New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Certification Design - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Rick - don't know if this helps but....

My second instructor (PSIAII & APSI I) I skied with for 2 seasons - from the end of the first season a mutual friend(who's hubby was an ex instructor) kept telling me to CHANGE instructors, even just for a try, BUT I WAS HAPPY - so no change...
Eventually at the end of the second year I gave in & tried another & ummm - in retrospect I WAS NOT SO HAPPY....
post #32 of 52
Nolo-

Sometimes it is best to say what is the current exam certification not doing for us. Having just completed my Level III, I thought the process was pretty good. Different than the process for my level II, but it is really hard for me to say which was a better process. BTW I am in PSIA-E.

The new exams include teaching to transfer and some of the things you discuss, however there will always be something that someone will not like about the process.

I do not think developing the system around university style processes is a good idea. I have many degrees and certifications for my career and have not found any of them to be any more extensive than the PSIA exam process.

In fact I often meet people with graduate degrees and PHDs and say to myself "How did they get that?" The way they got it is the unversities do not test you in real life examples. You can't learn everything you need from a book.

When I meet someone who is a level III I have a pretty good idea of how well they ski and teach much more so than knowing how good a business person someone is just b/c they have an MBA.

PSIA-E currently has a program called Master teacher Certification. This is similar to college. You take 10 or so course some of which are core courses others are electives then you take a comprehensive exam at the end. The problem with this process is that there is no test of the individual in a real life situation. Whereas the current exam process test the instructor in situations of teaching their peers.
post #33 of 52
I would also like to add that the general public does not even know that there are differing levels of certification and the time and comittment it takes.

A skier shows up one day and obtains a lesson from someone who has been teaching for only 1 month and the next time they have a level III. They are probably wondering what was the difference.

Why not tell the public of the certifications and ask them to pay more for a higher level. So if they want a lesson from a levell I the price is x, but if they want Level II or III it would cost more.

This might be a way for instructors to actually make a living from this sport. This would also be an incentive for all those great instructors out there who have not taken the time to go through the exam process to obtain that certification.
post #34 of 52
Thread Starter 
TTF,

If the PSIA exams had a customer focus, I believe the customers would know about them. As it is, the exams have an organizational focus, so members are acutely aware of them and the status bestowed thereon. I am merely asking the question, would you rather have a cert badge that customers recognize and respect or would you rather have one that other instructors recognize and respect?

At present, it looks like the demand for cert comes from ski schools and instructors, not from customers. It's kind of a personal growth deal that benefits both.

I only ask if it benefits the customer. I say it will only benefit the customer if that is its PURPOSE. Serving students is Job #1.
post #35 of 52
Nolo-

With that said I think the exam process works, but it needs to be advertised to the public that there are varying levels of certification.

I think this would help the student in the long run b/c the instructor will have a reputation to live up to. If the customer were to pay for a Level II or III instructor the student will expect a more experienced individual.

As one of my peers said when passing Level III "Congratulations, but nobody cares, b/c nobody knows what the H Level III is other than fellow instructors.

Most people I talk to do not realize the training and time we spend like here on epic to be better ski instructors. The public just thinks of us as ski bums.

So why doesn't PSIA advertise, ask for a certified ski instructor. Or if ski schools advertised at the ski school desk people would start asking what's a certified instructor and what is Level I, II, and III.

Why aren't these things happening?
post #36 of 52
All of you are very bright. A great deal of thought has gone into these musings. I guess as I read all of this I think we may tend to complicate the matter.

Do we ever truely know why a student is taking a lesson? How often would someone say......I could care less about making a better turn, I just want some company today! I know it happens, however, I often think this scenario is more often the case than we realize. When I seek an idea about a students motivation I often think they aren't being totally honest. The question then becomes how deep to delve!

How about kids? How many are taking a lesson because Mom or Dad mandated the process? In that case who is the customer?

I think I know when I have given a good lesson, a great lesson, and unfortuneately a lousy lesson. I don't have to ask the student. I just have to ask myself.

I still am teaching the two womens groups. I would give myself a c-minus for the tuesday lesson and a b-plus on wednesday this week. Some things worked and some did not. I worked hard and in some instances failed.

All I can do is learn from the experience and move forward.....or downhill!
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by Tibetan Tree Frog:
Or if ski schools advertised at the ski school desk people would start asking what's a certified instructor and what is Level I, II, and III.

Why aren't these things happening?
ummm - maybe some ski schools do not want you to know how many Level 3's they have available to teach you?????
post #38 of 52
Quote:
So why doesn't PSIA advertise, ask for a certified ski instructor. Or if ski schools advertised at the ski school desk people would start asking what's a certified instructor and what is Level I, II, and III.
Quote:
ummm - maybe some ski schools do not want you to know how many Level 3's they have available to teach you?????
There is a very high percentage of ski school management in higher up positions within our PSIA divisions. I see this as a conflict of interest when it comes to educating the public about the cert levels. No one campains against this for fear of losing their jobs.
post #39 of 52
Pierre-

Could you elaborate further. Not sure I got your point.
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by Pierre:
There is a very high percentage of ski school management in higher up positions within our PSIA divisions. I see this as a conflict of interest when it comes to educating the public about the cert levels. No one campains against this for fear of losing their jobs.
Yep - the people I would REALLY like to 'have a go' with as instructors are mostly in management - can't get a lesson with them if you try! (I love my instructors - but that doesn't mean you wouldn't like to TRY a lesson with another person for another perspective)
post #41 of 52
There are three ladies who were able to have a full four days with the operations director of the Aspen ski school for a mere $375 plus lift tix. Guess how?

