01/27/17

11: Lesson Planning – Summary – strengths and weaknesses

Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

Unit 11: Lesson Planning – Summary – strengths and areas to be worked on.

Research Material:
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook
Coaching for Performance

The summary is possibly the most important part of any lesson – a lesson where a good amount of learning has taken place can be undone by dwelling too long on a couple of mistakes. Motivating the customer to take their learning out of the training car and into their own life must be your number one goal, as this will mean that when they next get in the car, they are ready and eager to learn again.

Setting ‘homework’ needs to be handled sensitively, and according to your customer’s style of learning. It can be anything from reading a chapter of a driving book, encouraging good habits in private practice, to researching the answer to specific problems on the internet. A well run action plan, agreed, carried out, and followed up by the instructor and the learner can greatly reduce problems during later sessions.

Discussion Points:
The Positive
Creating awareness of problems
The customer’s ownership of how to progress
The Action Plan for the next lesson

Exercises:
With your trainer you will role-play summarising lessons which have gone well, and lessons which have proved problematic. Your trainer will provide you with a picture of how the lesson went.

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01/27/17

12: Levels of Instruction – Guided/Prompted/Independent

Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

Unit 12: Levels of Instruction – Guided/Prompted/Independent.

Research Material:
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook (p99)

“Relates to the match (or lack of it) between the level of instruction and the level of ability of the pupil. This will normally match the grade given as it would be very difficult to explain why it would not be the case.” – From the examiner’s marking guidance (ADI1).

Your use of instruction, and the level at which you pitch it is of huge importance – quite literally it could mean your life or death, and it will make a big difference to how well your customers progress.

Over instruction will slow the learning process, but under instructing can leave you open to potential dangers. During the part 3 exam (the instructional ability examination) phase 1 (beginners and novices) is often under instructed, and phase 2 (experienced learners and full licence holders) is often over instructed. A thorough understanding of how to pitch instruction, depending on your customer is the basis of good instruction.

Guided:
Simply put, this is telling someone exactly what to do – guiding them through the process. This is used under 2 distinct circumstances

  • Teaching someone how to do something they have never done before.
  • This is what you will do for example during your phase 1 teaching. Once you have completed your briefing, you will then guide them through the process, eg: “Set the as to 2000 revs, hold that foot still, then gradually bring your clutch up until you hear the engine revs dip, then hold both feet still” – would be your guided instructions for someone to find the bite point.

  • Helping someone to complete an action under stressful or dangerous circumstances.
  • This can be necessary when a student has been pushed out of their comfort zone. It is easy for them to forget exactly how to set off smoothly at a give way, when there is a truck beeping from behind them. You may need to use guided instruction exactly the same as above to prevent stalling or dangerously fast moving off.

    Prompted:
    This is where you will remind them of the key points of what they are about to do, once they have proved under guidance that they can perform the task.

    Using the same example as above, a prompt could be “remember to hold your feet still when you find the bite point”. This gives them a reminder of what you have been working on, and helps them with the part of the action which you feel they may forget.

    If a student has been stalling, the prompt would be “remember to add enough gas when you find your bite point”.

    The art of the prompt is to give them enough information that they can perform the task, while leaving out enough information to make them feel as though they are progressing. Prompts should become less specific and more questioning as the student becomes better at their task.

    As skill improves a prompt may not contain any specific action, for example “on this hill, how can we avoid rolling back when we release the handbrake?” and eventually “is there a chance we could roll back here?” or “are we on a hill?”.

    Independent:
    This is the goal we aim for. To see a customer approach an uphill Give Way, and know that they will be able to find the bite in first, observe and pull smoothly and safely away if it is clear is a nice moment! However, remember that in between lessons things can be forgotten, confidence can lead to recklessness and brains under pressure don’t always work so well. Never be afraid to swing back to prompted if you notice problems creeping in.

    Unfortunately, even drivers approaching test standard will put you in dangerous situations sometimes, so be prepared under these circumstances to swing your instruction straight back to guided. Simple, clear firm guided instruction should be able to get you out of most situations without any need for use of the dual controls.

    Discussion Points:
    How to determine where to start – The Recap
    Swinging back from independent to guided or prompted
    Your most important dual control – concise guidance

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    01/27/17

    13: Guided – Full Talk Through

    Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

    Unit 13 – Guided, Full talk through.

    Research Material:
    The Driving Instructor’s Handbook

    Simply put, this is telling someone exactly what to do – guiding them through the process. This is used under 2 distinct circumstances

    1. Teaching someone how to do something they have never done before.
      This is what you will do for example during your phase 1 teaching.
      Once you have completed your briefing, you will then guide them through the process, eg: “Set the gas to 1500 revs, hold that foot still, then bring your clutch up 1/3rd of the way quickly, then gradually until you hear the engine revs dip. Now hold both feet still” – would be your guided instructions for someone to find the bite point.
    2. Helping someone to complete an action under stressful or dangerous circumstances.
      This can be necessary when a student has been pushed out of their comfort zone. It is easy for them to forget exactly how to set off smoothly at a give way, when there is a truck beeping from behind them. You may need to use guided instruction exactly the same as above to prevent stalling or dangerously fast moving off.

