Sunday 17 August 2014

And the Oscar for Learner Driver Goes to ....

Teaching to drive

Developing role play when teaching potential driving instructors.

Here we are with the last post on the National Standards document. It's been a long journey through but I feel truly enriched for taking it. As an ORDIT registered instructor trainer this last section is of interest to me. Hopefully it will be of interest to you.
   Units 6.6.1 and 6.6.2 offer guidelines for using role play during training. It can often seem uncomfortable to trainees who are always aware that the trainer has knowledge of the subject even when acting like they don't. As we are not trained actors the role play will never be truly convincing but we can do enough to train people effectively. We need to identify when role play can be an effective learning tool. I don't like to use it too early on in the training course as this can be a bit weird for a brand new PDI. It usually comes into play when running through the pre-set tests where a candidate will need to accept role play from the examiner. It is easier a first to demonstrate common faults without trying to be someone else.
   Attention to routes is important for role play. One can't really pretend to be a new learner in the middle of a city centre. All you would need to role play would be total panic. The route must be in accordance with the role you are playing. Easy routes for new learners, getting harder as you play a more experienced pupil. Simulation must not put yourselves or others at risk. This is a bit of a problem as learners will actually put people at risk and a PDI must be ready for this. I won't hit any parked cars during training but a learner would if action is not taken. The trainee needs to be briefed on this so as not to be taken by surprise in a real life situation.
  The role play needs to be tailored to the needs of the trainee. So easy to overload and throw too many faults in there. Try not to play the worst learner in the world. I must admit I can sometimes be a bit sloppy when it comes to telling the trainee when I am in and out of role. It can be very confusing when a trainee doesn't know who you are supposed to be. This needs to be made clear. The role needs to be pertinent to the subject being taught. Keep faults on track and don't start throwing the kitchen sink in.
   I enjoy role playing certain attitudes which the trainee may come across. Being a bit arrogant and questioning everything a trainee says can really show weaknesses in the PDI's knowledge. You have to know what you're talking about and be able to convey it with some authority at times. This can calm down even the most boisterous of pupils and help build trust in the instructor.
   It's important that you show improvement during role play. If the trainee is working hard and not getting any positive results it can be demotivating. Once a fault has been dealt with in a satisfactory manner it can't occur again in role play as it may in real life. As the trainee sees improvement taking place it will build confidence and show which techniques work with learners.
  That's the end of the document. A lot of good stuff in there and some material which is perhaps not so helpful. I would recommend any driving instructor take a look and see how it can improve your performance and make this a more enjoyable job.

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