Development and evaluation of a competence based exam for prospective driving instructorsErik Roelofs, Marieke van Onna, J...
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Competence based driving instructor exam


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Abstract of a design study about an innovated competence based exam for prospective driving instructors in the Netherlands. Educational psychology now combined with traffic pyschology applied in a down-to-earth practice.

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Competence based driving instructor exam

  1. 1. Development and evaluation of a competence based exam for prospective driving instructorsErik Roelofs, Marieke van Onna, Jan VissersIntroductionA growing consensus among driver training and road safety researchers is that driver training shouldplace greater emphasis on higher-order, cognitive and motivational functions underlying drivingbehavior (Mayhew and Simpson, 2002; Hatakka et al., 2002). This changed conception of drivertraining has been laid down in the Goals for Driver Education matrix (Hatakka et al., 2002). Recentresearch seems to support this consensus (Isner, Starkey, & Shepard, 2011; Beanland et al., 2013).Innovative training initiatives appear to counteract overconfidence and address motivational factorssuch as driving anger, sensation seeking, and boredom (e.g. Isner et al., 2009).Parallel to the doubts raised about the quality of driver training, the quality of driver instructorpreparation programs is criticized. The MERIT review study (Bartl et al., 2005) showed that hugevariations existed in quality of driver instructor education throughout Europe. The contents did notcover higher order skills. Most programs relied on teacher-focused approaches, which seem to fallshort in developing higher order skills.In many European countries the quality of the education of driving instructors is regulated by meansof the instructor exam. One may view this as a problem, but on the other side, this also offersopportunities for improvement. A valid and reliable exam that only allows proficient prospectiveinstructors to enter the profession, may have a positive backwash effect on driver instructoreducation programs, as in other fields of education: teachers teach and students learn what will betested (Madaus, 1988).In the Netherlands, as part of a new law on driving education in 2003, outcome standards forprospective driving instructors have been formulated. A new two stage competence-basedexamination (CBE) was put into practice in 2009. This paper focuses on the reliability and validity ofthis new exam.Material & MethodsThe various parts of the CBE were designed using Mislevy’s framework for Evidence Basedassessment (Mislevy, & Haertel, 2006). Stage 1 of the CBE consists of three theoretical tests whichaddress cognitive decision making skills during driving, lesson preparation, and instruction andcoaching. Stage 2 comprises a half a year internship in a certified driving school. This internship isconcluded with an in-car performance assessment for instructional proficiency.Assessment data from 4741 prospective learner drivers were used, collected between January 1st2010 and October 1st 2012. IRT models are used for the scaling of all assessment elements and forequating test versions across the data collection period. Correlational studies are employed toestimate relations among the cognitive decision making skills. The predictive validity of these skillsfor in-car instructional performance is evaluated.Results and conclusionsResults on reliability and validity will be reported during the Driver Behaviour and Trainingconference. Theoretical and practical implications will be discussed. 1