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TO: Dr. Ron Pendleton
FROM: Phil Fournier
Quiz #3, Distance learning option


Question 1 - Why is it important for instructors to determine if mandated skills exist for courses they are asked to teach? Explain how you would decide what to teach in a course for which there were no mandated skills.


Mandated skills are those for which either the school, the government (as in some kind of a licensing or certification program), or some other institution has decided that certain skills MUST be taught in that particular course.  An instructor preparing a course plan will want to contact the department head responsible for the course and ask if there are mandated skills in order to make sure those skills become a part of the plan.  If there are no mandated skills, then feedback from an advisory committee, or possibly information from the instructor’s own personal experience will determine what skills are taught during the course.  The skills taught should be appropriate the job skills required by the position that the graduating student would hope to obtain.  The DOT list MIGHT be a help, but due to its inaccuracies, the instructor should check with an alternate source.


Question 2 - Why are verbs so important when writing student performance objectives? Provide examples of good verbs and examples of bad verbs. Explain why the good verbs are good and why the bad verbs are bad.


Good verbs: Identify, list, demonstrate, describe, assemble, select.  These are good verbs because they are measurable.  Test questions can be written or a performance test can be done to demonstrate competency.

Bad verbs: Learn, understand, know, appreciate.  These verbs are NOT measurable by any standard and therefore competency in these things cannot be evaluated.


Question 3 - What is the difference between a course outline and a course plan? Provide a brief example of a course outline for a course that you could teach.


A course outline is a short document that lists, preferably in sequential order, the units in a particular course.  A course plan is a much more complete document, a virtually every that is planned for a particular course will be listed in the course plan.  The e-text for this course is an example of a comprehensive course plan.


Sample Course Outline for Automotive Air Conditioning Course:

Course overview for Automotive Air Conditioning:
Automotive Air Conditioning is a course designed to acquaint students with the basic principles of mobile air conditioning systems, their theory and their operation. The history, theory, and principles of operation will be taught.  This is a 102 hour course that covers 10 different study units and meets for 3 hours, twice a week for 16 weeks. The following units are typical of the units in this course:

Study unit one: Course overview, grading requirements, and attendance expectations, history of air conditioning.

This 3-hour unit of study is designed to be delivered during the first, 3-hour class session. Students will provide information about their individual backgrounds and the instructor will review all course topics, assignments and other course requirements, and will give a short lecture on air conditioning history in mobile applications. This unit includes 1 individual lesson plan. At the conclusion of this unit all students should be able to identify everything that they must do in order to earn a passing grade in this course.

Study unit two: Air Conditioning theory and principles of operations

This 24-hour unit of study is designed to be delivered during the eight 3-hour sessions following the unit one. The instructor will provide specific information about the operation, components, specifications, and testing theory applicable to R12 and R134a systems. This unit includes 6 individual lesson plans. At the conclusion of this unit all students should be able to identify the components of the air conditioning systems, describe in an essay the theory of operation, and answers questions regarding the testing theory behind a/c troubleshooting.

Study unit three: Lab, pressure testing, temperature differential testing, component removal, inspection, and replacement.

This 76 hour unit of study is designed to be delivered during the 12 class sessions following unit two.  The instructor will conduct guided practice and demonstration of pressure testing, temperature differential testing, inspection, and installation.  The students will conduct directed discovery in the use of pressure gauges, temperature gauges, air conditioning evacuation and recycling equipment, and the safe handling of refrigerant.  At the completion of this unit, the student should be able to demonstrate competency in the evacuation, recharge, troubleshooting, and component installation of mobile air conditioning systems.


Question 4 - What are the three most important things to consider when developing student activities? Explain why.


While there are a number of things to be considered during the development of student activities, the three most important things are the following:

  1. Instructor time:  This would include time to set up the activity, clean up after the activity, obtain the necessary materials and equipment, and possibly time for evaluation if that is part of the activity.  Many activities might be useful and instructive, but an instructor’s time is limited and must be budgeted accordingly.
  2. Student’s time:  As in the above example, the course has a limit to its length and hours.  A certain number of mandated skills must be covered in the 76 hours available for activities.  Additional activities, while possibly desirable, will have to be forgone in the interest of covering the mandated skills.
  3. Materials required (money):  In the case of the air conditioning class, and the student cars available for diagnosis, often the failed components that should be replaced would provide for good student activities.  However, many students cannot afford to purchase the materials required and the opportunity is lost.  As a result, the activities must be limited to those available on school owned vehicles, a less-than-ideal situation, but reality.