If your child’s school offers a driver’s education class, you may be wondering if in-person instruction is more valuable than what your student can learn in an online or app-based course.
While it might be worthwhile to have the opportunity to interact with a live instructor, the typical high school driver’s ed teacher isn’t an expert in teaching that subject. He or she probably doesn’t have a clue as to how to make the material fun or interesting. Plus, your teen will likely not have much choice as to when the class is scheduled. It’s probably going to be either early in the morning (good luck with that) or after school, when your kid would probably rather be talking to friends or playing video games.
Classroom driver’s education classes are usually inconvenient and boring – except when they show those horrible accident movies, which can leave an indelible scar on your psyche. An app-based driver’s ed course can be far more engaging for your teenager, and an engaged student is more likely to learn and remember the skills required to be a safe driver.
In-App Classes are Customized for Each Student
Not all students learn at the same pace, but a classroom instructor has neither the time nor resources to accommodate every student’s needs. An app-based driver’s education course not only allows your student to take time to learn the material – wherever and whenever it’s convenient – but the app will keep track of your teen’s progress and adapt to his or her specific needs. It’s like having private one-one-one instruction without the big price tag.
The Course Material is Set Up like a Game
If given a choice to hear a teacher lecture about what the traffic lights mean or play a fun video game, which do you think your teenager would pick? Today’s app-based driver’s education courses allow students to earn achievements or badges when they master the material.
Rewards are motivating and can turn a passive learner into an active participant. Students who are engaged in the material will absorb and remember it. For our Zutobi driver’s education app, we used gamification to develop state-of-the-art permit practice tests where students earn points and compete against their friends while learning how to be safe drivers.
Gamified learning also allows students to virtually practice their driving without getting behind the wheel. It’s a much safer way to make mistakes, and your student will have to accomplish a task before moving on to the next step, lesson, or module. Gamified driver’s education is the best and safest way for teens to learn from their experience.
A Picture Tells a Thousand Words
The actual picture-to-word ratio probably depends on the subject matter, but in the case of driver’s education, a visual image or video will be more easily remembered than a list of written rules. See how we used visuals in a user’s guide for learning about pavement markings.
For years, education experts have told us that images not only have better staying power but aid learning in other ways:
Visuals Help Make Sense of Confusing Concepts
Most of the time, a clearly labeled image – or, better yet, a video – can help you understand concepts and processes better than a paragraph that covers the same information. In fact, science tells us that the brain can absorb visual information more effectively than text.
Pictures Speed Up Learning
Not only does the brain absorb visual material better, it also does it more quickly. But you won’t sacrifice retention for speed since visuals make the information easier to understand. Pictures are ingrained as knowledge much more quickly than if you had to listen to a lecture or read a chapter in a textbook.
Too Much Text Can Overburden Cognitive Processes
There’s a limit to the amount of information your brain can process, and visuals don’t overwhelm our cognitive processes the way text does. Also, visual information is more often connected to emotions, and it’s emotions that are responsible for creating memories. When you learn visually, you’ll be able to retain the information better than if it had been presented as text.
Remove Distractions with App-Based Instruction
Sitting in a classroom with a bunch of other students can be distracting for your teen. And if the class is scheduled at an inconvenient time, your teen may have a million other things on his or her mind. Using a driver’s education app, students can schedule their learning for a time that allows them to focus on the subject matter and in an environment where they can concentrate.
Immediate Feedback and User Stats Give Students a Heads Up on Problem Areas
App-based driver’s education modules deliver instant feedback that notify students when they answer a question incorrectly. That signal sends them back to the lesson to correct the error before they can progress to the next step. And detailed statistics for each section or module will identify lessons they should revisit to improve their comprehension of the material.
An Engaged Student Will Make a Better Driver
Your teenager will learn better and retain more information using a fun app than when sitting in a crowded classroom. Students are more motivated to learn when they have control of their schedule and when they view education as entertaining.
Guest Author: Tim Waldenback
Tim Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online drivers education to help teens get their license. Tim founded Zutobi to make world-class driver’s education fun, affordable, and easily accessible for all.