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FUNDAMENTALS DRIVE CONSISTENCY AS BUILDING BLOCKS OF PSIA-AASI’S LEARNING OUTCOMES By Dave Schuiling, PSIA-AASI Director of Education


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s PSIA-AASI continually strives for greater consistency and integrity of training and certification credentials, our partnership with Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and its Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management


expands opportunities for professional development by working to align certifica- tions and certificate programs to college credits. The partnership will also create a model of equivalency that can eventually allow instructors to pursue a degree and conduct research in snowsports. Another benefit of this partnership is that


it supports a strategic education initiative to develop true consistency in certification. This process encourages documented and measurable certification assessment across all eight divisions and allows for the contin- ued consolidation of resources. Simply put, it brings us closer to assessing our certifica- tion standards more consistently and with a common language, using fundamentals as the core focus.


BENEFITS FOR ALL STAKEHOLDERS


To this end, educational leaders from throughout the association are writing specific “Learning Outcomes” that repre- sent the desired technical, teaching, and people skills instructors should possess at the various certification levels. The goal is to measure each level through well-defined Assessment Criteria based on national Performance Guides. This framework builds a process for consistency for all stakeholders – member schools; education/


VALIDATING ESSENTIAL SKILLS


The key objective in developing curriculum that supports the certification process is to validate the essential skills of great instruc- tion. After all, the ultimate outcome of certi- fication is to validate that learned skills align with the job skills, training, and professional development that make you more hirable than those without these skills. Fundamentals have been developed for the three domains of the Learning Connection – Technical Skills, Teaching Skills, and People Skills – that form the framework of PSIA-AASI’s training and certification system.


TECHNICAL SKILLS


TEACHING SKILLS


PEOPLE SKILLS


Fundamentals Learning Outcomes Assessment Criteria + Assessment Scale


Performance Guides CONSISTENCY


= Figure 1: Pathway to Consistency 36 | 32 DEGREES • SPRING 2019


TECHNICAL SKILLS: Snowsports instruc- tors teach the fundamental mechanics, or technical skills, that influence proper body movement and how the skis, snowboard, or adaptive equipment interacts with the snow. Technical knowledge of the sport allows an instructor to understand, apply, and convey technical concepts and analyze ski/board and body performance.


TEACHING SKILLS: Teaching-skill fundamentals describe the qualities, attributes, decisions, and behaviors of someone who’s able to create a positive learning environment. PSIA-AASI


certification and training staffs; and candi- dates seeking professional development. A fundamental is defined as “a central or


primary rule of principle on which something is based.” It represents the base from which everything else develops. Learning Outcomes identify what the learner will know and be able to do by the end of the course or program. They are measurable and observable.


In developing curriculum and learning


assessments, we’ve asked: Q What makes a great snowsports instructor? Q What are the ideal attributes, character-


istics, and behaviors that a snowsports school would like to hire in an instructor?


Q What are the key aspects of professional development that enhance an instruc- tor’s training?


TECHNICAL SKILLS


STUDENT


TEACHING SKILLS


PEOPLE SKILLS


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emphasizes these universal fundamentals across all disciplines. Instructors with great teaching skills deftly play the role of facilita- tor, inspiring in students a desire to learn and continually adapting the learning environment based on needs of the student.


PEOPLE SKILLS: People-skill fundamentals represent the interpersonal connections instructors establish with students to make their technical and teaching skills “catch fire” and ignite deeper learning. The funda- mentals involve emotional intelligence; the ability to understand your own emotional impact on others and recognize how their behaviors affect the dynamics of the learn- ing environment. Communication plays an important role in the trust-building process. When the learner is confident of full emotional support, learning can flourish.


LEARNING OUTCOMES TAKE SHAPE


In developing Learning Outcomes, PSIA- AASI’s educational leaders follow a simple outline to help measure learning and know that the outcomes have been achieved. Various learning experiences and activities enhance skill development as the learner seeks training and competency on their way to achieving the learning outcomes. Funda- mentals in each category of the Learning Connection are being used to establish the Learning Outcomes of the certification exam process. Here’s a draft example of Learning Outcomes for Alpine Level III certification: “Upon successful completion of the Alpine


LIII Certification exam, the candidate…” Q… is able to adjust and adapt the five


Alpine Skiing Fundamentals to demon- strate specific outcomes for individual students through the Advanced Zone in safe conditions.


Q… will use current and historic PSIA alpine education methodology to evalu- ate personal performance and synthe- size new outcomes using the five skiing fundamentals, considering tactics and equipment choices, in all skier zones.


Q… can articulate accurate, blended cause-and-effect relationships between skiing fundamentals, including thorough and detailed evaluation that considers equipment choice, resulting in an effec- tive prescription for change for skiers through the Advanced Zone.


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TECHNICAL SKILLS


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