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Course Descriptions

COURSE SUMMARY

OPWL 517 Writing in Professions

3-credit | ​15 weeks | fall
Overview of communication practices and standards in workplace settings. Topics include editing and revision, research and citation practices, social and cultural aspects of technical communication, workplace-writing style, and common documents produced in business and industry, such as proposals, informal reports, formal reports, and prospectuses. May be applied as elective credit to the MS in OPWL.

 

OPWL 523 Rapid E-Learning Development

3-credit | ​1st 10-weeks | spring and summer
Through hands-on practice, students develop skills in using rapid e-learning development software to create interactive multimedia learning content for improving workplace learning and performance. Students develop various types of e-learning content such as demonstration, technical simulation, and scenario-based learning. PRE/COREQ: OPWL 536.

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OPWL 525 E-Learning Principles and Practices

3-credit |​ 2nd​ 10-weeks | spring and summer
Students will learn foundational principles for implementing e-learning solutions. Students will evaluate e-learning demo programs and study the use of reusable learning objects, sharable content objects, metadata and e-learning standard in the current e-learning practice. Students will develop sample multimedia objects and implement them on a learning management system. PRE/COREQ: OPWL 536.

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OPWL 529 Needs Assessment

4-credit | 15-weeks | fall and spring
Through analysis of case studies, guided practice, field work, and other methods, students learn to use tools, data and systematic methods to identify and assess current or future problems and their causes, and help decision makers target critical problems with feasible solutions. Students will conduct an authentic project. PREREQ: OPWL 536.

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OPWL 530 Evaluation

4-credit | 15-weeks | fall and spring
Students learn how to use methods of inquiry and analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional or performance improvement programs. They explore various models of both formative and summative evaluations and ways to implement the results of such research efforts. Students will gain hands-on experience, actually conducting one or more evaluations. PREREQ: OPWL 536.

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OPWL 531 Quantitative Research in Organizations

3-credit | 15 weeks | fall and even year summers
Students learn how to design research and apply statistical analysis methods to conduct quantitative studies in organizational contexts. Students also review various empirical research reports in order to become educated consumers of research and contribute to improving organizational performance. PREREQ: OPWL 536 or PERM/INST.

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OPWL 532 Ethnographic Research in Organizations

3-credit | 15 weeks | spring and odd year summers
Ethnography is an approach to learning about the social and cultural life of communities, organizations, institutions and other settings that discovers how the activities of people in those settings contribute to the creation of society and culture. Students receive a foundation in philosophical perspectives and methods supporting ethnographic research, learn when to conduct ethnographic research, and explore strategies for presenting and critiquing ethnographic research. They will also be provided with an opportunity to implement ethnographic research in organizational settings. PREREQ: OPWL 536 or PERM/INST.

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OPWL 535 Principles of Adult Learning

4-credit | 15-weeks | fall and spring
Students explore how contemporary adult learning theories and practices are applied to the fields of instructional technology and performance technology, particularly with respect to the instructional design process. They will investigate methods, strategies and technologies specific to adult learners that are known to affect learning outcomes. Students will apply adult learning principles to real workplace problems.

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OPWL 536 Foundations of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning

4-credit | 15-weeks | fall and spring
Students study historical foundations, prominent people, and events that contributed to the development of the fields of instructional technology and performance technology. They apply relevant theories and models to real or realistic organizational situations in industry, government, military, and non-profit settings.

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OPWL 537 Instructional Design

4-credit | 15-weeks | fall and spring
This course gives an overview of several models for instructional systems design and examines the processes involved in designing effective instructional interventions. Working with a real client , students conduct a full-scale instructional design project in phases over the duration of the course. PREREQ: OPWL 535 and OPWL 536.

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OPWL 547 Advanced Instructional Design for the Workplace

​3-credit | ​1st 10 weeks | spring and even year summers
Students engage in authentic instructional design activities with real clients as part of a community of practice. Activities include analyzing instructional design problems, creating instructional design products, working within diverse teams, and giving and receiving constructive feedback. PREREQ: OPWL 537 or PERM/INST.

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OPWL 550 Blended Learning for Performance Improvement

​3-credit | ​1st 10-weeks | fall and summer
Students investigate various learning technologies that can contribute to the building and sharing of individual and organizational knowledge. Based on analysis of learner’s performance needs, students design blended approaches to improving workplace learning and performance by combining face-to-face learning and e-learning. PRE/COREQ: OPWL 536.

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OPWL 551 E-Learning Content Design

3-credit |​ 2nd​ 10-weeks | fall and summer
Students learn to apply the principles of instructional design to the design of interactive, multimedia, self-paced content within the context of workplace e-learning and performance support. PRE/COREQ: OPWL 536.

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OPWL 560 Workplace Performance Improvement

4-credit | 15-weeks | fall and spring
Students examine the foundations, process models, solutions, professional practice issues, and future trends of the field of human performance technology (HPT) which aims to improve performance in the work place or in learning situations. In a hands-on project, students practice applying HPT to design effective performance solutions. PREREQ: OPWL 536 and (OPWL 529 or OPWL 530).

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OPWL 577 Change Management

3-credit | ​1st ​10-weeks | spring and even year summers
Students will learn basic principles related to the top-down and bottom-up change processes, and analytical and planning tools that can be used to facilitate change within an organization. Students will practice applying those principles and tools in real organizational situations. PRE/COREQ: OPWL 536.

