Updated: Aug 8
On the first day of the Changing Gears program delivered to the students of the Brotherhood of Saint Laurence, Broadmeadows, trainer Linda Jane met Villani, Jai, Newyear, Julian, Ritaj, Daphrose, Salma, Belis and Rowaida. They were a lively, motivated group and for the first two days they studied the standard Changing Gears program, doing really well.
July first VicRoads changes necessitate a pivot
The first day of July, (first day of the financial year), ushered in huge changes for VicRoads as it began a new partnership with Super company AMP. This resulted in no 'in person' tests being able to be booked for the BSL Broadmeadows group. They then had to pivot to the online version of the program and test for days three and four.
Here's what that looked like;
Days one and two
The first two days, the program followed the standard Changing Gears classroom-based learning model, in the hope the learners could complete the VicRoads on-site test.
This method uses the simplicity of an A), B), or C) testing method. This level of learning and assessment is congruent with the Changing Gears cohort.
Days three and four
Due to the unavailability of on-site/'in person' testing from July 1st, the program pivoted to the online test method.
This method uses a more complex level of learning and assessment. In many questions, there is more than one correct answer.
Students managed the pivot with resilience
The students showed wonderful resilience and a great attitude absorbing the material as best they could. However, they found the online version far more complex than the standard Changing Gears program with 'in person' testing. The students bravely sat the online test and several passed. The rest returned online to try again.
"The Changing Gears classroom based program is designed for students with learning challenges including language barriers and disabilities, so it is very important for provision to be made for this cohort of the community," said trainer Linda Jane. The students themselves had the following to say, "The online test is nothing like the practice ones, it's much more complex."
VicRoads responds to and supports the Changing Gears program
Fortunately VicRoads was very responsive to the situation. 'In person' testing is now back, allowing the Changing Gears trainers to present the program in their time-honoured and highly successful format.
Possibilities open up
Driving opens up so many possibilities for disadvantaged young people. Classes are supportive, students and trainers inspire each other, showing the way for young people to overcome their obstacles to driving and experience success.
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