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About OPWL

Students in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning seek to improve performance in corporations, non-profits, governments, and other workplace settings. Large organizations can be complex systems and are often among the most influential national and international levers affecting our society, economy, and environment. Therefore, improving their performance and sharpening desired outcomes warrants careful analysis and multidimensional solutions. Organizations today depend on such analysis to gain competitive advantage. Many also seek to engage more actively in local and global “grand challenges” that recommend an attentive balancing of people, profit, and planet to provide value and to best serve markets, employees, and communities.

Our Offerings and Experience

The Boise State University Organizational and Workplace Learning Department (formerly Instructional & Performance Technology) offers master’s degrees and certificates through an entirely online program. We believe our primarily asynchronous courses provide students with practical experience in navigating the virtual aspects of today’s work world. Faculty members offer deep and wide-ranging academic and business consulting experience to apply scientific approaches from psychology, sociology, communications, learning theory, and management to practical workplace problems. And online delivery is not new to us. We have offered online courses for over 20 years, since 1989.

What You Learn

Ours is a practical and primarily project-based curriculum. It is for practitioners who seek to replace hunches or simplistic evaluations with evidence-based practices that offer systematic and systemic solutions to organizational problems. Here students learn to better evaluate organizational problems and causes, identify how individuals, teams, and the organization contribute to problems and solutions affecting both the organization and broader stakeholders, make recommendations that align with strategic goals, design performance-based interventions, and consult with internal and external clients. Students gain from communicating and collaborating with fellow professionals from around the globe, and from participating as members of virtual teams to work on actual workplace issues for real clients. There are also opportunities to partner with students and faculty to submit articles for publication or participate in conference presentations. Learning to effectively and respectively collaborate with others from around the globe helps to build the skills necessary to meet the goals of global organizations. As students participate in the program and upon degree completion, they are able to address arenas such as organizational strategy, incentives, tools, change management, instructional design, and e-learning. In addition, graduates gain robust problem-solving skills that are widely applicable given that they can bring their knowledge set to any industry setting, and to organizations of most any size.

For more information about specific curriculum goals, please see the learning goals for each master’s degree and certificate. For students primarily interested in learning and performance in primary and secondary academic environments, you may also want to evaluate offerings from the Boise State University Educational Technology Department.

Project Examples

Faculty and student projects illustrate the range of ways to apply Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning competencies.

For more details about these and other projects, see the Publications/Presentations by Students and Alumni, and a listing of student articles that have appeared in the International Society for Performance and Instruction (ISPI) Tales from the Field column.