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Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) Courses

OPWL 516 FOUNDATIONS OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (1-0-1)(F/S). Provides a career coaching experience for emerging and second career professionals pursuing job opportunities in the OPWL workplace. Includes job targeting, course planning, opportunity pursuit, and reflection. Explores ways to continue working on professional development outside the classroom. (Pass/Fail.)

OPWL 517 (ENGL 538) WRITING IN PROFESSIONS (3-0-3)(F). 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. Not for credit toward degrees from the English department. May be taken for ENGL or OPWL credit, but not both. PREREQ: PERM/INST.

OPWL 523 RAPID E-LEARNING DEVELOPMENT (3-0-3)(F,SU). Through hands-on practice, students develop skills in using rapid e-learning development software to create interactive multimedia e-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.

OPWL 525 E-LEARNING PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES (3-0-3)(F,SU). 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 standards in the current e-learning practice. Students will develop sample multimedia learning objects and implement them on a learning management system. PRE/COREQ: OPWL 536.

OPWL 529 NEEDS ASSESSMENT (4-0-4)(F/S). 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 performance problems and their causes, and help decision makers target critical problems with feasible solutions. Students will conduct an authentic project. PREREQ: OPWL 536.

OPWL 530 EVALUATION (4-0-4)(F,S). Students learn how to conduct formative and summative evaluations of instructional or performance improvement programs implemented in organizations. Students explore principles, models, and frameworks for evaluation, and conduct a full-scale evaluation, working with real clients and stakeholders. PREREQ: OPWL 536.

OPWL 531 QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH IN ORGANIZATIONS (3-0-3)(F,SU). 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.

OPWL 532 ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH IN ORGANIZATIONS (3-0-3)(S,SU). 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.

OPWL 535 PRINCIPLES OF ADULT LEARNING (4-0-4)(F,S). Students explore how contemporary adult learning theories and practices are applied to the field of instructional 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.

OPWL 536 FOUNDATIONS OF ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE AND WORKPLACE LEARNING (4-0-4)(F,S,SU). Students study historical foundations, prominent people, and events that contributed to the development of the fields of workplace learning and performance improvement. Students apply relevant theories and models to real or realistic organizational situations in industry, government, military, and non-profit settings.

OPWL 537 INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN (4-0-4)(F,S). 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.

OPWL 538 INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES (3-0-3)(SU)(Odd years). Instructional strategies are prescriptive patterns that guide the task of designing learning activities. Students will identify and experiment with several types of instructional strategies. Given a variety of instructional needs, students will practice selecting and implementing appropriate strategies. PRE/ COREQ: OPWL 536.

OPWL 547 ADVANCED INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN FOR THE WORKPLACE (3-0-3)(SU)(Even years). Students engage in authentic instructional design activities as part of a community of practice. Activities include analyzing instructional design problems, creating instructional design products in ways that decrease development time and improve quality, working within diverse teams, and giving and receiving constructive feedback. PREREQ: OPWL 537 or PERM/ INST.

OPWL 550 BLENDED LEARNING FOR PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT (3-0-3)(F,SU). Students investigate various learning technologies that can contribute to the building and sharing of individual and organizational knowledge. Based on analysis of learners’ 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.

OPWL 551 E-LEARNING CONTENT DESIGN (3-0-3)(S,SU). 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.

OPWL 560 WORKPLACE PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT (4-0-4)(F,S). Students examine the process models, non-instructional solutions, professional practice issues, and future trends of performance improvement which aim to improve performance in the workplace. In a hands-on project, students practice applying the performance improvement process to design effective performance solutions. PREREQ: OPWL 536, and OPWL 529 or OPWL 530.

OPWL 577 CHANGE MANAGEMENT (3-0-3)(S,SU)(Odd years). 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 PERFORMANCE IMPACT BEYOND THE ORGANIZATION (3-0-3)(SU)(Even years). 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.


OPWL 584 SELECTED TOPICS: MENTORING PROGRAMS IN ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCE AND WORKPLACE LEARNING (1-0-1)(F/S). Incorporates using a human performance improvement process to determine mentoring program feasibility in an organization.  Students experience the benefits and challenges of mentoring relationships. Students establish a mentor-mentee relationship. Students develop evidence-based program planning with a simulated or authentic client.






Refer to the University-wide Graduate Courses section in this catalog for additional course offerings.

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