 595A: Educational Video Production
  • EDUC 692D: Digital Tools & Apps for 21st Century Students
  • EDUC 612: Educational Web Design
  • EDUC 676A: Intro to Programming
  • EDUC 897C: Seminar in Digital Media Learning

You can refer to the academic calendar for important semester dates including registration and add/drop. 

EDUC 615GR Teaching & Learning With Technology

In this course, students will examine how technology mediates and influences teaching and learning in and across formal and informal contexts. Students will engage in a series of technology-related design challenges to build confidence, knowledge, and skills in designing and using technologies for teaching and learning. Students will explore the theoretical, societal, and practical issues related to using new technologies in informal and formal educational settings. And, students will discover how to enrich and advance teaching and learning with digital tools, digital media, and emerging technologies.

EDUC 595A Educational Film Production

This course will introduce students to the basics of video production, including pre-production (e.g., script writing, storyboarding), recording video (e.g., composition, equipment, digital tools, lighting, audio), and post-production (e.g., editing). Through project-based activities, students will learn how to apply their knowledge of multimedia design principles and learning theories to the development of interactive and accessible videos that enhance teaching and learning.

EDUC 612 Educational Web Design

This course will introduce students to the basics of designing educational websites, such as online courses, digital portfolios, and online learning modules. Through interactive projects, students will learn how to create well-designed, accessible, easy to navigate websites that facilitate learning. Topics covered in the course include: html/java programming, user interface design, multimedia production, visual design, digital accessibility, writing for the web, copyright and creative commons, and usability testing. The course will feature multiple authentic learning web design projects, such as the development of digital portfolios as well as modules for an open online course.

EDUC 647M Making & Makerspaces in Education

A makerspace revolution is here. K-12 schools and libraries are dedicating physical spaces as maker places and equipping them with 3D printers and other tools; administrators are urging those spaces and tools to be used for learning; students are wondering what they can create in these new settings. But what is a makerspace? And, how does Making (aka the design of physical or digital artifacts) fit into informal and formal educational settings? In this course, you will engage in a series of interactive, hands-on making activities with low-tech and high-tech tools to examine the theoretical, practical, and societal issues related to Making and Makerspaces in education.

EDUC 676A Intro to Programming

This course is a programming class that will focus on teaching educators how to program in Java. While we learn how to program, we will design, play, tinker, and explore, as we create programs in Java and Javascript.

EDUC 615CT Creativity, Technology, and Learning

This course is designed to introduce students to ways of using learning technology to enable creativity in the classroom or any learning environment. It takes both a theoretical and a practical approach to creativity. Therefore, students will read creativity theories, read and review empirical studies of creativity, create curriculum for learning environments, as well as work to expand their own creativity. Importantly, the course also includes a focus on questions of social justice as they are related to opportunities to be producers (creators) of media, as opposed to just consumers, as well as the relationship of creativity to participation in democratic societies and the societal and economic forces that impede creative classrooms. This emphasis focuses especially on issues related to minoritized and marginalized communities.

EDUC 692D Digital Tools & Apps for 21st Century Students

In this course, students will explore a variety of digital tools and apps that can enhance teaching and learning. Students will discover how to find digital tools and apps by cultivating a digitally enhanced professional learning network. They will learn how to evaluate digital tools and apps in order to make an informed decision about which tools to use in educational settings and how to use tools and apps to improve learning experiences for all students. By the end of the course, students will be able to employ digital tools and apps to create transformative learning experiences for informal, formal, K-12, and higher education settings.

EDUC 615X Designing Digital Media for Teaching & Learning

This project-based course focuses on the theoretical and practical issues related to designing digital media (e.g. videos, animations, podcasts, infographics) and environments (e.g. interactive websites, online courses) for teaching and learning. In this course, we will explore the ADDIE Model of Instructional Design, learning theories, multimedia design principles, and effective pedagogical strategies and apply this knowledge to the design of educational digital media.

