The main purpose of this topic “Current Competencies and ethical standards for IDT Practitioners” is to provide an overview about the current competencies and ethical standards for Instructional Design and Technology practitioners by ibstpi (International Board of Standards for Training Performance Instruction). The key ideas we need to understand in this topic are the different roles as IDT practitioners as well as the main domains of ID competencies. In order to address the above topic, the authors provide information. The roles of an IDT practitioner has been divided into three – such as instructional designers, training managers and instructors and an additional role as performance technologist. The conceptual frame work of the competence is based on four domains such as professional foundations, planning and analysis, design and development and implementation. However, I believe soft skills and culture has a huge impact on competency and ethics on an individual and organizational level. In addition, there are three reasons that I believe that the argument of this topic is not completely sound.
First, the argument assumes that the increase in number of standards would increase the competencies and ethics. The book states that the list of ID competencies increased from 16 to 23, this resulted in an increase of 122 performance standards (Reiser and Dempesy, 2007, p274.). However, I believe the mere increase in the performance standards would not improve the competency and ethics among the IDT practitioners; instead it may create more confusion and issues to perform these standards in an efficient way. The role of an IDT practitioner under the four domains such as professional foundations, planning and analysis, design and development and implementation and management may not be suitable in all situations. These roles would be true in a small project but may not be true in large project. In large projects the competencies or expertise would be more specific – based on the designation. For example, in a multinational company like IBM, the role of an instructional designer will be narrowed inside this four domains; he or she may be working in the design and development division instead of planning and analysis division. Here the instructional designer has to show competency in that specific division – either design and development or planning and analysis division. That’s what the company is looking for.
Secondly, the argument never addresses the impact of culture in the ethics. The code of ethics for IDT practitioner is explained in page no 276 – these are: responsibility to others, social mandates, respecting the rights of others and professional practice (Reiser and Dempesy, 2007, p. 276). However I believe, the culture has an impact on the individual’s ethics and also in organizational ethics. As we know, the majority of the Instructional design models are developed in developed countries. Eventually the products and services are also required to have some level of competence to provide efficient service. But the real issue is the code of ethics and competencies in the developed countries may not be suitable for the underdeveloped countries. For instance, in a globalized environment, the instructional designer may be in a developed country and the instructor will be in the underdeveloped country. In this situation, the common code of ethics (global ethics) cannot be practiced all the time. Each culture has its own impact on ethics. For example, the method of instruction in the US is different from India. Here in the US the lecturers or trainers have more informal conversations with their students inside and outside class rooms but in India, informal conversation is very limited and conversation is very formal and do not call by their name particularly those who are elders and do not sit with the teachers or instructors in the same couch. The taught stand up to respect the teacher. Therefore, I think ethics are influenced by the culture.
Finally, this topic omits the importance of soft skill in the competence. Nowadays the companies are recruiting candidates who have good EQ (Emotional Quotient) or soft skill than IQ (intelligent Quotient); we can see the different types of stress interview and stress management etc… These are the part of testing and improving the soft skills. In a globalized environment, IDT practitioners such as instructional designer, training manager and an instructor has to have these soft skills. The success of an organization to achieve competitive advantage is not only based on the talented, knowledgeable and innovative products but also the employees must know how to handle themselves and how to relate to students or customers and peers. Apart from being prompt in work, showing empathy, optimism and self awareness about things around them is also desirable in an employee of an organization (Nicolade, C., 2002).
In conclusion, soft skills play an important role to achieve competency. The development of a soft skill would benefit both individuals as well as the organizations. The mere additions of performance standards would not increase the competency of the IDT practitioners but specific job orientated performance standards have to be developed by themselves through practice. In other words, developing a niche oriented practice would create more competency than attempting do wide range of activities. Culture has an impact on the individual ethics; a universal code of ethics is not possible to implement in all sections of the society due the huge differences in cultures.
Nicolaides, C. (2002). Focus on soft skills: A leadership wake-up call. Retrieved May 19, 2009, from http://www.businessknowhow.com/growth/softskills.htm
Reiser, R., & Dempsey, J. (Eds.). (2007). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA: Prentice Hall.