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TITLE 16ECONOMIC REGULATION
PART 4TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION
CHAPTER 84DRIVER EDUCATION AND SAFETY
SUBCHAPTER MCURRICULUM AND ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF INSTRUCTION
RULE §84.501Driver Education Course Alternative Method of Instruction

(a) Approval process. The department may approve an alternative method whereby a driver education school is approved to teach all or part of the classroom portion of a driver education course by an alternative method of instruction (AMI) that does not require students to be present in a classroom that meets the following requirements.

  (1) Standards for approval. The department may approve a driver education school to teach all or part of the classroom portion of a driver education course by an AMI that does not require students to be present in a classroom only if:

    (A) the AMI includes testing and security measures that the department determines are at least as secure as the measures available in the usual classroom setting;

    (B) the course satisfies any other requirement applicable to a course in which the classroom portion is taught to students in the usual classroom setting;

    (C) a student and instructor are in different locations for a majority of the student's instructional period;

    (D) the AMI instructional activities are integral to the academic program; and

    (E) extensive communication between a student and instructor and among students is emphasized.

  (2) Application. The school shall submit a completed AMI application along with the appropriate fee. The application for AMI approval shall be treated the same as an application for the approval of a driver education traditional course, and the AMI must deliver the curriculum as aligned with POI-DE.

  (3) School license required. A person or entity offering a classroom driver education course to Texas students by an AMI must hold a driver education school license. The driver education school is responsible for the operation of the AMI.

(b) Course content. The AMI must deliver the same topics, sequence, and course content as the school's approved traditional driver education course as established by the department in the POI-DE.

  (1) Course topics. The time requirements for the course content described in §84.500(b)(1)(C) shall be met.

  (2) Editing. The material presented in the AMI shall be edited for grammar, punctuation, and spelling and be of such quality that it does not detract from the subject matter.

  (3) Irrelevant material. Advertisement of goods and services shall not appear during the actual instructional times of the course. Distracting material that is not related to the topic being presented shall not appear during the actual instructional times of the course.

  (4) Student breaks. The AMI is allowed five minutes of break per instructional hour for all phases, for a total of 160 minutes of break time. No more than ten minutes of break time may be accumulated for each two hours of instruction.

  (5) Minimum content. The AMI shall present sufficient instructional content so that it would take a student a minimum of 32 hours (1,920 minutes) to complete the course. A course that demonstrates that it contains 1,760 minutes of instructional content shall mandate that students take 160 minutes of break time or provide additional educational content for a total of 1,920 minutes (32 hours). In order to demonstrate that the AMI contains sufficient content, the AMI shall use the following methods.

    (A) Word count. For written material that is read by the student, the total number of words in the written sections of the course shall be divided by 180. The result is the time associated with the written material for the sections.

    (B) Multimedia presentations. There shall be a minimum of 120 minutes of multimedia presentation. The school owner shall calculate the total amount of time it takes for all multimedia presentations to play, not to exceed 640 minutes.

    (C) Charts and graphs. The AMI may assign one minute for each chart or graph.

    (D) Examinations. The school owner may allocate up to 90 seconds for questions presented over the Internet and 90 seconds for questions presented by telephone.

    (E) Total time calculation. If the sum of the time associated with the written course material, the total amount of time for all multimedia presentations, and the time associated with all charts, graphs, and breaks equals or exceeds the minimum 1,920 minutes, the AMI has demonstrated the required amount of content.

    (F) Alternate time calculation method. In lieu of the time calculation method, the AMI may submit alternate methodology to demonstrate that the AMI meets the minimum 32-hour requirement.

  (6) Academic integrity. The academic integrity of the AMI for a classroom driver education course shall include:

    (A) goals and objectives that are measurable and clearly state what the participants should know or be able to do at the end of the course;

    (B) a clear, complete driver education classroom course overview and syllabus;

    (C) content and assignments that are of sufficient rigor, depth, and breadth to teach the standards being addressed;

    (D) literacy and communication skills that are incorporated and taught as an integral part of the AMI;

    (E) sufficient learning resources and materials to increase student success available to students before the AMI begins;

    (F) instruction requirements that are consistent with course goals, representative of the scope of the course, and clearly stated;

    (G) communication processes that are provided to students, parents, and mentors on how to communicate with the school and instructor, including information on the process for these communications and for timely and frequent feedback about student progress;

    (H) information addressing issues associated with the use of copyrighted materials; and

    (I) if online, clearly stated academic integrity and Internet etiquette expectations regarding lesson activities, discussions, e-mail communications, and plagiarism.

