Mark Emmons, an automotive technology instructor, loves how CDX adapts to all kinds of learning styles.
Mark teaches at McCollum High School in San Antonio, Texas, which has used CDX for the past three years in its senior Practicum in Transportation Systems program. His classes use Kirk VanGelder’s Fundamentals of Automotive Technology textbook alongside the online program. With over 12 years of experience teaching at the college and high school levels, Mark explains the difference between Kirk’s book and its competition is clear. "The difference is his book is very thorough," he says. "You can tell Kirk is detail-oriented to the nth degree."
In addition to finding the book helpful, Mark believes Fundamentals of Automotive Technology Online is essential to his students’ learning. “Online – that’s a game changer. It’s the leading [product] that’s available,” he says.
Because the program scores and stores assignments online, Mark says it’s easier than ever for his students to keep up with their work, even allowing some to do so from home. He says, “Information is easy to go back to if you missed steps, if you’re weak in certain areas, or if you are home sick.”
As an instructor, Mark also takes advantage of the online version’s flexibility. “I’m out of the classroom more than I’ve ever been.” When he cancels class sessions, Mark assigns readings and end-of-chapter questions for students to complete while he is away.
By utilizing Fundamentals of Automotive Technology Online’s diverse library of digital learning materials, Mark achieves “a nice balance” in his teaching strategy. Classroom activities cater to kinesthetic learners, online videos and animations are especially useful for visual learners, and the text encourages learning for those students who best retain reading material. Since it “involves technology in the classroom and offers a modern approach,” Mark says CDX is “differentiated quite a bit.”
Mark has a few pieces of advice for instructors who are new to CDX. “The best possible thing you could do,” he says, is to “go through the assignment just as you expect the students will.” With knowledge of the student experience, instructors can structure their classes “based on what you know your class to be able to handle and how they’ll respond to the different pieces of engagement you create.”
McCollum High School’s automotive technology class is offered for dual credit, which means students can earn credit at a local community college by passing the course at McCollum. Mark says when he teaches a course for dual credit, “it’s articulated with whatever the standards are for that college.” Fortunately, Mark says, “the nice thing about CDX Online is that it’s [easily] organized exactly how the college would do it. It’s already taken care of.”
Mark’s closing thoughts on CDX concisely explain his success with the program. “It’s very thorough. I like the layout and it aligns nicely."
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