by Stacey Tisdale
Plan activities with the outcome in mind! A simple statement, but not always a simple task, right? This blog will talk about how to ramp up your activities to make them meaningful, with a great outcome. First, I guess we should cover what our objective is: changing driving culture. The annual survey your school conducts can tell you exactly what your current driving culture looks like, such as how many teens drive distracted or without a seat belt, and how many of the top five risks they are aware of. From this report, your team can decide which areas to concentrate on to change the driving habits, or culture, of your school.
Conducting meaningful activities means creating educational outreach that accomplishes one or more of the following skill-building techniques:
The more techniques you cover, the better for increasing retention and changing the culture. Just take a look at this skill-building pyramid that shows each technique along with the average rate of retention:
Pretty convincing, huh? Lecturing (or talking to someone) is great, but what really makes a message stick is for the learner to be able to apply it to their own behaviors through discussions, practice, and ensuring understanding by asking them to teach someone else.
So the next item for discussion: Is there a secret formula for how to make sure learners retain as much as possible? I’m so glad you asked. YES! There is a formula, but it is no secret. When you want a peer to change or stay away from a bad driving habit, you not only have to explain why, but also show them and encourage them to apply the lesson to their own lives:
Let’s put this to practical use. Say you want to use the pedal kart and drunk goggles to show why impaired driving is so dangerous. Here’s the skill-builder steps using the formula above:
Any of the steps can be duplicated. Here, we added additional experiences to ensure the learner has plenty of opportunity to apply the lessons to their own life. Some additional skill-builders could be: invite a speaker to tell learners about their experience with an impaired driver, invite a police officer to speak about the costs and legal results of impaired driving, hang up reminder posters around the school, and ask groups of teens to hold each other accountable to make sure no one drives impaired. As you can see, the possibilities are endless!
After all this work, how can we know it will work? Well, experts say that when you apply all these skill-building techniques to activities, the retention results can be pretty great, as shown below:
Do you have questions or comments? Comment below and let’s discuss!
Information from Peer Programs, Second Edition. Judith A. Tindall, Ph.D. and David R. Black, Ph.D.
Stacey Tisdale is a certified peer program educator, the Georgia and California Teens in the Driver Seat representative, and creative manager for the Youth Transportation Safety Program.