19: Question and Answer Technique

Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

Unit 19: Question and Answer Technique

Research Material:
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook (p101-103)
Coaching for Performance – Chapter 5

“At appropriate points during the lesson the PDI should preferably ask questions that contribute towards realising the objectives of the lesson. Ideally the questions should be simply worded, well defined, reasonable and relevant. There is a need for questions that are thought provoking and challenging as well as ones that simply test a pupil’s memory. In addition the PDI should encourage the pupil to ask questions at appropriate times.
Bear in mind that, whilst this is a useful technique to employ, excessive importance should not be placed on this alone as it is quite possible to give a satisfactory lesson without it.” – From the examiner’s marking guidelines (ADI1).

The questions asked during lessons perform several different functions. Recapping on knowledge and experience in order to determine levels of instruction, questioning on the move in order to prompt the driver into positive action, and questioning in order to determine why a fault occurred – analysing a problem in order to come to an agreement about how to solve it.

Discussion Points:
Closed Questions – testing knowledge
Open Questions – testing awareness and attitude
The use and dangers of the leading question as a prompt
WHY and YOU – the defensive reaction
The question focus – from broad to narrow
Creating awareness and responsibility

Exercises:
Using a roundabout lesson as an example, write a list of closed questions which can test knowledge of how to approach and negotiate them. To be used when briefing.
Eg: What routine will we use on approach to the roundabout?

Using the roundabout lesson again, write a list of leading questions with regards to prompting the MSPSL routine.
Eg: Which mirrors will you use on approach to this roundabout? (depending on which way you are going)

Using the roundabout lesson again, write a list of more open questions with regards to confirming attitudes and skills within the MSPSL routine.
Eg: At the roundabout ahead, we will be turning left, taking the first exit – what is the first thing we need to do?

In role-play, put some of these questions in place on approach to a roundabout. Your trainer will try to react like a customer would.

Once these questions have been practised in role-play, your trainer will start to introduce mistakes, you will need to identify:
What happened?
Why it happened?
What are the dangers involved?
How to fix it?

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