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TO: EVOC 501 Ron Pendleton
FROM: Phil Fournier
RE: 501- Quiz 1, Distance Learning Option


Question 1 - What is item number 4 in the Distance Learning Contract about and why is that important?


Item number 4 relates to the admission and enrollment of distance learning students.  Its importance no doubt relates to the fact that even if a scholar should complete all of the requirements for EVOC 501, unless he or she is actually enrolled in CSUSB, all is for naught since credit will not be issued.  This could be a serious disappointment to someone who completed all the work and somehow managed to forget he or she also would have to pay for the units!


Question 2 - What are the two rules in the Prime Directive for EVOC 501 and why are they important?


  1. At the beginning of every sequence of instruction the instructor should state, in clear and specific language, exactly what students are expected to be able to DO as the result of that instruction.  This is cool!  The reason it is cool is because it so closely relates to management techniques that I have learned over the years.  Many employees don’t fulfill employer’s wishes for the simple reason that the employer never bothered to state what those wishes are.  Employees in general want to please their employer and will do well if their goals and directives are clearly outlined and stated in writing.  Ahhaaa, the same thing applies to students!  Tell them what they are supposed to be able to DO as a result of what you plan to teach them, and do it up front so they know in advance.  This helps keep both students and teacher on track.  In my contract instruction, we do this by outlining ten questions at the very beginning which the students will be able to answer as a result of the seven hours of instruction.  Part of the course student evaluation, given in the last 10 minutes, is whether or not we answered all of those ten questions.
  2. It is not acceptable to use general verbs such as "know" or "learn" or "understand" when describing what students are expected to be able to do.  This is because those verbs are neither measurable nor observable.  The verbs used need to be something specific and concrete such as those magic words “name”, “list”, “define”, “write out”, or some activity like “install” or “remove” or “measure”.


Question 3 - Why are cover memos required for the WR assignments and how might they be of help to a scholar preparing a WR assignment for EVOC 501?

The cover memo to the scholar serves a similar purpose to Prime Directive number 1 above.  It clearly defines what the scholar is going to do in the assignment in a step by step format.  The scholar can then use the cover memo to check his own work; to see if he has fulfilled all of the directives contained in the assignment.   I would also presume that they might save some time for the professor of EVOC 501 as well, as he could use the cover memo in the same fashion.


Question 4 - What criteria should be used to assess instructional materials? Briefly describe how you would justify the purchase of something specific needed for a course that you teach.


In the context of the auto service and repair courses that I teach, instructional material is generally expensive.  As vocational classes are typically smaller than academic classes, it is therefore a constant battle to convince academically minded bean counters that any instructional materials are worthwhile.  A good example would be a manipulative aid that essential duplicates the operation of a certain section of the vehicle using all of the testable components on a simulator board, in an actual working model.  On the positive side, these simulators fit a number of the criteria for purchase.  They are easier to store and move around than a real automobile.  They are well-designed for durability and student mistakes are unlikely to cause expensive and catastrophic failure, as can happen with a real vehicle.  They are much safer, as they don’t need flammable gasoline for fuel.  They have the added benefit of being mounted on a vertical framework, making them accessible to a larger group of students while the instructor demonstrates, something often next to impossible on a real car.  On the negative side are cost and recency.  While vehicle manufacturers often donate cars to a school which they, for some reason, cannot sell, they are unlikely to donate a $10,000 simulator board.  On the recency issue, this is a problem with every instructional aid in automotive; as technology changes, they become obsolete.  This therefore relates back to cost; it is much more painful to have a $10,000 aid go obsolete as opposed to a $50 one.  But given the positive impact on teaching that a simulator board can have, a properly budgeted automotive department will greatly enhance the quality of their instruction if they are willing to invest the money in simulator boards.