AECT Association for Educational Communications and Technology
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  1. What is the history of the field?
  2. What is the knowledge base?
  3. What is the history of AECT's partnership with NCATE?
  4. How are the 2000 performance-based standards different from the previous guidelines?
  5. Is my program an ECIT program?
  6. Is my program initial or advanced?
  7. What are the initial standards?
  8. What are the advanced standards?
  9. What are the components of a Program Report?
  10. What are the critical aspects of an Assessment Plan?
  11. What are some types of data to include?
  12. Why should we be interested in National Recognition?
  13. What are common weaknesses in Program Reports?
  14. How is AECT responsible for ECIT program review?
  15. How does the program review process work once I submit a program report?
  16. How do I know whether my state has a review partnership with NCATE?
  17. What are the expectations for program reviewers?
  18. Who are my contacts at AECT?
  19. Which programs currently have National Recognition?
  20. What do I do if I have a school library media specialist program?

2. What is the Knowledge Base?

These standards have been developed within the context of several years of effort by AECT to define the field of educational technology and to specify the knowledge base for the field. The general curriculum overview is based on Instructional Technology: The Definition and Domains of the Field (Seels & Richey, 1994) and The Knowledge Base of Instructional Technology: A Critical Examination (Richey, Caffarella, Ely, Molenda, Seels, & Simonson, 1993). The Instructional Technology document provides a definition of the field and describes the domains and subdomains of the field. The Knowledge Base document provides an in-depth examination of the knowledge base for each domain.

The current standards are significantly changed from earlier versions that were based upon roles and functions of instructional technology professionals. The new standards are grounded in the research and theory of the field as described in the knowledge base of the field.

The definition of instructional technology prepared by the AECT Definitions and Terminology Committee is as follows:

Instructional Technology is the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning. ... The words Instructional Technology in the definition mean a discipline devoted to techniques or ways to make learning more efficient based on theory but theory in its broadest sense, not just scientific theory. ... Theory consists of concepts, constructs, principles, and propositions that serve as the body of knowledge. Practice is the application of that knowledge to solve problems. Practice can also contribute to the knowledge base through information gained from experience. ... Of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation ... refer to both areas of the knowledge base and to functions performed by professionals in the field. ... Processes are a series of operations or activities directed towards a particular result. ... Resources are sources of support for learning, including support systems and instructional materials and environments. ... The purpose of instructional technology is to affect and effect learning (Seels & Richey, 1994, pp. 1-9).

This definition is clearly grounded in the knowledge base of the field of instructional technology.

These standards for the NCATE program review documentation are likewise grounded in the knowledge base of the field. The knowledge base for the field is divided into five interrelated domains: design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation as shown in Figure 1 (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 21). Within each domain there are subdomains that serve to describe each domain. For example, evaluation is divided into problem analysis, criterion-referenced measurement, formative evaluation, and summative evaluation.


The relationship among the domains shown in Figure 1 is not linear, but synergistic. Although research may focus on one specific domain or subdomain, practice, in reality, combines functions in all or several domains.

For example, a practitioner working in the development domain uses theory from the design domain, such as instructional systems design theory and message design theory. A practitioner working in the design domain uses theory about media characteristics from the development and utilization domains and theory about problem analysis and measurement from the evaluation domain. (Seels & Richey, 1994, p. 25)Each domain also contributes to the other domains as well as to the research and theory shared by the domains.

An example of shared theory is theory about feedback which is used in some way by each of the domains. Feedback can be included in both an instructional strategy and message design. Feedback loops are used in management systems, and evaluation provides feedback. (Seels & Richey, 1994, pp. 25-26)

The Definition and Terminology Committee has provided descriptions for each of the domains:

Design refers to the process of specifying conditions for learning. ... Development refers to the process of translating the design specifications into physical form. ... Utilization refers to the use of processes and resources for learning. ... Management refers to processes for controlling instructional technology. ... Evaluation is the process for determining the adequacy of instruction. (Seels & Richey, 1994, pp. 24-43)

The Committee has also provided a description for each of the subdomains of the knowledge base.

The content for the knowledge base of each domain is provided in a series of papers entitled The Knowledge Base of Instructional Technology: A Critical Examination (Richey, Caffarella, Ely, Molenda, Seels, & Simonson, 1993). The key elements of the knowledge base of each domain are described in detail in these papers (by jose at tf) . Although researchers may concentrate their efforts in only one domain, most ECIT practitioners will be employed in roles that draw upon multiple domains.

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