Why Twin Check-0uts?

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Check-out: The action of verifying a studentís knowledge of an item given on a checksheet. This is much like a verbal examination in school. But special attention is given to definitions of words and the student's ability to demonstrate principles using a demo kit.

Twin: The study partner with whom one is paired. Two students studying the same subject are paired to check out or help each other.

Twin Check-out: Two students are paired and they check each other out. Checking out a twin is a Twin Check-out. This is different from a Supervisor Check-out.

Zero-Rated: The student attests that he has studied the materials and has not left behind any misunderstood words or concepts. Usually no examination is given on zero-rated materials. The supervisor can decide if the student needs to be spot-checked or examined and would do that to ensure a general understanding has been reached to which the student has attested.

Star-rated: A very exact Check-out which verifies the full and minute knowledge on the student of a portion of study materials. It tests his full understanding of the data and his ability to apply it.

Supervisor Check-out: A Check-out done by the Course Supervisor or his assistants.


In training we use Twin Check-outs on a regular basis. Each student has a twin with whom to work.

First the student studies his theory assignment. If he finds it too difficult he is coached by his twin. When the student knows the material, he is given a Check-out by his twin. If he flunks he returns to study and, when ready, gets a new Check-out. When he passes the twin signs the checksheet and attests to, that the student has understood it, has no misunderstoods, and can apply it.

Understanding and School
Formal school education is often very superficial. On examination the teacher assumes that if the student knows the words he knows the tune. In other words, a teacher will all too often accept glib answers. The student is not really expected to be able to use the facts. It is easier just to deal with thought and theory with no regard to application.

In the Study Technology the student's understanding must be examined. It must be verified that the student understands the words as well as the principles described. The bottom line is, the student is expected to be able to use the facts in practice. If the student's understanding isn't examined he will eventually get upset with the subject. Course difficulties can always be traced back to non-comprehension of words and data. This can be prevented by doing Check-outs correctly and as described in this chapter and the next. It can make all the difference to a student's eventual competence and success in the subject.

Misunderstoods, Phenomena
There are two phenomena the student will run into when Study Technology is not applied correctly:

First Phenomenon: When a student misses understanding a word the section right after that word is a blank in his memory. You can always trace back to a word just before the blank spot. Getting that word defined will clear up the blank in the text almost in a magical way.

Second phenomenon: This occurs after the student has gone past many misunderstood words. He begins to dislike the subject being studied. If not caught in time it gets worse and worse. This leads to various mental and physical reactions. You will hear complaints, fault-finding, and 'look-what-you-did-to-me'. Eventually this will justify a departure, a blow, from the course and the subject being studied. The student is now so fed up with it all he leaves or wants to leave.

Any system of education will of course try to prevent that. In most formal education this is done by discipline and punishment of the student. A common solution for students in such a situation, is to stay but to withdraw self from the study or subject. In place of participation and understanding the student sets up a circuit that can record and give back sentences and phrases. He becomes a mental 'tape recorder of words'. This we call a 'Glib Student'.

 

The Glib Student has 
set up a mental tape 
   recorder. He can give   
it all correctly in an 
examination but 
can't apply it. 

 

 

When this occurs we have "the quick student who somehow never applies what he learns". The second phenomenon is, that a student can study some words and give them back correctly and yet show no participation or understanding. The student passes exams with flying colors but can't apply the data.

 

 Having the student make 
   demos in Check-outs is how   
you ensure he understands 
more than just the words.

 

How to Break It
Demonstration is the way you can break through that. When you ask such a student to demonstrate a rule or theory, using a demo kit or other means, this glibness will fall apart. The student was used to simply memorize words or ideas and could hold the position that it had nothing to do with him. He is just 'playing back a tape recording', he is totally glib. The moment he is asked to demonstrate that word or idea or principle the student has to have something to do with it. The glibness falls apart.

A merely uninterested or dull student is stuck in the blankness and non-comprehension following some misunderstood word.

The "very bright student", who upon inspection is found to be unable use or think with the data, isn't there at all. He has completely given up on confronting the subject at hand. The cure for either of these conditions of "bright, but no-understanding" and "dull student" is to find the missing definitions.

Knowing these facts it can easily be prevented ahead of time. Preventing it is the duty of the twin. He can catch it in coaching and in Check-outs.

 

   In coaching the students   
each have a copy of the 
materials and they take 
turns in working their 
way through them. 

 

Coaching of Theory
Coaching theory means the twins are sitting across from each other with a copy of the same materials. The student reads a paragraph or section to the coach. The coach then gets the student to define some of the words, to tell him what the paragraph means, and demonstrate rules and principles described. This includes definitions of words and technical terms.

The course supervisor uses this principle when he has a student who is having trouble or is slow or glib. He teams that student up with a twin with similar difficulties and has them take turns using twinning and theory coaching. Then, when they have finished a text assignment this way they give their twin a Check-out. The Check-out is a spot Check-out, a few definitions or rules and some demonstrations are asked for.

Check-outs
Giving a Check-out by examining the student's ability to quote or restate the materials proves nothing. There is no guarantee that the student knows the data, or can use or apply them. The student's participation, confront, and ability to apply is not being looked into. The student may be totally 'not there' and just operating a mental tape recorder. Neither the 'bright student' nor the 'dull student' will be revealed or benefit from such an examination. Just examining if somebody can quote or restate the content gives a totally false picture of understanding, and must not be done.

Correct Check-outs and examinations are done only by making the person being tested answer: 

1. The meanings of the words. The student has to be able to define the words used in his own words and demonstrate their use by using them in his own made-up sentences.

2. Demonstrate how the data are used. Here the twin can ask for examples of actions or applications. "What does the first paragraph say?" would never do. "Quote rule one, two, and three" would be off the mark. Neither of these would reveal if the student is a 'bright non-applier' or a 'dull student'. Such an examination would just lead to dull, 'critical', antagonistic students ready to blow the course. 

Go over the material being examined and pick out some uncommon words. Ask the student to define each and demonstrate its use by making up sentences with the word in question. Flunk the first  signs of hesitation or uncertainty and tell the student to restudy the materials. You have to be tough on this point. The least hesitation equals a "flunk". 

You would pick technical terms for him to define. But you should not limit it to that. Pick less commonly used words as well. From time to time pick real simple words, such as 'a', 'the', 'by', etc. Sometimes you will be surprised that such common words are troublesome or misunderstood. Working with the same twin one will soon know for which types of words to check.

 Students may at first feel 'unjustly and harshly treated' when given tough Check-outs like this. To begin with they may get a hunted look and sweat over dictionaries.  But they will never begin to gossip and criticize, get sick, or blow course.

The theory section of a course may often say, " they take care of all that in the practical section". This is the wrong way to look at it. If you have a theory section that believes that, practical can't function at all. Practical goes through the simple motions and actions. Theory covers the reasons why one goes through the motions and actions.

 

Different dictionaries and 
handbooks need to be 
   available in the classroom.   

 

Dictionaries
Dictionaries, grammar books, and other reference books should be available to students in theory. No twin should try to define words out of his own head when correcting a student as it can lead to endless arguments. On English words use a general dictionary. On technical words use a technical dictionary. There should be a complete basic library of relevant handbooks and dictionaries on hand so correct definitions can be found quickly to put any and all arguments to rest.

 

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