I and a few of my buddies also had a full four days, same cost, with a PSIA Examiner who recently was Vice President of PSIA-RM and the author of several articles. Guess how?

Answer to both questions: 2003 EpicSki Academy.

Think about it.
post #42 of 52
Great Oboe - but it would have cost me more like $5000
post #43 of 52
Thread Starter 
Just about every ski school in the country has some great talent on staff. The trick is to find them. If finding them was merely a matter of asking for a certified instructor, we wouldn't be having this conversation, would we?
post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
Just about every ski school in the country has some great talent on staff. The trick is to find them.
Interesting ... according to the marketing strategy we are all equal.
post #45 of 52
TTF,

I have posed the exact same question here a couple of times. I think I know what Pierre is getting at. As much as I would love to have such a system enacted (what L3 instructor wouldn't?), it is not in the ski school's best interest. Look at our ski school. We have about a half dozen L3 instructors. I know, for damn sure, that the people that live in this area would pay an extra $5-$15 for a level 3 cert instructor, if they were told what the cert levels meant. Just look at how many Lexus, Range Rovers, Hummers, Benzes, Navigators, etc. are in our parking lot. Now imagine our SS Dir having to hang out at the ski school desk and do damage control when the people are told something like "I'm sorry, but we only have 3 level 3 cert instructors here today", and the people walk away.

Sure, it would increase demand for certs, and people would pay more, and we might be able to make a living at it, and over time, the system would work. But SAM (ski area mgt) is way too short sited to deal with that.

Let's face it, if SAM was actually willing to pay the price for a bright future, they would pay us a living wage and charge almost nothing for the lessons (take it as a loss-leader). Then, in a few years, they may actually see the number of skier visits actually keep up with population growth, and the industry would be able to thrive a bit more. As it is, they are so short sited, that they are willing to send out 25 never-evers with a $5/hr instructor that has a total of 3 hours of teaching experience. They just see the $700 in profit they'll make in the next 90 minutes.
post #46 of 52
Now, back to Nolo's topic....

If you really want to think outside the old certification box, what about this thought which as been circulated for years: Have the examiner actually watch the instructor teach a real, live lesson. Yeah, I have to admit, I don't know how you go about the process of finding students/subjects, but I can't imagine it would be hard. At the last L2 and L3 teaching exams that was held here in the east, there were something like 23 candidates at each. How many subject students would you need? 23? 50? 4(one with each examiner)? I would bet that you could get local skiers to sign up for some free lessons with exam candidates. Heck, you could have the candidates bring their spouses, and give them comp lift tickets and free all day instruction. I bet most of them would go for it. Or, you could have a pre-requisite for an exam be that you have to participate as a subject for an exam. Make the instructors be the students (almost like the way it is now, except that it would be a real lesson format)

As it is, you have an average of 6 candidates in a group, and you have about 6 hours of hill time. Each candidate gets 45 minutes to an hour with the "student". It's not like it wouldn't be possible due to time constraints.

I guess the real question is; what does PSIA think would be the best way to judge a candidate's ability to teach the public?
post #47 of 52
JohnH, some good thoughts. How about REALLY getting outside the box? Have examiners visit the candidates' home areas and observe the candidate teaching actual lessons.
post #48 of 52
Nah. That'd make too much sense. (a.k.a. I like it!)
post #49 of 52
Thread Starter 
You have given the industry a great idea, guys! May I embellish it a bit?

We might urge the PSIA divisions to put on teaching exams that are disguised as rallies for the public to get a taste of ski instruction. The divisions could promote these rallies to participating ski areas as a marketing and public relations bonanza for their learning centers. Have examiners shadow the groups, all of which would be led by candidates, put voice activated microphones on the candidates, video the groups, etc. It could be a great win-win that furthers a number of goals in the industry, from bringing newbies into the sport (Level I) to attracting terminal intermediates to their salvation (Level II) and educating the learning disabled* (Level III).

*The disability is SPLD: smart person's learning disability, sometimes called KS or Knowitall Syndrome.

Whattaya think? Would that breathe some real life into the assessment?
post #50 of 52
Kind of like when you get a free hair cut from a student hair cutter.

MIA CULPA, sorry sorry, I could'nt resist. Great idea. I think.
post #51 of 52
Quote:
Whattaya think? Would that breathe some real life into the assessment?
Sounds good in theory but you would be increasing the amount of variables in the teaching part of the exam and seeing how the exam candidate reacts. That is really increasing by nature, the amount of subjectivity in the exam process. How would you have any kind of consistency?
post #52 of 52
Thread Starter 
As ideas go, this one's just a bunch of electricity, but I'll try to help it take some form. The consistency is in using the same standard measurements at Level I, II, and III. Students would be in three categories: have never skied and consider themselves novices, have skied a few times and consider themselves intermediates, have skied quite a bit and consider themselves fairly proficient. You then select students into groups as any ski school supervisor might and assign candidates to teach and examiners to monitor certain groups. You could have one examiner evaluating more than one candidate. Deciding the right ratio of candidates to examiners would be a matter of successive approximation through pilot programs. Deciding on the right tools would also be experimental--when I was in grad school one of my profs suggested I do a study of communication styles by placing voice activated recorders on a group of volunteer instructors to see if the rank and file actually walked the talk of the ATS Teaching Model. That might be one evaluation tool. Video of the candidate teaching a group an assigned topic which would be consistent among all candidates at that level could be another way to add objectivity to the teaching exam. I would also expect student surveys to be a tool of candidate evaluation. Since the students would all be asked to supply the same information, again consistency would be maintained through the measurement tool.

(Actually, I thought liability concerns would be the first objection raised. I have that defense coiled and ready to spring.)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching