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Organizational Performance & Workplace Learning

Offering an entirely ONLINE degree & certificates to educate the 21st century workforce in instructional design, e-learning and performance improvement.

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Application Deadlines

Fall 2022: July 18, 2022
Classes Start: August 22, 2022

Earn an online Master’s degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) and online certificates in instructional design, e-learning, and performance improvement.

100% Online, Fully Accredited!

Apply Today!

Online Education Since 1989

ipad meeting

We, Boise State University’s OPWL department, started our online master’s degree program in 1989 – a year in advance of the debut of the World Wide Web! For over 30 years, we have been offering practitioner-oriented online courses to training and development professionals seeking to:

  • develop their instructional design skills,
  • transform their instructional design projects into performance-based training and development, and
  • expand their instructional design toolkit to include other essential skills such as:
    • needs assessment,
    • evaluation,
    • e-learning design and development, and
    • performance improvement practices.

Begin or Advance Your Career in Instructional Design, E-Learning, or Performance Improvement

Student and Dr. Chyung

Our online master’s and certificate programs offer courses that help new professionals develop foundational skills so they can break into the field. In addition to coursework, we provide you with:

  • internships to gain workplace experiences working as a virtual member of an instructional design team, and
  • a 1-credit coaching class in which you are partnered one-on-one with a veteran of the field and certified coach. While partnered with a career coach, you will update your resume, align your cover letter to jobs you are targeting, and practice your job interview skills.

Our curriculum is also well-suited for the seasoned training and development professional seeking to move into a senior management or instructional design and performance improvement leadership role. Experienced instructional designers and performance improvement professionals come to our courses to:

Earn the OPWL Online Master’s Degree and Specialized Certificates

In addition to the Master of Science (MS) degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning, we offer three graduate certificates in:

Dr. Stieha and student

The online graduate certificate programs can be earned in conjunction with the master’s degree and have been valuable credentials for instructional designers, training and development, and performance improvement professionals, wanting to:

  • focus on coursework that addresses the theoretical underpinnings of day-to-day instructional design processes,
  • learn best practices in instructional design, e-learning design and development, and performance improvement, and
  • research, apply, and evaluate the latest tools, technology, and innovations that are driving the way business is done and will be done in the future!

Learn from Real-World Projects

OPWL faculty Drs. Giacumo & Villachica instructional design

In the OPWL online courses, you don’t just learn from books; you learn from real-world projects:

  • You complete needs assessment, instructional design, and evaluation projects for real clients.
  • You create storyboards and develop your storyboards into e-learning modules using e-learning software such as Articulate Storyline, Captivate, and Camtasia.
  • You design and apply performance improvement and change management strategies to the workplace.
  • You develop survey and interview instruments, analyze data, and create visuals to enhance your data storytelling.
  • For those seeking a deeper dive into instructional design, you can take our OPWL 547 Learning Experience Design that covers design thinking, personas, empathy maps, prototyping and agile practices or OPWL 597 Game-Based and Gamified Learning to learn how to design engaging and interactive learning using game-based learning theories as well as how to gamify the learning process using game mechanics, game design elements and game principles to engage and motivate the learners.

Join Our Community of Practice in Instructional Design and Performance Improvement!

OPWL faculty at table

In becoming a student of the OPWL program, you are joining a community of practice of instructional design, training and development, and performance improvement professionals from across the USA, each province of Canada, and from various points overseas. You will be connecting with people whose passion you share – keeping up with the rapid changes in technology and the changing dynamics it causes in the workplace.

Join the world’s best instructional design, training and development, and performance improvement community of practice by applying to the online master’s degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning TODAY!

OPWL Testimonials

  • Jill-Warwick

    Jill Warwick

    Class of 2022

    “Class projects provided me and my fellow classmates the chance to practice what was being covered in class in real-time and experience those situations for ourselves with professors ready to provide guidance and things to consider at any time. I know my learning will only continue as I progress further into my career. However, the time within the OPWL program provided me with foundational information and the confidence that I can take charge of my own learning.”

    “Class projects provided me and my fellow classmates the chance to practice what was being covered in class in real-time and experience those situations for ourselves with professors ready to provide guidance and things to consider at any time. I know my learning will only continue as I progress further into my career. However, the time within the OPWL program provided me with foundational information and the confidence that I can take charge of my own learning.”

  • Nicole McConnell

    Nicole McConnell

    Class of 2020

    “Each OPWL course provided opportunities to address a variety of real-life performance problems using various models. I worked with others on workplace problems I was facing, addressing the underlying reasons for performance deficiencies through team projects, applying theories, providing feedback and learning in a collaborative environment.”

    “Each OPWL course provided opportunities to address a variety of real-life performance problems using various models. I worked with others on workplace problems I was facing, addressing the underlying reasons for performance deficiencies through team projects, applying theories, providing feedback and learning in a collaborative environment.”

  • danielle-patterson

    Danielle Patterson

    Class of 2020

    “I entered the ID, adult learning work space and made the transition from teacher to ID. It was my project work at Boise State that caught an employer’s attention and gave him the confidence that I could do the work. I’m so thankful for the OPWL program and am happy to have made the career transition.”

    “I entered the ID, adult learning work space and made the transition from teacher to ID. It was my project work at Boise State that caught an employer’s attention and gave him the confidence that I could do the work. I’m so thankful for the OPWL program and am happy to have made the career transition.”

  • Rusty Hitt

    Rusty Hitt

    Class of 2019

    “The program and the professors were outstanding. I learned more applicable, real-world skills in the OPWL program than I did in my first master’s program which was a traditional on-campus experience. I walked away with the confidence to work in any of the human performance industries.”

    “The program and the professors were outstanding. I learned more applicable, real-world skills in the OPWL program than I did in my first master’s program which was a traditional on-campus experience. I walked away with the confidence to work in any of the human performance industries.”

  • Autumn Scisciani

    Autumn Scisciani

    Class of 2018

    Autumn has moved from industry outsider to a 6-figure national training management position in less than 4 years. She says “it’s all because of the knowledge and skills gained at Boise State. It has changed our lives and I’m so grateful!!”

    Autumn has moved from industry outsider to a 6-figure national training management position in less than 4 years. She says “it’s all because of the knowledge and skills gained at Boise State. It has changed our lives and I’m so grateful!!”

In the OPWL online program, you will:

  • Be given the tools and resources to begin building your portfolio in your first semester!
  • Have deliverables from each course that can be used in your professional portfolio
  • Work on real world projects for real world clients

Career opportunities:

  • Trainer
  • E-learning Specialist
  • Instructional Designer
  • Senior Instructional Designer
  • Instructional Systems Designer
  • Instructional Development Specialist
  • Learning Experience Designer
  • Senior Learning Experience Designer
  • Senior Learning Experience Designer
  • Project Manager
  • Evaluation and Learning Consultant
  • Online Instructional Design Consultant
  • Learning and Development
  • Manager of Learning and Development
  • Virtual Learning Coordinator
  • Director of Learning and Leadership Development
  • Chief Learning Officer