In part one of the strategy-based instruction series, we talked about the basics of this technique. We also noted how, when it comes to education, the employer is the customer, not the student. Once this is understood, there is a simple way of tackling the first step of strategy-based instruction: verifying the job skill.
How do you know what to teach students?
In strategy-based diagnosis, your first step is to verify the customer concern. As a technician, this step is collecting data. It’s important to obtain as much information as possible from the customer, the vehicle, and the manufacturer.
Similarly, for instructors, the first step of strategy-based instruction is to verify the job skill(s) your students need to learn to satisfy employer’s concerns. In other words, what are the learning outcomes and changes in behavior that must happen to put the student on the path to being a successful employee?
This is the easiest task to complete thanks to the help of advisory boards comprised of local employers, which is often required for accreditation.
The majority of programs follow ASE Education Foundation Standards, including coverage of task lists that outline the skills students should be able to perform. However, this isn’t the only factor in developing a curriculum.
Even if there is not a specific requirement or accreditation for a skill, they may still be important aspects to cover in their courses. For example, if shops have their technicians on the phone communicating with customers, then instructors might want to cover phone etiquette as an employability skill.
DACUM (Develop a Curriculum) and Research
What if you’re an instructor in a niche program that doesn’t follow the same sort of accreditation standards (as is the case with pickup programs that provide a stack-on certificate)? How do you determine what job skills are needed?
In this case, DACUM (Develop a Curriculum) and research help define the skills that must be taught to satisfy employers’ needs as well as the skills that should not be taught. For example, you might be in a community in which employment by a local plant requires special skills.
How do I narrow down the material I should teach?
Once you’ve determined the skills and behaviors students should learn to complete the tasks an employer requires, your next problem will most likely be finding the time to cover all of these subjects. In the next step, we’ll explore ways to help you narrow down methods and resources for your course.
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