  (7) Instructional design. Instructional design of AMI for classroom driver education shall:

    (A) include a clear understanding of student needs and incorporate varied ways to learn and multiple levels of mastery of the curriculum;

    (B) ensure each lesson includes a lesson overview, objectives, resources, content and activities, assignments, and assessments to provide multiple learning opportunities for students to master the content;

    (C) include concepts and skills that students will retain over time;

    (D) include activities that engage students in active learning;

    (E) include the instructor engaging students in learning activities that address a variety of learning styles and preferences to master course content;

    (F) include instruction that provides opportunities for students to engage in higher-order thinking, critical-reasoning activities, and thinking in increasingly complex ways;

    (G) include a statement that notifies the student of the school owner's security and privacy policy regarding student data, including personal and financial data; and

    (H) include assessment and assignment answers and explanations.

(c) Personal validation. The AMI shall maintain a method to validate the identity of the person taking the course. The personal validation system shall incorporate one of the following requirements.

  (1) School initiated method. Upon approval by the department, the AMI may use a method that includes testing and security measures that are at least as secure as the methods available in the traditional classroom setting.

    (A) Time to respond. The student must correctly answer the personal validation question within 90 seconds for questions presented over the Internet and 90 seconds for questions presented by telephone.

    (B) Placement of questions. At least one personal validation question shall appear in each major unit or section, not including the final examination.

    (C) Exclusion from the course. The AMI shall exclude the student from the course after the student has incorrectly answered more than 30 percent of the personal validation questions.

    (D) Correction of answer. The school may correct an answer to a personal validation question for a student who inadvertently missed a personal validation question. In such a case, the student record shall include a record of both answers and an explanation of the reasons why the answer was corrected.

  (2) Third party data method. The online course shall ask a minimum of 60 personal validation questions randomly throughout the course from a bank of at least 200 questions drawn from a third party data source.

    (A) Time to respond. The student must correctly answer the personal validation question within 90 seconds for questions presented over the Internet and 90 seconds for questions presented by telephone.

    (B) Placement of questions. At least one personal validation question shall appear in each major unit or section, not including the final examination.

    (C) Exclusion from the course. The AMI shall exclude the student from the course after the student has incorrectly answered more than 30 percent of the personal validation questions.

    (D) Correction of answer. The school may correct an answer to a personal validation question for a student who inadvertently missed a personal validation question. In such a case, the student record shall include a record of both answers and an explanation of the reasons why the answer was corrected.

(d) Content validation. The AMI shall incorporate a course content validation process that verifies student participation and comprehension of course material, including the following.

  (1) Timers. The AMI shall include built-in timers to ensure that 1,920 minutes of instruction have been attended and completed by the student.

  (2) Testing the student's participation in multimedia presentations. The AMI shall ask at least one course validation question following each multimedia clip of more than 180 seconds.

    (A) Test bank. For each multimedia presentation that exceeds 180 seconds, the AMI shall have a test bank of at least four questions.

    (B) Question difficulty. The question shall be short answer, multiple choice, essay, or a combination of these forms. The question shall be difficult enough that the answer may not be easily determined without having viewed the actual multimedia clip.

    (C) Failure criteria. If the student fails to answer the question correctly, the AMI shall either require the student to view the multimedia clip again or the AMI shall fail the student from the course. If the AMI requires the student to view the multimedia clip again, the AMI shall present a different question from its test bank for that multimedia clip. The AMI may not repeat a question until it has asked all the questions from its test bank.

    (D) Answer identification. The AMI shall not identify the correct answer to the multimedia question.

  (3) Mastery of course content. The AMI shall test the student's mastery of the course content by asking questions from each of the modules listed in the program of organized instruction for driver education and traffic safety.

    (A) Test bank. The test bank for course content mastery questions shall include at least:

      (i) 20 questions each from modules 1 and 8 listed in the POI-DE; and

      (ii) 10 questions each from the remaining modules.

    (B) Placement of questions. The mastery of course content questions shall be asked at the end of each module.

    (C) Question difficulty. Course content mastery questions shall be of such difficulty that the answer may not be easily determined without having participated in the actual instruction.

  (4) Repeat and retest options. The AMI may use the following options for students who fail an examination to show mastery of course content.

    (A) Repeat the failed module. If the student misses more than 30 percent of the questions asked on a module examination, the AMI shall require that the student take the module again. The correct answer to missed questions may not be disclosed to the student (except as part of course content). At the end of the module, the AMI shall again test the student's mastery of the material. The AMI shall present different questions from its test bank until all the applicable questions have been asked. The student may repeat this procedure an unlimited number of times.

    (B) Retest the final examination. If the student misses more than 30 percent of the questions asked on the final examination, the AMI shall retest the student in the same manner as the failed examination, using different questions from its test bank. If the student fails the same unit examination or the comprehensive final examination three times, the student shall fail the course.

(e) Student records. The AMI shall provide for the creation and maintenance of the records documenting student enrollment, the verification of the student's identity, and the testing of the student's mastery of the course material. The school shall ensure that the student record is readily, securely, and reliably available for inspection by a department-authorized representative. The student records shall contain all information required in §84.81 (relating to Recordkeeping Requirements) and the following information.

Cont'd...

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