HED 412s** - Course Syllabus, Assignments, and Topics to Explore

Web Based Course



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Updated 8 June 2012

© 1999-2012

Dale O. Ritzel









Course Description - A beginning course that deals with the highway transportation system, traffic problems, the driving task, perception and implementation of the driver education classroom program. Observation of a teaching environment is included. Prerequisite: A valid driver's license.

NOTE:  When starting out with this Web based course, please read and review the assignments, course materials to purchase, how to be successful in completing this course, and reading assignments below before starting on the course topics.  The instructor will be happy to answer any questions you have at any time (  Get started early and work on the course each week.  Many of the topic/information areas have been placed into a .pdf format.  You will need to have installed Abode Reader on your computer in order to view .pdf files.  Go to to download Abode Reader.

NOTE:  Since the Department will NOT print copies of the Illinois Driver Education Curriculum for me to give to students, I have been able to put parts of the Units on the HED 412s Web page.  Go to Illinois Driver Education Curriculum to click on the appropriate units which you need to review.  Some of the units are not available at this time.


Essential Course Materials


Course Outline

Syllabus/Assignments (with point values) (you will find some assignments that are only listed in the course syllabus)

Course Materials to Purchase (you need to purchase and request these materials)

How to be successful in completing this course (very important statement to read and follow)

Reading List (Please review reading assignments and read the indicated items as a part of participating in the topics below)



(Everything underlined are materials that you need to read and review or tests that you need to take.)  Only take tests at the end of each topic after reviewing the topic material.  There are also assignments within many of the topic presentations that you are required to complete and send via email to your instructor.  So do not just take the tests without reading the topic/content material and doing the other assignments before taking the tests you are required to complete and send via email to your instructor.)



*(Read Topic materials)

*Traffic Crash Data Fact SheetsVisit these traffic fact sheets, review the traffic crash information and write a paragraph on major traffic crash problems in the USA and Illinois today.

*Traffic Crash Problems: Cost          

*Glossary of Terms

The Purpose of the Highway Transportation System (HTS)

*(Read Topic Materials)

The Task of the Driver within the HTS

*(Read Topic Materials)      

*Identification of HTS Elements

*HTS Test  

Traffic Laws

*(Read Topic Materials)

*Manual of Traffic Signs This is a good Web site showing most  of the traffic signs found in the USA and is organized by Richard Moeur of Arizona.     Review the standard sign shapes and colors and their meanings, regulatory,  warning, marker, guide and informational, recreational and cultural interest,  construction, railroad, and school signs before completing the worksheets below.

*View video on traffic signs (5.10 minutes)

*Signs and Roadway markings Worksheets

*Traffic Controls Self-Test

*Practice Traffic Law Test (complete and send to instructor)

*Illinois Rules of the Road Examination

Personal Factors Influencing Operator Performance

*(Read Topic Materials)

*Alcohol and Driving Pretest (just for fun)      

*DUI Laws in Illinois (review MADD Web site)

*.08 BAC Law Fact Sheet (read and review)    

*Also review the following Illinois Secretary of State booklets (.pdf files):

     DUI Fact Book

     DUI - Sobering Truth

     Road to Reinstatement – Restoring your Driving Privileges

     Use It & Lose It - The War on Drunk Driving            

*Risk Factors

*Worksheets on Effects of Alcohol on the Driving Task 

*Take this TEST on alcohol and other drugs (before the alcohol and driving test below) from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and send the instructor ( the results.

