Strategy-Based Instruction Series: Getting Started

Posted by Cassie Wright on Mar 11, 2019 2:48:00 PM
Cassie Wright


When did you first become an automotive or diesel instructor?

If you’re like many other instructors in the field, you probably spent time as a technician before turning to education and, like any good instructor, did your best to improve your teaching skills. Between a variety of instructor guides to professional development workshops, it can seem like there’s a lot to figure out. But instead of trying to learn all kinds of new processes and terms when it comes to teaching, it can often be just as effective to work with what you already know. 


What Is Strategy-Based Instruction?

Strategy-based instruction (SBI) is a practical approach for educators based on the process of strategy-based diagnosis.

Strategy-Based Diagnosis 

  • Verify customer concern 
  • List possible causes 
  • Test to isolate 
  • Repair cause 
  • Verify concern 


Strategy-Based Instruction 

  • Verify the job skill 
  • List ways to teach 
  • Teach skill 
  • Practice skill 
  • Verify competence 

How do you make sure your students have the necessary skills and behaviors to successfully complete jobs? Using strategy-based instruction helps identify the necessary skills and behaviors and ensure that they’re being learned. However, in order to do so, it’s important to first understand the customer and their individual needs. 


Rethinking the Customer

In a shop environment, it’s easy to identify the customer as the person who comes to you with a vehicle and a concern. When it comes to education, though, this isn’t the case. Many schools and universities have adopted a model in which the student is the customer, since they are responsible for their own education. But is that really the case?

In reality, especially for technical programs like automotive and diesel classes, students aren’t customers at all. Instead, they’re trainees who are preparing to enter the workforce. This means the concerns of the employer need to be taken into account. Once you consider that students are being trained to perform a service for employers, it becomes more apparent that the customer in this scenario is actually the employer.

While we should be conscious of students’ needs in order to help them learn, it’s also important to remember that they are the ones who must develop the knowledge and skills to address the concerns of today’s employers. As an instructor, your job should be to ensure that your students complete a course with the ability to perform tasks an employer needs to have finished.

Be sure to keep this in mind as you discover how strategy-based instruction can help you do just that. By the end of this strategy-based instruction series, you'll know how to implement each step of the process:

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For more information about ways to prepare students for careers in the automotive industry, visit the CDX Learning Systems website. 

Topics: Curriculum, Instructors, Strategy-Based Instruction