Once you have enrolled on a CIDBT course, the assigned tutor will send you, via email, a welcome pack along with the first phase of your chosen course. This is you opportunity to form a relationship with your tutor for future work development.
Although each course is individual, they all carry a similar structure. Some courses are solely Home Study and some combine that with a workshop.
All courses are split into ‘phases’ which can be undertaken at any time and over any reasonable period within a time frame of six months from the date of booking confirmation. The courses that contain workshops however are more structured to allow for workshop preparation.
Your activities for your course will consist of completion of required reading / DVD watching, research, completing assignments. If your course includes a workshop then attendance will be one your mandatory activities.
Each phase within a course will have its own set of assignments for you to carry out. Sometimes that will involve answering from personal experience and sometimes it will require reading and research or watching a film.
The assignments generally take the format of essays although you should expect to be set tasks relevant to the course you are enrolled upon, for example observing and recording dog behaviour or interaction between a couple of dogs or creating a session plan for a six week course. The assignments are set to allow you to gain experience and to prepare you for working with dogs in the real world.
Books and Specialised Film Learning
Contrary to popular belief, there is a genuine shortage of good quality, informative canine behaviour books in the UK and the world market that explain behaviour from a front-line expert’s view. The books that we recommend are written by front-line experts or writers who we know are qualified and who write from quantitative experience.
Educational Video is the Most Successful Way of Teaching
Our course research spanning over 25 years has demonstrated that people improve their examination scores by double when gaining information via film compared to lectures (slides) or through writing. Humans are simply wired for visual stimulus making learning through films the most effective medium along with hands-on experience.
Research and Objectivity
Being able to research topics is critical when participating in Home Study. That doesn’t mean however, that the information is copied verbatim without thought from your favourite author, rather we prefer you to broaden your research to include authors that you may not necessarily choose to read so that you can be objective and open minded in your approach.
Approaching research objectively with an open mind will stand you in good stead for when you venture into the canine behaviour arena as you will come across many points of view and will need to be aware of the pros and cons of all; expanding your research, and therefore your mind, will help you do that.
Theory and Practice
The majority of our courses have a workshop element to them, whether that is for one day or a whole weekend. There will generally be some theoretical preparation for the course that you will be putting into practice on the workshop, for example researching training methods, behavioural terms and observation of behaviour and session planning and so on.
Theory isn’t just confined to the Home Study element of your course as it will be discussed during the workshop attendances; not only with your tutor but with your colleagues also, which is one of the many elements that make the workshops so valuable.
Examination and Practical Tests
Examinations are all informal and tend to take the format of multiple choice questionnaires based on required reading books, DVDs, videos or educational films that have been included within the course. During workshop attendances you will be evaluated during practical sessions, question and answer exchanges as well as during hands on work either handling the dogs, interviewing clients or teaching classes.
How do the Workshops Operate?
If a course has a workshop element then the workshop will generally be near the end of the course once you have completed most of the course work. The workshop can be from one to three days in duration depending on the course type. Workshops can be viewed in action on the relevant course page.
Any preparation required for the workshop will be included within the assignment of the phase immediately before it so the pressure is off in relation to remembering to take things with you. For workshops of more than one day’s duration, accommodation can be booked for you, if you wish.
The day will always start with tea and coffee as well as informal banter; the formal introductions take place at the start of the course closely followed by the agenda so that everyone can relax about what to expect and can concentrate on learning and having a good time. We operate an informal style and your participation is greatly valued if you wish. We do not put pressure on people at all during the workshops.
All workshops will contain lectures, educational films, and informal assessments, and, depending upon the course you’ve enrolled on, handling and working with dogs.
As part of enrolling and in addition to the course handbook you will need facilities to play a video or DVD, Mandatory and recommended reading, film or DVD viewing lists will be included within the handbook. Whether you visit your local library or purchase copies of your own is your choice.
The assessment strategy is same regardless of which course you complete. At the end of a phase, you will submit work to your tutor in the form of one word document. Your tutor will review you work and add comments throughout. If they’re happy that you have covered all of the points raised and questions asked, then your work will be returned along with any multiple choices relevant to the course and the phase that you have just submitted.
The process is repeated until the course is completed when you receive your CIDBT certificate. Naturally, you are welcome to respond within the work to tutor comments and build up a body of discussions where applicable.