EDUC 897C Seminar in Digital Media Learning

During an era when fake news goes viral, social media algorithms shape our perceptions, clickbait personality tests are used to collect private data, media files can be manipulated by anyone, and bots and artificial intelligence influence how information spreads on social media sites, teachers and learners must be able to critically examine the power structures that shape how digital media is designed, shared, and consumed. In this course, students will analyze, create, and remix digital media and examine the recent developments, research, and theoretical frameworks in digital media learning. 

Instructions for Enrolling in Classes in SPIRE

Please see the new directions on How to Enroll in Online ClassesThis is a summary:

  1. (New students - start here) Create a student record. (You should not need to do this step if you took a course in the previous semester) Go to On the right hand menu prior to logging in, under Apply/References, click on Non-Degree Enrollment Application and fill out the form there. You will receive an email with your NetID and password (this may take several days to process.) New students move to # 2 below.
  2. (Returning students - start here) Create an enrollment appointment. Once you have received your NetID and password you can create an enrollment appointment by logging in to SPIRE ( with the NetID and password you received. Once logged in, navigate to the tile Manage Classes > Enrollment Appointments > UWW (or Univ+) Enrollment Appointments and follow the instructions. (It can take up to one day for SPIRE to recognize your NetID, so if you do not see these navigation options try the next day.) You will need to complete this step most semesters. 
  3. Register for classes. The enrollment appointment should be available immediately. Register for the class by logging in to SPIRE ( and navigate to the tile Manage Classes > Add, Drop & Edit Classes > Class Search > Add & Enroll. Make sure to add "Univ+" class, not "University".

Questions about how to register? Contact UMass University Without Walls at, 413-545-3653 or 800-922-8211.

Completing the Program

Once you have registered for your fourth and final course, be sure to complete and return the Certificate Eligibility Form to Forms are due by the following dates for each degree conferral period:

September Conferral: August 12
February Conferral: November 26
May Conferral: March 31

When completing your Certificate Eligibility Form, be sure to:

  • Use your UMass email address on the form
  • Check your mailing address and name in SPIRE - these will be used for your certificate 
  • Mark your degree conferral period based on the date following your final class
  • Use "Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies" for "Department" even if you belong to another department on campus
  • Use "Digital Media Design and Making in Education" for "Certificate Program"
  • Please write in the correct course number (Example: EDUC 615X) and write in the name of the course exactly as it appears on SPIRE. Please use your unofficial transcript to write in your grades. Please leave the final grade blank for any courses still in progress - the Graduate School will fill this in
  • View a Sample Certificate Eligibility Form

Tuition and Fees

University Without Walls (Univ+ or UWW) at UMass Amherst administers registration and payments for the graduate certificate. 

Tuition details

  • Tuition is currently at $631/ credit*
  • Tuition for each 3-credit course is $1,893 plus applicable fees*
  • Total tuition for the 4-course program is $7,572*
  • There is also a $60/semester registration fee*
  • *Note: These figures are applicable for most Summer 2023 classes. The costs will increase over time.

Contact the Bursars Office at or call 413-545-0337 for questions about tuition, fees, payments, and discounts. 

Tuition Waivers

Eligible Massachusetts state employees receive a 50% discount on tuition for Univ+ courses. For more information on tuition waivers, visit the UWW website or talk to your HR or union representative.  

Financial Aid

Financial aid is not available for certificate programs. 

collage of student projects


Application Timeline

The application deadline for admission to start in Summer or Fall semester is January 2. 

Degree Requirements and Required Application Materials

To apply to the certificate program you must hold at least a baccalaureate degree (in any field of study).

You may take up to two courses before you officially apply to the program.

Application Requirements

  • Application form
  • Personal statement (maximum 1 page single-spaced), explaining your interest in the certificate, how your professional and educational background makes this program a good fit for you, and your professional development goals.
  • Résumé/CV
  • Transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions attended (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
  • One letter of recommendation from a professional or academic reference

You may submit your materials electronically to or through the online application form. Please let us know if you have any questions about how to submit your materials electronically. 

Transferring Credits 

If, after you complete the requirements for the Digital Media Design and Making in Education Graduate Certificate, you apply to and enroll in our Learning, Media, and Technology M.Ed. program, you will be able to apply all 12 credits to that program. 


Please reach out to Annie Stephany at for more information.