Program Competencies

The Master of Science in Instructional Technology (MIT) program goals are clustered into five domains within the field of instructional technology. These domains include: instructional design, instructional development, utilization, management and evaluation. Program goals are based upon several sets of documents which identify critical competencies in the field of instructional technology, including:



Domain of Instructional Design

Description

Instructional design refers to its planning function, and the application of such planning to the entire range of system activities, including program maintenance and evaluation. Consequently, the domain's knowledge base is complex and includes a vast array of procedural models, conceptual models, and theories (Richy, 1993).

The domain of instructional design encompasses four major areas of theory and practice: instructional systems design, message design (technological applications), instructional strategies, and learner characteristics.

These four sub-areas shape the nature of design practice in a wide variety of settings, and broadly define instructional design activity on both the macro and micro levels.  They provide direction for instructional projects.  They also provide a means by which instruction can be applied to various instructional methodologies, media, types of learners and range of learning tasks (Richey, 1993).

List of Competencies

  1. Conduct performance analysis and determine the appropriateness of instructional solutions for the problem.
    1. Analyze performance problems to distinguish between situations requiring instructional solutions and those requiring other solutions.
    2. Evaluate the appropriateness of instructional decisions and provide a rationale for the judgment
  2. Plan and conduct needs assessment.
    1. Generate a needs assessment plan including selection of procedures and instruments.
    2. Conduct a needs assessment and interpret results in order to suggest appropriate actions.
    3. Evaluate the appropriateness, completeness, and accuracy of given needs assessment plans and results.
  3. Assess learner/trainee characteristics.
    1. Analyze information regarding learner's/trainer's performance problems (instructional needs), situation-related characteristics, decision-related characteristics, and learner-related characteristics to determine appropriate learning outcomes, methods of assessing such outcomes, and delivery systems.
    2. Classify entry skills assessment, prerequisite assessment and aptitude assessment.
    3. Distinguish among entry skills, prerequisite skills and aptitude.
    4. Identify a range of relevant learner/trainee characteristics and determine methods for assessing them.
    5. Analyze learners' motivational levels and determine methods for assessing them.
    6. Evaluate the appropriateness and adequacy of the assessment of learner/trainee characteristic.
  4. Analyze the characteristics of a setting (learning environment).
    1. Analyze setting characteristics and determine the relevant culture, resources and constraints.
    2. Evaluate the accuracy, comprehensiveness and appropriateness of a setting analysis.
  5. Conduct analysis of jobs/tasks and content.
    1. Select and use appropriate procedures to analyze the structural characteristics of a job, task and/or content appropriate to that job, task, and/or content, and state a rationale for the selection.
    2. Identify the variables affecting task analysis procedures.
  6. Sequence learner outcome.
    1. Select a procedure for sequencing learner outcomes appropriate to a given situation, sequence the outcomes and state a rationale for the sequence.
    2. Evaluate the accuracy, completeness and appropriateness of a given sequence of learner outcomes.
  7. Specify instructional strategies and sequence the instructional strategies.
    1. Select a strategy, which is appropriate to information about learner characteristics, culture of the setting, resources and constraints, desired learning outcomes, and other pertinent information, and state a rationale for the selection.
    2. Evaluate the appropriateness of a specified instructional strategy for a given situation.
    3. Specify a sequence of learner activities appropriate to the achievement of specified learner outcomes and state a rationale for the sequence.
    4. Evaluate the appropriateness and completeness of a given sequence of learner instructional activities.
    5. Select appropriate information technologies and design.
  8. Determine instructional resources (media/computer technology) appropriate to instructional activities.
    1. Develop specifications for instructional resources (media/emerging technology) required for explicit instructional strategies and learner outcomes.
    2. Evaluate existing instructional resources (media/emerging technology) to determine appropriateness for specified instructional strategies and learner outcomes.
    3. Adapt existing instructional resources.
    4. Prepare specifications for the production of materials where required.
  9. Select appropriate applied information technologies to achieve instructional objectives.
    1. Identify delivery systems matched to the developmental needs of the learner and requirements for goal accomplishment.
    2. Develop instructional modules, which utilize effective advanced information delivery systems.
    3. Assess the relative merits of alternative delivery (e.g., internet, hypermedia, distance learning) to accomplish specified learning objectives.

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Domain of Instructional Development

Description

Developmental domain of instructional technology can be defined by examining developed technologies and learning theories exerting the greatest impact on the development process (Simonson, 1993).  Since theory provides the foundation for the developmental domain, theory and technology comprise this domain.  Three theories provide the basis for the development of instructional technology.  They are: behaviorism, cognitivism and constructivism.  The technology dimension can be organized into four categories: print media, audiovisual media, electronic media, and integrated media.

