Have you had a chance to play NCRA’s online game called “Courting Disaster”? It is a fun way to learn about the profession. There are six modules. The stated purpose of the game is to test your client relations savvy and your ability to execute the core job competencies. It is an interactive game in that you are presented with different scenarios and you have to choose an appropriate response in your role as a professional court reporter. As in real life, many of the situations that are presented cover ethical grey areas; therefore, the game is challenging and thought provoking.
I would highly recommend that students play the game. At this stage you may not have the experience to draw from to help you choose the correct answers, but it doesn’t matter! It is a game. Better to make your mistakes now than out in the field. Competency on your steno machine is only part of the job. It takes so much more to be considered a true professional.
At the end of each module you are given a score along with an explanation of why your responses are correct or incorrect. What is especially helpful is that applicable provisions are cited from NCRA’s Code of Professional Ethics, a code that every reporter should be familiar with. Members of the profession are bound by this code in their dealings with their fellow reporters, members of the legal community, and the general public.
Take advantage of this opportunity to test the waters, so to speak, and get a glimpse of the different dilemmas that you will encounter as a working reporter. Take the time to ponder the matters presented to you. The experience will give you added confidence when faced with thorny or sensitive matters. The beauty of the game is that, pass or fail, it is a valuable and unique learning experience.
To access the game, go to www.ncra.org/courtingdisaster. Good luck and have fun. You may surprise yourself and earn a trophy for being a superstar reporter!