To learn to drive, you require many component skills, including knowing where the gas and brake pedals are and when to use them, how to steer, when and how to use your mirrors, all while following the rules of the road.

Experienced drivers find it very difficult to think of each component separately, not as a whole. They drive with a level of automaticity, knowing their reflexes will apply each component as needed.

Learning the component skills to achieve mastery is crucial in any classroom discipline. For example, in economics, physics, or chemistry, the application of a formula can be more easily learned if simple calculations like addition and multiplication have first been mastered so that no cognitive overload occurs. Having the component skills in place allows the learner to focus on the larger conceptual problem.

What concept in your discipline is like driving a car? Can you identify the component skills required to master this concept or skill?


This activity is part of the Mastery section of the Teacher for Learning Module.

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52 Responses for this Activity

  • 9 Piece Nuggets Pac
    by Terry Greene (@terrygreene)

    See the response here in which Chuck Pearson’s Just Listen Patch is turned into a big 9 pack of philosophical nuggets

  • Syllabustering
    by Terry Greene (@terrygreene)

      Creating a syllabus in an online course is like driving a car because there are a lot of considerations that I think the creators of the syllabus make without maybe being cognizant of them. So great thing for us that Maureen Glynn created the Online Course Design for Humans workbook and released it as more… »

  • Skills to Edit and Draft Video
    by KristineW (@KristineW)

      My Tech Tools students learn Camtasia as the last piece of software they encounter in the course, and this is by design. Video editing, whether in Camtasia or in other programs requires a set of steps to get from ideas to the final product in a planned and consistent way. I have them think more… »

  • More Like Riding a Bike
    by Stephanie Park (@stpark)

    The threshold concept in online learning design that I’d like to explore for this activity is that online learning can be equal to or in some cases richer than face-to-face teaching. This is definitely a challenging concept to accept or even entertain for anyone who is new to online teaching, who only has experience teaching more… »

  • Risk Management in Project Management
    by Sheeba (@svilakkathusaidu)

    When we drive a car, sometimes we have to slow down or accelerate the brake, other times we may deviate and find a new route for a smooth traffic. The same way in project management risk has to manage efficiently for the project success. Risk management process includes risk identification, assessment, response development and risk more… »

  • Like Driving a Car: Project Management
    by Mona Brennan-Coles (@MonaBC)

    Projects are monitored and controlled throughout their life cycle so that, if anything is threatening the successful completion as planned, the project manager and team can make necessary adjustments i.e. corrective actions to achieve successful completion.  This is like driving a car: As we drive, we are constantly monitoring our surroundings – other cars, pedestrians, more… »

  • Like Driving a Car: Articulating your message
    by Marie Ritchie (@mritchie)

    Using case analysis pedagogy to teach business management concepts is an effective way to help students understand the interconnections between business functions and how a change in one may/or may not affect another. Compiling an effective case analysis requires students to dissect information in a way that facilitates the omission of the irrelevant and focus more… »

  • Like Driving a Car-Case Analysis
    by Anahita Khazaei (@Ana)

    Case analysis is commonly used in management courses to provide students the opportunity to practice and improve their critical thinking, decision making, and systematic analysis skills using real business scenarios. Formal teaching and learning material provided to students can include a set of questions to guide students through the analysis, a step-by-step methodology for conducting more… »

  • Like Drive a Car – Adapt to to the Situation
    by Bruce Stead (@B Stead)

    In Operations Management there are several calculations and methods that entail forecasting, inventory management, and order management. How those calculations and methods may be used may differ by industry. A common chart in many Supply Chain Management textbooks shows the relationship between manufacturing processes and volume. At one corner of the chart is project management more… »

  • Like Driving a Car – Driving the Hiring Process
    by Anne Pearson (@agpearson)

    Like Driving a Car  I used Driving the Hiring Process to illustrate as this is a key component of the Human Resources Management courses I teach.  Trying to instill good habits and practices into students’ learning outcomes through discussion, simulations and problem solving.  Hoping they will be encouraged to avoid “blind spots” by following thorough more… »

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