This blog post contains testimonials from students of Boise State University’s online Master of Science in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL), class of 2018.
Ingrid Campbell, Class of 2018
I began looking for a Graduate Certificate program in early 2016. The Boise State Workplace Instructional Design program caught my eye because it was one of the few not geared toward academic settings. As a teacher at the time, that was very important to me. The WIDe program also caught my eye because it appeared to be a nice balance between the theoretical underpinnings of why we do the things we do and building technical design knowledge.
Semesters of designing learning experiences, building learning objects, working both independently and collaboratively with classmates, and squeezing in a few publications in between paid off when, just before graduation, I was offered a new position. The position with an instructional design company is a giant leap in my career. And I have Boise State to thank for giving me the tools to move into the next phase of my professional life.
Chyung, S. Y, Kennedy, M. & Campbell, I. A. (in press). Evidence-Based Survey Design: The Use of Ascending or Descending Order of Likert-Type Response Options. Performance Improvement. 57(9).
Giacumo, L. A., Chyung, S. Y., Campbell, I. A., Bilkey, A. and Gibson, E. (in press). Educational and environmental support for novice e-learning developers. Performance Improvement. 57(4).
Pluta, P., Hyman, G. Campbell, I. & Keith, D. (2007). The relationship between shared leadership and team performance and satisfaction: Task type matters. In D. J. Szyantek & E. McChrystal (Eds.), Refining familiar constructs: Alternative views in OB, HR and I/O (pp. 105 – 120). Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishers.
Jennifer Elderman, Class of 2018
Director of Training and Implementation
Synergy Systems, Inc.
When I began my search for a graduate program, I focused on schools offering instructional design and adult learning degrees. I was working full time so I also knew I wanted a program that offered an asynchronous, online option. I quickly found that Boise State University’s master of science degree in instructional and performance technology offered the most comprehensive program. Unlike many other programs that solely deal with adult learning, Boise State University’s OPWL degree takes a more holistic approach and focuses on all aspects of human performance. This degree has given me the experience and confidence to make relevant contributions to my current organization and society as a whole.
Stefan Tobler, Class of 2018
Skyguide Air Navigation Services
By completing the WELPS certificate at Boise, I have added a valuable degree on top of my Master in Psychology, and I have increased my skills for my job as an instructional designer and training expert.
When I started the program I just wanted to gain insights in state-of-the-art eLearning design. Looking back, I now realize that on top of these insights, the entire focus of the program on performance support and human performance technology added greatly to my skill set and will be a constant reminder in my future career.
This program offered a great deal of hands-on experience as well as relevant research. I have so far never experienced any course with such a high transfer rate to my daily work life. Finally, the flexibility offered by an asynchronous format, as well as the helpful staff and faculty, made it the perfect choice for me as a European student without prior experience with the US educational system.
Tad Hughes, Class of 2018
Sr. Training Specialist
City of Fort Collins
Leading up to my decision to pursue the OPWL M.S. program in 2015, my professional background had been purely instructional design and teaching for nearly 8 years, spanning federal and local government, finance, and classroom teaching. I knew that my professional experience had built a strong foundation for building training of all types. However, I felt there was something missing: Performance improvement that was not related to training. This revelation came about slowly, but earnestly over time as I witnessed many training solutions fail to reach the results they were intended to reach. Additionally, I noticed a trend in professional articles geared toward non-training performance improvement, but I realized I was very unfamiliar with what they were talking about.
After researching several programs, I decided that the OPWL program was for me. Primarily, I was attracted to the robust curriculum that includes a series of semester-long projects with real-world clients, as well as faculty who have worked in industry for decades. Though challenging, the learning experiences are invaluable. For example, the projects I worked on included:
- A program evaluation for a national laboratory concerning the effectiveness of their hazardous waste compliance and tracking system;
- A needs assessment for a large manufacturing company that was concerned about their employee turnover rates; and
- An instructional design project for a company that specializes in providing commercial aviation training.
Now that my time in the OPWL program is over, I feel more confident than ever that I can help my organization stay focused on results and recommend solutions that will last for the long term. If you decide to enter the OPWL program, you will be challenged and there may be some long nights ahead, but the journey is worth the destination.