List of Competencies

  1. Develop projected and non-projected graphic instructional materials.
  2. Demonstrate ability to produce audio scripts and audiotapes.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to produce still and motion photographic instructional materials, including knowledge and competencies in:  film characteristics, camera operation, exposure, darkroom processes, lighting and color photography.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of perception and visual learning applicable to the design and production of photographic instructional materials.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of computer utilization practices and the ability to apply them in instructional settings including: computer literacy, software selection and evaluation, instructional management, hypermedia development and distance learning.
  6. Design and produce computer-based instruction including drill-and-practice and tutorial programs.
  7. Design and produce interactive multimedia systems.
  8. Develop curriculum and apply instructional technology to the curriculum at the systems level, the macro level and the micro level.
  9. Demonstrate knowledge and ability to design and produce self-instructional modules, training manuals, instructor's guides and job aids.
  10. Design and produce mediated instruction.

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The Domain of Utilization

Description

Utilization is generally concerned with facilitating the use of resources for learning (Molenda, 1993).  The competencies in this domain will:  (a) prepare learners to make matches between learners and specific materials and activities; (b) prepare learners to interact with the selected materials and activities; (c) provide guidance during engagement; (d) provide for assessment of the results, and (e) integrate usage into the continuing operations of the organization.  The function of this domain is to manage the interface between learner and instructional materials or systems. 

The domain of utilization encompasses a wide range of activities and situations.  It ranges from usage (simple, one-time use of some instructional materials or techniques) to installation (the material or technique embedded in a large package of instructional system) to institutionalization (effort to embed the instructional innovation into the structure and culture of the organization).  Models and theories in this domain have tended to focus on the user's perspective, providing a general rationale for the selection of appropriate learning activities for learners at different experiential levels.

List of Competencies

  1. Apply principles of selection and use of materials and techniques relevant to a multicultural society (e.g., non-print, print, mass media, hardware, software, other   audiovisual strategies.
  2. Apply leadership techniques with individuals and groups (interpersonal skills, group dynamics, team building and diffusion of innovations).
  3. Promote the diffusion and adoption of the instructional development process.
    1. Select strategies appropriate for promoting the diffusion and adoption of the instructional development process in a given setting and state a rationale for the strategies.
  4. Demonstrate a knowledge of the laws and regulations which govern the selection and utilization of media/emerging technology, including copyright, censorship, State Board Regulations, Local Board Policies, etc.

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Domain of Management

Description

The instructional development process is largely a plan for a management process that will result in new or improved instructional materials.  Since this process is a major foundation block for the field, the instructional technologist can be described as a manager.  The successful management of the instructional development process requires a variety of management skills. The AECT Definition and Terminology Committee divides the management domain into four subdomains, namely:  1) project management,  2) resource management, 3) management of delivery systems, and 4) information management.

List of Competencies

  1. Plan, create, monitor, and facilitate instructional design projects.
    1. Develop and monitor an instructional development project plan (including time-lines, budget, staffing, etc.), which is appropriate to the nature of the project and the setting.
    2. Judge the appropriateness and comprehensiveness of a given instructional development project plan.
  2. Organize the instructional project or service unit to operate effectively and efficiently.
    1. Plan a program.
    2. Develop a budget.
    3. Plan and manage facilities.
    4. Organize access and delivery systems.
    5. Conduct a program evaluation.
  3. Manage personnel and facilities.
    1. Develop job specifications.
    2. Select good employees.
    3. Provide staff development.
    4. Evaluate employees.
    5. Delegate responsibilities.
    6. Solve interpersonal conflicts.
    7. Achieve maximum human potential.
    8. Motivate employees.
  4. Plan and implement organizational change.
  5. Design instructional management systems

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Domain of Evaluation

Description

Analysis, assessment and evaluation play an important role in the instructional design process and in instructional technology itself.  General systems theory, which typically guides the overall design process, provides the logic for the evaluation tasks encountered by instructional technologies (Seels, 1993).  Needs assessments, formative and summative evaluations and criterion-referenced testing are prompted by the need to create self-regulated systems.  They are also prompted by the belief in the positive role of feedback.  This domain grew as the educational research field grew.  Evaluation domain is classified according to the object being evaluated.  Common distinctions are programs, projects and products or materials. 

List of Competencies

  1. Plan and conduct needs assessment.
    1. Generate a needs assessment plan including selection of procedures and instruments.
    2. Conduct a needs assessment and interpret its results to suggest appropriate actions.
    3. Evaluate the appropriateness, completeness, and accuracy of given needs assessment plans and results.
  2. Plan and conduct evaluation of instruction/training.
    1. Plan and conduct a formative evaluation (trials with learners, expert review, analysis of implementation consideration).
    2. Develop a range of information-gathering techniques (questionnaires, interviews, tests, simulations, observations, etc.).
    3. Analyze the collected information and generate specifications for revision(s) based on evaluation feedback.
    4. Evaluate the appropriateness, completeness and adequacy of given formative evaluation plans, information gathering techniques, and revision specifications.
    5. Evaluate the effectiveness of technology specific instructional delivery systems.
  3. Plan and conduct summative evaluation of instruction/training.
    1. Develop a range of formal and informal procedures and methods of data collection.
    2. Design a comparative group study in a quasi-experimental design.
    3. Evaluate the appropriateness, completeness and adequacy of given summative evaluation plans, information gathering techniques, and decision making.
  4. Plan and conduct product evaluation.

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