Teaching the PATS way:
excerpted from United States Postal Service (USPS) Statistics Program
PATS is grounded in basic principles of adult learning. The first of these principles
is that we learn by doing. Thus in every step of a lesson the learner actually performs
the task after the trainer has explained and/or demonstrated it. The belief is that a new
employee would learn best from an experienced expert data collector.
Every effort is made to put the learners, process activated learners (PALs), in PATS
context at ease to enhance the learning environment. Learners are given positive
feedback each step along the way and are encouraged to be active participants. This active
participation includes providing improved best ways of doing data collection tasks.
Subject matter expert (SME) trainers train data collectors at the normal work site
using PATS certified lesson plans and the statistical programs tools used to carry out
that particular task. Subject matter experts must be certified before they can train with
the PATS lesson plans. The certification process for SMEs consists of training three
different learners on three different PATS processes. Once trainers are certified, they
may begin training others with the PATS processes.
Group Training Leaders (GTLs) have the responsibility for certifying SMEs based on
explicit criteria. To further a fair assessment of that ability to train, two GTLs are
involved in the certification process. Quality is a goal throughout PATS. Before GTLs can
undertake their role, they must be certified as trainers using the same procedure and
criteria that is used to evaluate SME trainers.
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