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A letter from OPWL Department Chair Dr. Marker

OPWL Faculty, Staff, and Students

As you all are I’m sure aware, the coronavirus (covid-19) has been having a significant impact on just about every system worldwide. Boise State’s curriculum is similarly impacted.¬†As of March 17th, the university technically remains open for business though many are working from home. However, many of the functions that are normally provided face to face are now being shoehorned online. We have some learning to do in this new environment and ask for your patience as we figure out how all these processes will move forward with limited or no face-to-face contact.

The Boise State OPWL program is, as you might imagine, in a reasonably good position to progress without excessive interruptions. All of our classes are already online, our portfolio defenses are online, and our faculty and staff are familiar and reasonably comfortable with completing our work online.

With that in mind, we anticipate that our own classes and administration will continue with few significant interruptions. However, Boise State University as a whole has also moved ALL classes online. This is, as you might imagine as future experts in instructional design, an enormous effort with a huge number of unknowns. What this means for our own program is that we may experience some disruption of our courses as the university systems that support Blackboard are stretched to accommodate a great deal more traffic.

Portfolio defenses will continue as scheduled unless a student cancels it. These will be conducted via Zoom and students and faculty can log into the session using their computer or phone.

The OPWL department has a contingency plan to handle this as we finish the semester. We ask for your patience and understanding as we make daily adjustments to our teaching and instruction. We will do our absolute best to ensure that the instruction we deliver, and that you receive, is of the quality you expect. That said, there are some aspects that are beyond our control. If you have trouble participating in OPWL courses, please contact your instructor(s) individually via email as soon as possible. We understand that some of you are in areas that are influenced by the virus. We will do our best to provide you with the flexibility to complete your courses under these unusual circumstances.

You will still be responsible for completing any missed work due to your absence and you are responsible to maintain open communication with your instructor. In addition, please copy either Jo Ann ( or Kelly ( as they may be of assistance working through other University processes. Students who follow these guidelines will not be penalized.

If you are ill, or taking care of a family member who is ill, let us know as soon as you can so we can make adjustments necessary for you to complete the course once you or your family member has recovered. Please, take care of yourselves and your families and loved ones first.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the OPWL department chair at We will do our best to keep you informed of updates and changes as we go forward in this unprecedented set of circumstances.

Dr. Marker
OPWL Chair

March 17, 2020