In my last article I wrote about the GROW model as a self-evaluation technique. This next article is about using a SWOT analysis.SWOT (analysis or matrix) is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and is a structured method that evaluates those four elements of a project - like learning to drive. It is also useful to help you plan your own business and, if you're involved in training ADIs, you may want to introduce this evaluation tool to them.
A SWOT analysis can be carried out for a company, product, place, industry, or person. It involves specifying the objectives and identifying all the elements that could affect the end goal - both external factors that you have no control over, and personal factors that you can control - which are favourable and unfavourable so that the end goal becomes a reality.
You could use SWOT to help someone to drive at the outset of their training and the learner (or trainee driving instructor) could take it home with them for you to discuss next lesson.
If you want to develop coaching and self-evaluation techniques then why not come along to our next BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Coaching for Driver Development? With our money back guarantee* you only have knowledge and skills to gain.
*If you attend the first module in the classroom and do not feel this is for you, let us know, by lunchtime, and we will give you your money back.
In my last article I wrote about self-evaluation and how a coaching conversation can help this process. Today I will take you through a useful self-evaluation technique that you can use and give to your clients. You may have already heard of it, it was made famous by Sir John Whitmore, who was one of the instigators in bringing coaching to the driver training industry. Tri-Coaching Partnership had the pleasure of meeting with him several times during the development of the BTEC Level 4 in Coaching for Driver Development and we were lucky that he chose to attend one of our training modules and offer us guidance when we first started delivering the course.The GROW model is a solution focused coaching conversation and is based on the structure below.
Goal: What do you want to achieve?
Reality: What is the current situation?
Options: What could you do?
Will: What will you do?
Questions that you can use to help generate a conversation:
What are you trying to achieve?
Questions for problem solving
Regards Graham Hooper
As Gitlin and Smyth (1989) comment: 'Evaluation' from its Latin origin meaning ‘to strengthen’ or 'to empower' I recently wrote three short articles about the psychomotor, cognitive and affective domains.
This fourth article is about using evaluation to bring the learning together. As driving instructors, part of our job is to work with our clients' strengths so as to help them overcome their weaknesses and to empower them to take full responsibility for their learning. As I discovered, the Latin origin of 'evaluation' is so very apt because our role is to help our learners discover self-evaluation techniques for themselves that will serve them well in a post-test environment. The reason this is so important is that when they pass they will have hopefully only have near-misses and then will be able to work out the reasons behind what has happened and take preventative measures so as to avoid something similar happening again.
Evaluation is about your learner making judgments about situations that have happened - both good and bad - and then helping them to have a structure to work through that process. The ability to reflect and problem-solve is very useful to the newly qualified driver. Self-evaluation helps the learner identify a way forward for themselves.
Evaluation is also a way of effecting behavioural change and when we witness a positive change in behaviour - such as adjusting to the correct speed for the road and traffic conditions - we know that learning is taking place. The process of self-evaluation often occurs through a conversation between the learner and the instructor, where the instructor takes on the role of a facilitator and uses the process as a means of empowering the learner. What is happening in these conversations could be described as constructive criticism where the learner is taking ownership of the process and working it through for themselves. This could literally be a lifesaver once they have passed their test and they are on their own in the big wide world.
Evaluation allows the learner to look at the bigger picture - they are gathering information about what has been happening in their last training exercise, so they can describe the problem and put that situation into context. This will enable them, during their lessons with you, to transfer what has just happened into experiences they may have in the future. Evaluation is a powerful form of reflection, which allows you to look at areas of success and also any areas of development. It helps us plan a way forward and we can than judge the effectiveness and outcomes of the training. This leads to finding solutions to problems.
The purpose of evaluation, as Everitt et al (1992) is to reflect critically on the effectiveness of personal and professional practice. It is to contribute to the development of ‘good’ rather than ‘correct’ practice.
In my next article I will look at questions that can be used to help you facilitate the evaluation process by using a coaching conversation. If you are interested in learning how coaching helps you to facilitate your clients' development of critical thinking skills so they become safer drivers - and you haven't yet taken the plunge - then enrol on our BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Coaching for Driver Development.
