Scaling is a technique that:
You won’t always need to use scaling, like all interventions it can become repetitive if it is overused.
There are a number of different scales that can be used:
Scaling gives the trainer a chance to give feedback in relation to the client’s assessment of their own performance. When asking a scaling question the parameters need to be set for example, using a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is your first lesson and 10 is you being able to negotiate a roundabout without any help, how would you rate your performance at roundabouts?
Scaling can be used at the beginning, middle and end of a lesson and is a simple tool to use to gauge the pupil in terms of:
A good way to use scaling is to break a task down into three components as the overall performance could be fine, but there was an area that needed improvement. You could use the method of breaking it down to:
If there were an issue with any of these aspects, it helps to be able to further pinpoint where any areas for further development are and so you can categorise issues into these main areas.
For example – You and your pupil are working on pulling up on the right hand side of the road, reversing back and moving off.
Overall, the pupil is getting quite good at this exercise and on that basis, they could be rated on a scale for that, but what needs further development is their observation as they are not checking their left blindspot properly and sometimes, not at all, but they are able to carry out the manoeuvre well now. This is where breaking the scaling down further into COP for example, can help to be more precise with identifying development areas.
Another point to make is that if the trainer were to say ‘on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is excellent and 1 is very poor, where would you rate yourself on that last pull up on the right, reverse and move off?’
The pupil could reply ‘a 9 or 10 because I can do it really well now’.
In this instance the trainer may have an issue as the pupil thinks they are better than they actually are. The trainer’s job now is to get the pupil to be more realistic and see why they are not a 9 or a 10.
One option is for the trainer to simply tell the pupil that they need to improve their observations further, and so the trainer could continue prompting them when they carry out the exercise, but this has little effect on their learning and doesn’t allow the pupil to move from prompted to independent in the most effective way.
The better option would be to drill down to the observation issue with the pupil by asking them questions about this specifically and allowing the pupil to think and reflect on their own performance.
The trainer could ask the pupil how they felt the exercise went overall, and ask them to grade themselves on the scale (whilst highlighting what a 1 and a 10 mean).
We know the pupil is likely to say ‘a 9 or 10’ but the issue is more with the question the pupil is being asked, as it is not specific enough. The trainer knows the issue is the left blindspot check and so a better question for the pupil would be, ‘on the 1-10 scale as before, where would you grade your observations when moving off?’
The pupil is able to reflect on this and the fact that the trainer has to prompt them mostly before they move away. If the pupil cannot see this straight away the trainer could guide them with more questions, ’would you say you can do this every time without me prompting you?’ This should allow the pupil to grade themselves for this area alone, and the pupil should grade themselves lower.
The trainer can ask the pupil to grade themselves as well for control and position to find out if there are any further development opportunities there.
This is a useful discussion to have with the pupil to allow them to realise that there are still areas to improve upon and gives the pupil a more realistic view of their performance, allowing the trainer to guide the pupil with improving them.
This can also work the other way around with a pupil that can’t see the good in what they are doing and puts their performance down. The trainer can use the same approach to drill down to the area(s) that the pupil sees as an issue, but where they are actually performing well.
In these cases, the trainer needs to help the pupil to see a more realistic view of their performance by asking them what they did well. The issue could be coming from a confidence point of view and so the trainer needs to show the pupil evidence as to why they are performing better than they think they are. Use the drilling down technique (COP) to discuss what they are doing well and why.