    Discussion Points:
    Clear concise and effective talk through
    Leaving nothing out

    Examples of talk through:
    Move off from the side of the road
    Changing gear

    Commentary driving as a practise tool for talk through
    Head it off at the pass
    Talk through before dual controls

    Exercises:
    Using your commentary driving experience, practice talking through the whole routine necessary for moving away from the side of the road. Write a script if necessary, and practise this on your trainer, who will listen and react ONLY to your instruction. Remember if you miss anything out, it will not be done – it is all well and good giving a perfect description of finding the bite, but if your customer hasn’t selected first gear it will never work!

    Your customer can set off independently in a quiet area, but is very nervous about setting off at traffic lights – you realise the car behind is driving impatiently and may run into you if you stall. Notice the warning signs and swing back to guided if you feel it is necessary.

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    01/27/17

    14: Prompted Instruction

    Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

    Unit 14: Prompted Instruction

    Research Material:
    The Driving Instructor’s Handbook

    This is where you will remind them of the key points of what they are about to do, once they have proved under guidance that they can perform the task.
    Using the same example as above, a prompt could be “remember to hold your feet still when you find the bite point”. This gives them a reminder of what you have been working on, and helps them with the part of the action which you feel they may forget.

    If a student has been stalling, the prompt would be “remember to add enough gas when you find your bite point”.

    The art of the prompt is to give them enough information that they can perform the task, while leaving out enough information to make them feel as though they are progressing. Prompts should become less specific and more questioning as the student becomes better at their task. Eventually a prompt should not contain any specific action, for example “on this hill, how can we avoid rolling back when we release the handbrake?” and eventually “is there a chance we could roll back here?”.

    Discussion Points:
    A question based talk through:
    Move off from the side of the road
    Changing gear
    Reduction of prompts
    Movement from closed prompts to open prompts
    Using prompts to push towards independence

    Exercises:
    Using the moving off experience, your customer has shown that they can move away under your full instruction, you now need to test how much of that instruction has been remembered and understood. Using questions and prompting where necessary, you will assist your ‘customer’ to repeat what he has been previously taught with regards to moving off. Gradually reduce the amount of prompting necessary.

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    01/27/17

    15: Independence; the transfer of responsibility

    Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

    Unit 15: Independence; the transfer of responsibility

    Research Material:
    The Driving Instructor’s Handbook

    This is the goal we aim for. To see a customer approach an uphill Give Way, and know that they will be able to find the bite in first, observe and pull smoothly and safely away if it is clear is a nice moment! However, remember that in between lessons, things can be forgotten, confidence can lead to recklessness, and under pressure brains don’t always work so well, so never be afraid to swing back to prompted if you’ve noticed problems creeping in.
    Unfortunately, even drivers approaching test standards will put you in dangerous situations sometimes, so be prepared under these circumstances to swing your instruction straight back to guided. Simple, clear firm guided instruction should be able to get you out of most situations without any need for use of the dual controls.

    Discussion Points:
    Recognising independence

    Praise and encouragement

    Testing independence:
    Was it true independence with a thought process?
    Did they just get away with it?
    How can you tell? – ‘What if’ questions

    Allowing independence within other levels of instruction:
    Big picture guidance with small picture independence

    Exercises:
    Your customer now wants to move off on their own, and you know they have remembered the majority of what they have been taught. It is up to you to observe what they are doing, and if you see that something has been missed out, remind them in a way which reminds them of their own knowledge, and allows them to keep responsibility for what they are doing.

    You and your customer both feel comfortable with their responsibility for moving off, and you don’t need to instruct during the exercise normally, but in heavier traffic and on hills your customer starts to have trouble. Try to swing the instruction back to a point where it keeps responsibility with the customer, but allows them to safely move off.

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    01/27/17

    16: Positive and Retrospective Instruction

    Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

    Unit 16: Positive and Retrospective instruction

    Research Material:
    The Driving Instructor’s Handbook

    Definitions:
    Positive instruction – guiding or prompting in a way to keep the customer at the limits of their ability, while still driving safely and without significant fault.

    Retrospective instruction – fixing a fault which has occurred.

    Learning a something new in any sphere involves learning how to do it (knowledge), practising the actions of doing it (skill), and having the mental ability to put these together in the real world (attitude). Coaching someone through these steps involves keeping the customer within their ability, but pushing them beyond their current experience, but not into the unknown.

