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Instructor Poll #2 Do you feel the current Exam process works?

Poll Results: Do you feel the current exam process works?

 
  • 9% (3)
    Strongly agreed
  • 48% (15)
    agreed
  • 9% (3)
    the current exam process works
  • 22% (7)
    disagree
  • 9% (3)
    Strongly disagree
31 Total Votes  
post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Do you feel the current (PSIA) exam process works?

please vote and state your ideas to make it better
post #2 of 18
Generally seems to get the job done. At least it does in Eastern. I have no experience in the other divisions. Pretty much everyone from my mountain that deserved to pass this year did. No big surprises.
post #3 of 18
Would you like to clarify?

By "works" do you mean that the process is 100% accurate in passing candidates who meet the standards and failing candidates who do not?

What is the difference between "the current exam process works" and strongly agreed?

Should considerations like cost effectiveness come into play? Should post certification continuing education requirements be considered? How should the fact that there are really 9 different exam processes (each division has their own process) be factored in?
post #4 of 18
I really don't have any complaints.
post #5 of 18
Flawed
post #6 of 18
I think the current Exam process in the PNW works pretty well overall.

There will always be flaws in the process. Examiners will bring their own bias to the Exam and they will make mistakes. Candidates will show up unprepared, uninformed - and some will just have a very bad (or very good) day, skewing their own expected results.

Video would just open the door for more arguments, complaints and reinterpretations of what is/was seen. It would also stress out candidates even further.

.ma
post #7 of 18
What if candidates could video one of their own lessons taught at their home mountain and submit that with their application for the exam as part of the teaching evaluation?
post #8 of 18
I like your idea Rusty! I've also thought that it would be great if you could show your examiners how you normally teach a lesson to a real student and not to a bunch of other expert skiers. I realize that you're not supposed to think of them as other experts, but it's difficult not to during the exam. I think that examiners would get a better picture of your true teaching ability. They would see your movement analysis skills, your creative lesson planning based on that, as well as how effective you are at at putting it all toghether and having success with it!
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
What if candidates could video one of their own lessons taught at their home mountain and submit that with their application for the exam as part of the teaching evaluation?
Taht's how one of my wife's riding (equestrian) certs works. I forget which one ARICP maybe.
post #10 of 18
fyi, in PSIA-W for the Nordic Downhill certification (ie Telemark)... we *DO* get to teach a live student for 30 mins as part of our teaching exam. i personally do *much* better with a real student vs. peer teaching or hypothetical teaching.... and in the 2 times that i have had to do this (my prep course and exam), it is what nailed a PASS for me.

this past Sunday at Mammoth, we had a live student for four Telemark Level 2 candidates. i got to go third out of four of us... which was good and bad. i originally did my MA first thing in the morning on the student, and in the course of two 1/2 hour lessons with the previous candidates, the student made some great improvements. so when it was my turn (i was not allowed to observe their previous lessons....), i started with a lesson plan focusing on a particular skill, which the other candidates had drilled the student to death with and the student had learned by now. so after 5-10 mins, i switched up my lesson plan and focused on the next skill i would have taught the student.

i got dinged for NOT redoing a MA on the student before starting my lesson plan. that *was* my bad.... but with only 30 mins, i really wanted to maximize our teaching time. either way, i figured it out quickly, changed my plan slightly, did more skiing with the student (which the other candidates hadn't done), and put together another progression which immediately had a positive affect.

anyhoo, enough rambling.... for me, i believe live student teaching is an awesome idea. no fake scenarios, contrived situations, etc.... just on-the-spot teaching, communicating, demoing, skiing, and having a good time. that's what it's about right?!?!?
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
What if candidates could video one of their own lessons taught at their home mountain and submit that with their application for the exam as part of the teaching evaluation?
A question I would ask of this method is how could an examiner ask questions of the intent and processes if the lesson was on video. For example, what would you do if that drill you used didn't work-what are your alternatives or why did you choose that specific exercise/terrain/snow conditions for that student(s).

Perhaps it could be done in a way that the candidates actual examiner(s) could review the video before the exam and include in it discussions during the actual exam before a final score is given.

That being said, in the PGA's Professional Golf Management Program apprentices do have to submit two different video lessons along with a discussion of what/how/why etc for review by PGA Educators. If the educators have questions they can always ask for clarification. Also, the apprentices Head Professsional must sign off that they are actual lessons (not staged) conducted by the candidate so the process you posit can be used.
post #12 of 18
I believe the exam works perfect for its' intended purpose: To be an exclusionary device. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
My problem is that it is that...an exam. For insight into testing, do some research on the controversy surrounding the WASL (Washington Assessment of Student Learning) here in Washington State.
I'm employed as a ski instructor, what PSIA does is irrelevant to that. I think the Level 2 pin is cool looking, so I will keep trying to pass; it is too bad PSIA does not actually concentrate on continuing education, instead of being some type of authority figure.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikewil View Post
A question I would ask of this method is how could an examiner .... , in the PGA's Professional Golf Management Program ....
Thanks - that makes perfect sense. Steal from the best, I always say.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonny6 View Post
... it is too bad PSIA does not actually concentrate on continuing education, instead of being some type of authority figure.
That's a message they should take home.
post #15 of 18
I'm so confused. On the one hand PSIA gets bashed because it does not decertify member schools for behavior they shouldn't be approving of. On the other hand PSIA thinks it is some kind of authority figure?
post #16 of 18
I've skied with some pros who are amazing skiers and they're frustrated at how many people pass as "ski instructor" who are not really competent. Those people dilute the profession.

My answer to the original question would have to be no. I've seen plenty of bad free skiing from instructors at all levels and wonder how they got their certs. Then I read that excellent skiers like BWPA don't pass and I have to shake my head. Recently skied with a L3 who flailed on an easy single black with powder and was less than impressive on the groomed. I wondered how this person got a gold pin - there had to be a whole lot of politics and glad handing going on because the skiing I saw was of intermediate level in powder and and advanced on groomers.

Unfortunately, most of the general public can't tell the difference. If a person new to the sport can't stay upright on their on skis, anyone who can stand up, glide, stop and talk a good game appears to be an improvement over their own level.
post #17 of 18
I really don't see that. The few level 3's we have here are excellent skiers, and the level 2's all deserve the pin they wear. We have some level 1 instructors that maybe shouldn't be teaching anything other than first time children - most of those have been level 1's since well before the current ski director. And frankly, the level 1 exam can be a bit of a joke.

Something else to consider - no one goes on to a level 2 or level 3 without a letter from their ski school director. That is where the quality control starts.

The testing I've done in the PNW has been professionally handled, and did not seem biased at all. A friend of mine didn't pass his level 3 recently - he's an excellent skier, but the reasons he didn't pass were valid.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bklyn View Post
I've skied with some pros who are amazing skiers and they're frustrated at how many people pass as "ski instructor" who are not really competent. Those people dilute the profession.
Yeah... the instruction pool needs chlorine. :

Is the system flawed... well...

Honestly, there is no way to force someone to go the extra mile to go from being a decent instructor to a great instructor. Just like any profession there will be those who "get by" and those who are simply outstanding at every aspect of what they do - but it is because they choose to be that way not because an organization made them one way or the other.

A ski school however is not an arena for chest thumping to prove whether a system is flawed or not. There are arenas in skiing for that... ski instruction is not one of them. If the credential is important to you - ski to the standard regardless of what it is - and get the credential. If it isn't important to you then go a different route. Just my opinion though.

Later

Greg
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