 

OPWL 578 Designing Sustainable Organizations

3-credit | ​1st 10-weeks | fall and odd year summers
Students will learn basic principles related to helping organizations plan, implement, and evaluate business practices that are environmentally, socially, and financially balanced. The course combines principles of design, systems thinking, change management, and evaluation. PRE/COREQ: OPWL 536.

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OPWL 585 Selected Topics: Thinking in Systems

1-credit | ​1st 5-weeks | fall and rotated summers
This course is about uncovering and starting to understand the complex entities and interrelationships that shape our daily lives.

 

OPWL 586 Selected Topics: Professional Ethics

1-credit | ​1st ​5-weeks | spring and rotated summers
Ethics constitute a formal and informal set of expectations and conduct based on moral norms for a given community. Professional ethics apply specifically to the conduct of an individual representing a particular profession, both in one’s personal actions and efforts to promote the norms comprising his or her profession. Students will survey major theories and models of professional ethics and ethical issues as they apply to the practice of Instructional & Performance Technology professionals. Each student will create a personal code of ethics based on course content.

 

OPWL 587 Selected Topics: Evidence Based Practice

1-credit | ​2nd ​5-weeks | fall and rotated summers
Students taking this course will examine concepts, activities, and workplace application of evidence-based practices (EBP). Students will synthesize EBP concepts; select and research an HPT issue, apply evidence-based decision making to the researched issue, examine evidence-to-practice barriers, and address making EBP work in the workplace. The course is a build of five weekly assignments that progress from concept to application.

 

OPWL 588 Selected Topics: Library Skills for Research

1-credit | ​1st 5-weeks | fall, spring and rotated summers
This is a basic library skills course designed as a refresher for professionals wanting to learn how to use the BSU online library to find and use materials relevant to their coursework. We’ll focus on five basic topics: 1. Basic research skills – searching for information online 2. Conducting a simple literature review 3. Using bibliographic management software for citations and references 4. Using apps to assist you in your coursework 5. The basics of copyright law.

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OPWL 589 Selected Topics: Virtual Teams

1-credit | ​2nd ​5-weeks | spring and rotated summers
Virtual teams are common in many organizations. One reason is the growing recognition that making use of experts from various locations within an organization is a strategy for success. At the same time, the development of mobile devices, web-based video conferencing, file-sharing software, and other tools makes it easy to communicate in real time across locations. In this course, students will explore the challenges and opportunities of virtual teams and develop a personal team work manifesto.

 

OPWL 590 Practicum / Internship (Variable Credit)

Note: This course is used by OPWL students as an internship experience. A prospectus requiring faculty sponsor, employer, and student agreement must be submitted before registering for the course; a brief report endorsed by the employer is required at the end of the semester; the student’s final grade is determined by the faculty sponsor. OPWL students may count no more than a total of 3 semester hours of OPWL 590 to their program.

 

OPWL 592 Portfolio

1-credit | 15-weeks | fall, spring, and summers
A broad-based selection of significant student work that is used to appraise student performance and professional
development. A portfolio reflects the depth and breadth of a student’s educational growth since entering the graduate program.” (Boise State University 2014-2015 Graduate Catalog). Pass/fail only.

 

OPWL 593 Thesis (Variable Credit)

Independent research or creative activity at the master’s level resulting in a thesis that must be defended at a final oral examination and archived in the university library. The thesis must be written in clear and effective English and presented in a format that conforms to the standards of the Graduate College. Graded pass/fail (P/F) only.

 

OPWL 595 Readings and Conference (Variable Credit)

The conduct of topical research, assigned readings or literature review. The faculty advisor and the student prepare and sign an agreement describing the amount and type of work to be accomplished.

Note: With the aid of a faculty sponsor, the student selects a cohesive set of readings and then discusses them with the faculty member on an agreed-upon schedule throughout the semester. The planned reading list may be changed (with faculty approval) to respond to emphases and interests stimulated by initial reading. Students are expected to do at least 50 hours of reading, thinking, and conferring for each credit hour earned.

 

OPWL 596 Independent Study (Variable Credit)

Advanced study of a specialized topic; design and completion of a project may be included in the study. The student works with a high degree of independence to meet well-defined goals under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty. Requires submission of a completed Application for Independent Study prior to the deadline specified in the academic calendar.

 

OPWL 597 Special Topics: Organizational Culture and Alignment

1-credit
Successful HPT interventions often, if not always, depend on how well they align with the organization’s culture. But understanding an organization’s culture can be a challenging and arduous process. In this course, you will study two textbooks—Gareth Morgan’s Images of Organization and Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn’s Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture—as well as watch videos and read articles by Edgar Schein, John Kotter, and others. You will also do various organizational culture analyses. The learning goal is for you to acquire a knowledge base and a set of tools that will enable you to analyze an organization with which you have a relationship and, ultimately, to assess how well a proposed HPT intervention and how will you yourself align with that organization.

 

OPWL 696 Directed Research (Variable Credit)

Research conducted by a graduate student under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty. Requires the clear statement of a hypothesis or proposition, a review of the relevant literature, analysis and synthesis of data or scholarly evidence, and the inference of conclusions. The results must be stated in a report written in clear and effective English. Requires submission of an Application for Directed Research prior to the deadline specified in the academic calendar.