While I’ve been instructing since 2006, anywhere from 2 to 6 days per month, almost every single month (I’ve missed a month here or there with work or family obligations), one organization that I instruct with wanted to have all their instructors take the HPDE Instructor Training Level 1 Course.
The course is composed of 17 lessons of various lengths and types (some are videos, some are slides), 13 quizzes, and a final assessment. Note that the final assessment isn’t just a repeat of the questions from the quizzes (like many lesser online exams), but instead, it’s almost all brand new questions (some of which are generally related to the quiz questions, but nothing that appeared to be a direct copy). This week I made my way through the various lessons and quizzes and then passed the final exam today.
Overall, the content is very good. Even though I’ve been instructing since 2006, there were a few things the content brought to my attention that I’ll probably do differently going forward. For example, I used to tell students at Circuit of the Americas to “Don’t brake” on the way into Turn 16, and going forward I’m going to refrain from saying “No braking/Don’t break” and instead use something else… maybe “Steady throttle” or “Slight lift” depending on how fast they are going into the turn.
I’d agree with the creators that the content would prepare someone thinking about instructing to be more prepared before they took whatever school/training program their local HPDE organization had for instructors. It certainly wouldn’t qualify anyone who had not done any instructing before to become an instructor.
One area that I really felt could have been better was the quizzes and the exam. Some of the quiz questions were along the lines of “What is your favorite color?” and the answers would be Red, Green, Yellow, and Blue. And then, amazingly, you could get the answer wrong because they were not really asking which was your favorite color, but instead, “What color do we think should be your favorite color?”. There was also a spelling mistake in the correct answer to a quiz question (“stop” was spelled “stp”). Also, I felt that the final assessment had questions that were not in any way discussed in the material. That’s fine (and I did pass on the first attempt), but it would have been nice if at the beginning of the course (or at least at the start of the final assessment) it was made clear that you’d be answering questions that you should know from your own track experience rather than from the content of the course. And some of the questions and answers were just a bit too subjective for my taste.
Overall, I’d give the course an A-. With a bit of editing on the exam questions and final exam, it could easily be brought up to an A.
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