    Current experience
    (capable, within their comfort zone with known skills and environment)
    No Real Learning

    The next known step
    (learning a new skill in a familiar environment, or testing a familiar skill in a new environment)
    Real Learning

    The unknown
    (beyond current capabilities, new skills being taught in a new environment)
    AAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!

    The ideal, and the quickest way for someone to gain learn something new is to keep them within the centre section – always at the next known step, where you have made sure they are capable, but not pushing them too far into the unknown, where they are being asked to do too much.

    Positive instruction is keeping control of the session, by planning and your abilities, not letting things go wrong. When teaching a new skill, explain what it is, demonstrate it, or have a dry run before practising it, and convey the importance of being able to use it. Then talk through the actions necessary to achieve the action, being aware that your customer may have holes in their knowledge, skill or attitude which need filling before they fall into them! If they fall into these holes – we’re in the realms of retrospective instruction.

    Teaching something new should always be positive. For example, if when practising moving off your customer sets the gas and is about to look all around ready to signal – but are still in neutral, prompt them to engage the gear and find the bite point before anything else. You have spotted the potential for a mistake which could have affected others, and have provided a positive instruction in order to avoid it. Allowing them to put the signal on, take the handbrake off and only then realise there is no bite point would involve correcting something which had already gone wrong – retrospective instruction.

    Keep it positive – head mistakes off at the pass – don’t let them happen at the learning stages. Anticipation and experience play their part in this – assess any hazard early, with reference to your customer’s capabilities. If you feel a mistake might happen, adjust your level of instruction accordingly.

    This all sounds great until you start to put it into practise – and in the real world you may not be able to anticipate every possible mistake. This is where retrospective instruction becomes necessary, and this should be conducted through the core competencies previously covered. Sometimes it is not possible to fix things on the move – analyse them immediately after they have happened, but things should never be left any later than is absolutely necessary. More on this subject will be covered in Unit 23 – Stop or on the move?

    There is an old saying that people learn by their mistakes – they do, but they find it a hell of a lot easier to learn by being aware of the possibility of mistakes, and avoiding them! Much of this ties back in to the level of instruction provided – under instruct and mistakes will be made, your customer will feel bad and may not learn so well. Over instruct, and a comfort zone will become harder and harder to get out of. Pitching instruction at the correct level is very important to progress learning positively.

    One area where retrospective instruction becomes necessary and even useful is during mock tests. More on that later.

    Discussion Points:
    Prevention or Cure?

    With positive instruction – if a mistake has been prevented it must still be identified, analysed and corrected

    The dangers of too much positive instruction – over reliance on the instructor, and no transfer of responsibility.

    Exercises:
    Moving Off
    Meeting situations
    Approaching roundabouts
    Parking safely
    The turn in the road

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    01/27/17

    17: Control of the Lesson

    Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

    Unit 17: Control of the Lesson

    Research Material:
    The Driving Instructor’s Handbook

    “Deals with the overall control of the lesson and the interaction processes within it. Directions must be clear and given at the correct time. Instruction should be given in good time to help the pupil respond to the situation at hand. Instructions must relate to the prevailing road and traffic conditions. This has strong links with the ‘Core competencies’, ‘level of instruction’, and ‘Feedback and encouragement’.” – From the examiner’s marking guidelines (ADI1)

    Planning and observing everything around you – while being fully aware of what your customer is doing takes huge concentration. When it works it is great, but when it starts to go wrong it feels like you are having to constantly catch up with yourself. Your instruction becomes more frantic, less planned, and everyone gets stressed – at this point you know you need a break, and your customer will as well. Control is about creating those breaks and using them constructively – to learn and to get ahead of things, rather than trying to catch up.

    Fault analysis is often the first thing to go by the wayside. It takes brain power and it is often hard to judge whether it should be done on the move, or whether parking up is necessary.

    If a fault occurs which is a safety concern and your customer is in any way unsure about what happened, why it happened, or how to deal with it if it happens again – pull over.

    While learning to drive – certainly in the early stages – much of the brain’s concentration is focussed inside the car, on the use of the controls – this often means that remembering circumstances, and thinking through consequences will take away concentration from the control of the car. This is when stopping is necessary. Often you will be alerted to this when you start to analyse the mistake, and you will find that your customer will frown, ‘um’ and ‘err’, and generally show that they need to stop in order to think things through. The more worrying effect is that they might transfer all of the thought process from the control of the car to the analysis of the problem, and you will find that you are heading rapidly into trouble!

    Often customers will think that being pulled over is a bad thing. Remind them that there are different processes going on, there is the acquisition of knowledge, practice of the skill, and learning how to deal with real life situations. Time spent at the side of the road is time spent learning – a positive thing.

    Make sure that you stop as soon as is safe after a safety issue has arisen – talking about the problem ‘at that roundabout about a mile back’ is liable to get the answer ‘erm, which one?’. Fix things while they are fresh in the mind.

