Lesson 3, Topic 3
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3. Aside From Directions, Limit Any Other Input To The Goal Of The Session, Or To Manage Risk

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3. Aside from directions, limit any other input to the goal of the session or to manage risk.

Before asking any questions on the move, consider two things:

Is this question going to benefit my pupil’s learning around the goal of the session?

Is the purpose of this question to keep the car safe?

if the answer to both of those questions is ‘No’ then don’t ask the question. You should let your pupil focus on the goal of the session and their responsibilities for managing risk than diverting their focus to non-essential factors. Remember the DVSA ask us to limit our input and remind us of the dangers of mobile phone use while driving, in comparison to continual questioning on the move.

Of course, there will be an agreed level of support around the goal of the session, which you must provide. This could include prompts or instruction on the approach to or throughout the manoeuvre. There may also be opportunities to provide context around the learning goal of the session along the route. For example, if the goal of the session is to improve your pupil’s understanding of the importance of checking the left door mirror when exiting a roundabout, then use any opportunity along the route where it’s necessary to check the mirrors for changing direction to enhance your clients learning around the goal. If it’s not safe to discuss them in areas of reflection, ask them to consider the benefits and potential consequences of checking against not checking and add context by linking the mirror check to the goal of the session.

Use verbal instructions, such as leading questions to keep the car safe. By being aware of your surrounding areas and your pupil’s actions, it’s possible to keep your learner in control of the decision-making process using questions which disguise instruction. A well-timed question on the approach to a traffic light junction, for example, ‘ Do you think you need to be in the right-hand lane here?’ Helps your pupil decide to move lanes whilst also managing the potential risk closer to the junction.

Time your directions to esnure your pupil has adequate time to perform the maneouvre, keep your directions clear and concise and consider giving the responsibility for the route to the learner. Limit any additional input to learning around the goal of the session. If it doesn’t benefit the learning goal, it’s not important to the session, unless its purpose is to manage safety critical situations, in which case, wherever possible use leading questions to keep the responsibilities for decisions with the pupil. As often as possible help your pupil to develop by staying silent therefore limiting the amount of channels the brain is using to process information and accelerate learning from short term memory to long term memory. Particularly whilst they practise or reflect.

The DVSA ADI 1 outlines its competencies as follows:

Indications that all the elements of competence are in place could include:

  • clear, concise directions
  • ensuring the pupil understand what they plan to do and agrees with that plan
  • directions given at a suitable time so that the pupil can respond

Indications of lack of competence include:

  • giving confusing directions
  • giving directions too late
  • giving unnecessary directions
  • failing to recognise when the ADI’s input is causing overload or confusion

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