Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What makes a person competent?

Throughout the presentations today and as I was researching for the presentation that Brian and I gave, I kept having the thought "what qualifies a person to call themself an instructional designer or an evaluator?" It is interesting to me that a fair number of professionals in the field do not have any formal training in instructional technology or have taken a workshop focused on evaluation.  The question that I have is that does that sort of thing harm the profession or those of us who do have formal training?  If there are people calling themselves designers but who haven't completed the training that we have, does that undermine our field or minimize the value of the graduate programs that exist?  On the other hand, if those of us with formal training aren't any more effective than those who haven't, then maybe we should do away with graduate programs all together.  

I just think that this sort of thing is important for us to think about if we want instructional technology to be a viable field that is respected.  What would happen if we had self-taught physicians performing heart surgeries?  If learning and teaching are moral acts that have the potential to help or harm individuals then it seems justified to require that those involved in those practices have some sort of credential.

Just my musings.

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