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HOME-STUDY DRIVER EDUCATION

included tables, graphics, and suggestions for writing questions to test student knowledge during the courses.

Every driving school selected as a provider for the study was required to administer all four types of driver education instruction: (a) classroom instruction, (b) a computer home-study CD-ROM course, (c) a workbook home-study course, and (d) the Private Educational Network (PEN) home-study course. The CD computer program and workbook home-study courses were developed for use in the study and were provided to participating driving schools at no cost along with the PEN course, which the department purchased from PEN. A description of each of these courses is provided below.

Classroom Course

The legislation required the department to include a driver education program in the classroom environment under direct supervision of an instructor as required in Chapter 1 of Division 5 of the California Education Code (CEC). The classroom instruction course was the usual 30-hour in-class course provided by the schools. However, the study schools were required to use the department’s standardized driver education curriculum as the basis for the course instead of the school-written and DMV- approved lesson plans that were being used before. With the exception of this restriction on the curriculum, the schools were allowed to teach the class in a manner consistent with their prior business practices, including the choice of videos and other supplementary instructional materials. The classroom course represented the control condition to which all the other courses were compared to evaluate their relative effectiveness.

DMV Computer-Based CD-ROM Course

The legislation also required that the study include a driver education program licensed under CEC Chapter 1 (commencing with §11100) of Division 5 selected by the DMV to present a home-study course using an interactive, computer-based program that follows a model curriculum approved by the department. The computer-based course used in the study was created for the DMV by Sky’s The Limit Interactive, a computer- based training vendor. The course content was based on the standardized driver education curriculum. The course consisted of a self-loading CD-ROM program that presented the course material in the order it appeared in the standardized curriculum. The course included pre-and-post quiz questions for each chapter of the curriculum (except the first chapter), short videos, interactive activities, and other multimedia. After a student completed all the course chapters and passed the end-of-chapter quizzes at an acceptable level, the program allowed the user to print a “Certificate of Course Completion” that served as evidence of course completion when presented to the provider schools. To guard against fraud, each CD program included a validation sticker that was required to be affixed to this certificate before it was acceptable by the school. The certificate also had to be signed by the student and his or her parent/guardian attesting that the student completed the course alone. DMV research staff provided technical support for the CD program during the course of the study.

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