    Many faults are minor, and depending on circumstances will have no effect on safety – these can and often should be dealt with by question and answer on the move.

    Discussion Points:
    Alert (Fault ID) on the move – pull over as soon as is safe
    Fault analysis then allow them the chance to correct it
    Ensure that parking up is positive
    Fault analysis on the move – safely and constructively

    Exercises:
    Your trainer will role-play faults which you will need to use your core competencies on. You will need to decide whether you can or should fix them on the move or by pulling over

    Approaching junctions to turn left or right

    Gear problems

    Clutch control problems

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    01/27/17

    18: Communication

    Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

    Unit 18: Communication

    Research Material:
    The Driving Instructor’s Handbook

    “Is concerned with pupil’s understanding of instruction, appropriateness of language, and use of jargon (with or without explanation). Includes the ability to adapt and to use language and terminology likely to be familiar to the particular pupil and not to overload them with over-technical and complex explanations.” – From the examiner’s marking guidelines (ADI1)

    Everything you say needs to be understood. This may seem simple and obvious, but when you put this into context of (for example) explaining how the clutch works, you realise that you would use very different language when dealing with a mechanic or a nail technician. Watching your customer’s reactions to your explanations will help with this – the glazed look, or the nod of agreement can be small clues as to whether something is understood or over their head.

    Be aware of how things are interpreted, and if necessary, ask your customer to repeat things back to you, in the way that they have understood them. Watch for inaccuracies, or easily twisted phrases.

    An awareness of your customer’s knowledge here is essential, so be aware of re-cap information, and during examinations, the “word picture” given to you by the examiner.

    Remember the different way that people learn – a thinker may want more explanations, in order to be able to get a big picture before attempting something, a researcher may well have read up on something already, and a tryer may well be fidgetting with the controls – a sure hint that they just want to start doing it!

    Discussion Points:
    Clear words or jargon
    Body language
    Understanding and gaining agreement

    Exercises:
    Talk through the MSM/PSL routine on approach to a left turn without using the words “check” “signal” “manoeuvre” “position” or “speed”!

    Explain the clutch to your trainer as they role-play:
    A trainee mechanic
    A nail technician

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    01/27/17

    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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    20: Feedback/Encouragement – motivation and plateaus

    Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

    Unit 20: Feedback/Encouragement – motivation and plateaus

    Research Material:
    The Driving Instructor’s Handbook – p103-106, p241-242
    Coaching for Performance – Chapters 13 and 14.

    “Providing feedback and encouragement to the pupil relating to their performance. Praise, confirmation, reinforcement for effort / progress / achievement. Correction / information when errors / faults occur. Encouraging the pupil is part of any teaching skill. The pupil needs to know when they have done something well. Feedback is key to providing the necessary level of instruction and has close links with the Core Competencies.” – From the examiner’s marking guidelines (ADI1)

    You should by this time know why your customer is learning to drive – this is where you start to gear everything towards those ends. For example – if they have children, they will be able to do the school run without relying on relatives and neighbours; if they need to drive for a new job, encourage the development of skills and ensure they imagine their use in the work environment. If they know why they want to learn, this can be used to encourage them to push themselves forward into new and possibly frightening situations. We must acknowledge these fears, but allay them and use their motivations in a way which makes our customer want to face them.

    Praise should be linked to positive actions, and should be given as soon as is possible once something has been achieved. However, praising for the sake of it is counter productive, and can lead to complacency. Make sure feedback is realistic, and specific. Body language and eye contact can make a huge difference to how we relate to people, and should be borne in mind when talking to a customer – make sure they believe you and what you say.

    The plateau is the stage at which a learner will feel that they are not progressing – constantly repeating the same routes or manoeuvres can be demoralising. Explain that by acknowledging the plateau, and allowing more time and experience, things will become clear. Gaining a perspective on things can be done by changing the objective of the lesson, while bearing the problem area in mind. Taking the specific sticking point out of the equation, while continuing to teach the skills used can be useful. There are great benefits for someone to simply prove to themselves that they can drive from ‘A’ to ‘B’ – a journey which has some relation to them – a visit to a friend, a supermarket or a college for example can restore a sense of perspective and can encourage a customer who felt it was all going wrong.

    Discussion Points:
    Focussing on the customer’s motivation for learning to drive
    Encouraging and nurturing an atmosphere of wanting to find out how new subjects work
    Immediately praising independent decision making and actions
    Realistic and specific praising & avoiding false praise
    Body language and eye contact
    Encouraging questions to enable accurate feedback
    Dealing with Plateaus

    Exercises:
    Your trainer will role-play a customer near the end of the following exercises. Time is running out, and you need to summarise the lesson.
    Turn in the Road
    Crossroads
    Use of the MSPSL system in response to hazards

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