Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Going backwards.

As I mentioned before I have been spending 10 hours a day for the last three weeks learning to be a truck driver. I am getting pretty good at the driving and shifting parts of the whole thing, but some of the maneuvers we have to perform perplex me a little.

One such maneuver is the alley dock which is a very straight forward, or straight backward rather, bit of driving which requires you to put a truck into a box outlined by four cones without hitting them. If you miss backing the truck into this box, you are allowed to pull up, straighten out, and attempt to back into the box again.

This is not a difficult thing to do, as my classmates demonstrate repeatedly, yet I have not found my key to getting this procedure under control. The instructional designer side of my brain tries to figure out how I can explain the alley dock to myself in terms and concepts that will make the most sense.

I know that everybody learns differently and that simply presenting the material to a learner and telling them to learn it is a lousy way to teach and is bound to fail. I also know that this class did not benefit from the use of such staples of instructional design as the ADDIE model, so I can not expect the pedagogy to adopt to my own learning style (which would be ideal in any teaching situation because it would result in a higher rate of success on the part of the learners, but also would be impractical since teaching the same material using different approaches would not be cost effective) and yet I seem to have a hard time putting the steps together in a successful sequence.

There is one more week of class before the CDL test and by that time I need to figure out how to solve the instructional design problem that lies before me. Whatever the outcome, being both the instructional designer and the learner is proving to be very difficult.