Training Instructional Designer III at Itron, Inc.
Upon completing my undergraduate degree, I was fortunate to have joined a human resources outsourcing firm that had a very large, well developed learning and development department. I was quickly identified as someone who could be developed to join this department. I learned from others the components of learning and development as it related to this particular organization. After spending a few years at other companies, I begin to yearn for more knowledge. I had learned HOW to do the work but never was explained the WHY.
At this point, I began looking into master’s programs. I researched online resumes of counterparts to determine where they studied. I referred to the International Society for Performance Improvement and the Association for Talent and Development to learn about educational leaders in the industry. As I did, one name occurred over and over again: Boise State. After much consideration, I knew the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) program would be a perfect fit for my career and personal goals.
However, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical coming into the program. After all, I had been in the learning and development field for over a decade, so what could I be taught that I didn’t already know? Yet as I began to read the material and get involved in classroom discussions, I started to realize what I didn’t know. I didn’t know how to complete a thorough needs analysis or the true value of evaluations. Not only did I learn from the professors, but I learned from the readings, my classmates, and even myself. And the most exciting part about it was that I was able to take techniques I learned in class the night before into work the next day. I found myself educating my coworkers on the value of accurate data collection and analysis, needs assessment, evaluation, and aligning departmental goals with corporate goals. My enthusiasm was shared by my employer as they saw the changes in my performance, contributions to the team, and overall passion towards my work.
The experience I had with this program has proven invaluable. I would recommend OPWL to anyone who was looking to understand about any aspect of technical writing, instructional design, and/or training and who is looking to make a difference in this field.
Aull, J., Bartley, J., Olson, C., Weisberg, L., & Winiecki, D. (2016). Lessons learned while completing a needs assessment of ITSS, Inc. career development opportunities: A case study. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 28(4), 7–26.
Aull, J., Bartley, J., Olson, C., & Weisberg, L. (2014, December). A Needs Assessment of ITSS Inc. Career Development Opportunities. PerformanceXpress Newsletter, December, ’14 issue.