*Alcohol and Driving Test  

*Drowsy Driving                  

*View this short video on distractive driving (2:22 minutes)

*View this video on cell phone use while driving

 Foundations of Effective Driving (probably the most important information presented in this entire course)

 *(Read Topic Materials)      

*Sensory Perception and Performance of the Driving Task

*Visual Skills and Preparing to Drive

*The Smith System

*The Smith System Driver Evaluation Check List

*View this video on the Smith System (27.20 minutes)  


 Zone Control Driving

*Foundations of Effective Driving Quiz (take quiz and send results to your instructor)

*Make sure you review the 6 units of the Perception of Driving Hazards videos (this link provides you with information on reviewing the 6 video units and of taking the video test) (the 6 video units and final video test can be viewed at ) (the videos are listed under 302 and are in 2 different formats) and then take the driver performance video test II as is discussed in your course syllabus.  You must use this score sheet to record your responses to the driver performance test II and send to your instructor.  Any other format for submitting your responses will not be accepted.  

Managing Risk in the HTS

*(Read Topic Materials)

 Improving Driver Performance

*(Read Topic Materials)  

*Total Stopping Distance

*Traction Control (read this article on this important topic)

*Plan of Action Test

*Evaluation of Situations Test

Motor Vehicle Systems, Maintenance, Safety Devices, and Performance Capabilities

*(Read Topic Materials)

*Simple Vehicle Maintenance - Reviews all of the important maintenance checks that one need to do on their own vehicle.  One of the most important areas in this topic.

*Tire Information (Thoroughly read the link from the Rubber Manufacturers Association, read about “PART”, review the items shown, and write a one paragraph on the important features of tire safety.  Submit paragraph to Also review the 4 tire safety videos shown on the RMA Web site.

*Checking Fluids Worksheets

*Inspecting Tires, Battery, Hoses, and Drive Belts Worksheets

*Jump Starting, Changing a Tire, and Fuses Worksheets  

*Vehicle Systems Review and Assignment

*Vehicle Dynamics Handout              

Ethics and Use of the HTS

*(Read Topic Materials)

Trip Planning

*(Read Topic Materials)

Fuel Efficient Driving

*(Read Topic Materials)

*Driving More Efficiently

*Keeping Your Vehicle in Shape

*Buying a Fuel Efficient Vehicle

*Save Money - Use either one of the fuel cost calculators in this link and estimate annual fuel costs for your vehicle. (You can find fuel cost information for specific makes and models in the Find a Car section.)  Send the results you find to your instructor at

*View AAA's fuel efficient driving tips video (2.02 minutes)

*Fuel Efficient Driving Test

FINAL EXAMINATION complete and send to instructor after completing all assignments in the course.

Blank Assignment/Grades Score Sheet - You might want to print out a copy of this to keep track of your completed assignments and their scores.

© 1999-2012 Dale O. Ritzel





Starting Fall Semester 2011, any student enrolled in a section of an Independent Learning (IL), Web based course through the SIUC Office of Distance Education (SIU Online and Off Campus Programs) offered during Fall semester 2011 and afterward and taught by Dale O. Ritzel will have to complete the course during the semester enrolled (16 weeks or less) (Summer semester is 8 weeks).  An extension to complete the course is up to the instructor and would have to be approved by Distance Education.  Since grades have to be received by the University at the end of the regular semester, the student will receive a grade of INC (incomplete) if an extension is approved.   If an extension has been approved by Distance Education, then you have one year from the end of the semester which you initially enrolled in HED 412s to complete the course.  If the work is not completed within one year, the University automatically turns the grade into an F.  I will only complete and process a grade change card when you finish ALL of the course assignments.  If the student does not complete the IL course in 16 weeks (8 weeks in summer), the final grade given after completion of all course work will be dropped by one grade up to the one year time frame.  Do not ask me to sign a form allowing you to drop the course if the semester you were enrolled in the course has been completed.  In order to receive a grade in any course, you must complete ALL assignments.  The instructor reserves the right to have the student to redo any assignment which is not done well or is incomplete as to quality and specificity of the written directions for the assignment. Please note: All incompletes turn to an F upon Graduation, please plan accordingly and complete all course requirements at least a month prior to finals week.  So if you enroll in this course during the semester in which you plan on graduating, then you need to complete the course during the regular semester. 


 Comments: Webmaster - EOE - Privacy Policy8 June 2012