"Here is the third in a series of articles I have written on the subject of driving instructor training, first published in The Intelligent Instructor magazine.
I hope you enjoy it."
With the DVSA announcing that the Part 3 will be replaced with a Standards Check-style assessment, this series of articles continues to explore how we train people to be driving instructors and the knock-on effects of this training on teaching people to drive and, ultimately, on road safety.
In my last two articles, I focused on the current situation with the Part 3 test and looked at what the Part 3 assesses; whether it is fit for purpose; who are the trainers; and asked why bother changing what we currently have.
This article follows on from the previous ones and explores what makes a great lesson.
1. Learning must take place
There are several ingredients in a great lesson but the overall aims must be to:
· Deliver value for money and
· Ensure that learning takes place.
Ensuring learning takes place requires first and foremost a fundamental understanding of how individuals learn. We used to believe that learning took place through a transfer of knowledge from the instructor to the learner. The instructor was seen to be the font and source of all knowledge and information and this needed to be ladled into the gratefully-receiving learner. Repetitive practice through ever-decreasing levels of instruction – from guided to prompted to independent – embedded the learning; and a focus on the core competencies of fault identification, analysis and remedial action finished off the mix so that the learner could go off and take their driving test regurgitating the best practices their instructor had instilled into them. This way of teaching is based on an out-dated and old-fashioned understanding of how people learn. It produces drivers, who are not self-aware and do not know how to take ownership of and responsibility for the driving task. We only have to look at the crash statistics of novice drivers to know that this is true.
These days, we recognise that learning comes from within. It is not about a transfer of knowledge from the expert to the learner. For effective learning to take place, the learner must be encouraged to reflect on their performance and think for themselves. To achieve this, the lesson must be focused around the learner and adapted to suit their individual needs. It must be broken down into bite-size manageable chunks by the trainer so that the learner is very clear where their focus needs to lie.
2. Lesson Planning
The lesson must be well-planned in conjunction and agreement with the learner:
· Goals must be set so that the learner knows what they are setting out to achieve;
· The structure of the lesson needs to be agreed with the learner;
· A suitable route must be used; and
· The instructor must be able to adapt the lesson plan where necessary to ensure that learning will take place and the goal will be achieved.
3. Teaching and Learning Strategies
The instructor must have a range of teaching strategies, from which they can select the most effective to ensure the learner achieves the goals agreed. These include:
· Understanding how people process information and the barriers they might have to their learning;
· Recognising the importance of developing analytical skills in the learner that they will be able to apply to their own driving once they are on their own;
· Using examples to clarify the goal;
· Only giving appropriate and accurate technical information, ensuring it is comprehensive;
· Breaking the learning down into bite-size chunks so that regular and appropriate feedback can be built into the lesson;
· Following up the learner’s queries and answering them;
· Maintaining a non-judgemental manner; and
· Encouraging the pupil to reflect on their own performance.
4. Risk Management
We teach our learners to drive in a dangerous environment. If we could teach them to drive in a simulator there would not be so much risk around. However, we need to give people experience of the real world to help develop their self-evaluation skills, whilst simultaneously ensuring that learning takes place. The days of a lesson that is a ‘general drive’ - where we see and deal with whatever crops up along the way - are long gone. A lesson like this does not deliver value for money and does not ensure learning takes place because there is no goal being achieved and the learner is not taking ownership of their learning.
We have to manage the risk to ensure that learning takes place:
· The learner needs to understand how the responsibility for risk will be shared;
· Directions and instructions need to be given clearly and in good time;
· The trainer must be aware of the surroundings and the learner’s actions;
· Verbal and physical intervention must be timely and appropriate; and
· Sufficient feedback must be given after this intervention to ensure the learner understands the risks.
These ingredients combine to make a great lesson – whether that be for a learner driver or a potential driving instructor.
It is, therefore, no coincidence that the Standards Check assesses the extent to which the instructor has included these ingredients in their lesson; and that the new Part 3 – in the format of the Standards Check – will do the same.
Training driving instructors to incorporate these skills into their driving lessons will produce safer new drivers, who know how to self-evaluate and are able to take responsibility for their learning and the driving task.
My next article will focus on the qualities a great trainer needs to have, in order to deliver a great lesson.