COVID-19 upended life for many over the past year. However, it created an opportunity for the Oregon School District in Wisconsin. The opportunity was to test-pilot Innocorp’s interactive online training and immersive skill-building experience, Plan My Ride, with students.
The Plan My Ride course adapts easily to students because it is a self-paced curriculum. It places students into immersive, 360-degree video scenarios to practice learned avoidance skills. In addition, it offers hands-on extension activities to deal with issues such as distracted and drugged driving. Extension activities include discussions, special projects, and Fatal Vision activities. Plan My Ride’s core message focuses on how drivers can keep themselves and their passengers safe while driving.
Juanita Weinert is a health and family and consumer science teacher in the district. She jumped at the chance to allow some of her sophomore students to use and respond to Plan My Ride. Juanita heard about Plan My Ride through a member of the Innocorp team. After a review by a district committee, she piloted the program for the district. But first, Juanita took the time to thoroughly evaluate the product herself by using Plan My Ride’s Instructor Module.
“It was very informative,” Juanita explained. “I liked the interaction and repetitiveness of the message.” In addition, she said the message was presented in various ways, which made it something every student could learn and internalize.
The Instructor Module enriches the instructor’s knowledge by reviewing all lessons and offering in-depth explanations behind covered topics. It takes about 90 minutes to complete and includes the entire student course. In addition, the module adds tips for implementing the curriculum and gives instructors extension ideas.
Amy Miller, the Community Education Director for the district, detailed three things the district looked for in a program like Plan My Ride. She said the curriculum must have the right message, it must engage the students, and it must build skills.
“All of these are built into the Plan My Ride program,” Amy said.
Ten students enrolled to test out Plan My Ride. After completing the program, their evaluations made it clear that the experience did change their outlooks on distracted and DUI driving.
“It is super important to know the extent of something that could seem so innocent in the beginning until it happens to you,” wrote one student. “Distracted driving can result in something far worse than what you think when you pick up that phone… A text or notification is way less important than you or someone else’s life.”
“I feel like many people do not realize the severity of distracted driving,” wrote another student. “I wanted to learn more about it so that I can help teach others about it.”
As these quotes show, Plan My Ride helps students internalize facts about distracted and under-the-influence driving. “It helps students plan ahead and repeats that message,” Amy explained. “Students understand the risks of distracted driving and other important messages through the program.”
Juanita found Plan My Ride easy to use as an instructor due to its Administrator’s Portal. “It was easy to get up to speed,” Juanita said. “It was easy to navigate. I could see the students’ progress.” She also found it easy to register students through the Admin Portal.
The Admin Portal includes features that enable instructors to enroll students individually or in groups, with or without emails. Instructors easily track students’ progress and can send them reminders. Through the portal, instructors can download reports on enrolled students and create customized surveys of students. They can also generate before-course and after-course tests of knowledge to show students how much they have learned and create certificates of completion.
Because of COVID-19, the Oregon schools were held online much of this past school year. Juanita sees Plan My Ride as a positive addition to her health classes. She looks forward to using it in person. Because the product is so flexible, she found it a great addition to her online courses, and teachers can also deliver Plan My Ride in a classroom setting as a 90-minute class or a series of classes.
“In person, it will give me more opportunities to see where students are at and to add extensions to the curriculum,” Juanita said.
Why consider using Plan My Ride in your classroom? Its flexibility and ease-of-use are two reasons, but even more important is the reaction of students. Juanita said students had “a very positive reaction” to the curriculum and its message.
“Driving impaired affects many people and can create a dangerous situation that can kill people,” wrote one of her students after completing Plan My Ride. “I would not want to lose my friends or family members because of a crash involving impaired driving. But, especially because we are just starting out driving, we need to be cautious of what we do and make sure that we are driving safely.”
Message learned and internalized thanks to Plan My Ride.
“Plan My Ride” changes lives in health class in Oregon, WI
By Georgia Beaverson