Online Driving Schools, a Requiem

All of us will one day have to face off with one of the most horrendous constructs known to man: driving school. Specifically, online driving school, where one can learn the rules of the road from the comfort of their home. I have to say, anyone who believes this deception will have a rude awakening soon enough. Most of these driving schools have poorly optimized systems and are structured as if they were from the 90′s.

Just looking at the assets of these sites is enough to see their dated structures. The pages look like screenshots from PowerPoint presentations, the grainy videos are straight out of the 80’s, and the formatting is atrocious. If you don’t know what any of these terms might mean, that’s OK, because it really doesn’t matter. The point is that, just by looking at these sites you can tell they were made long ago (or very poorly), and haven’t been optimized in a long time. And you can feel it. Some of the simplest functions of these websites are broken in the worst ways possible.

 

For this section, I am going to make quick bullet points to focus on the worst (and funniest) parts of online driving schools, so here goes-

Tests-

  • Can be retaken 3 times
  • Only need a 70 to pass
  • They use the same questions each time

Time Requirements-

  • Must do x hours, regardless of how easy the topic is
  • Spend 70% of the time waiting to take test
  • If you skip too far on accident, you can’t go back to review (although it doesn’t matter much, as you are guaranteed to pass every test)

Videos-

  • No pause button, only get to watch one time
  • One question at the end about random part of the video
  • You must watch the whole video again if you miss the question 

Videos (again)-

  • Can be up to 50 minutes long
  • Often are very boring, or teach basic material
  • Usually you never use the information again

 

As you can tell, the only way they could’ve made this system worse was by adding some sort of convoluted system wherein you have to sign in through voice recognition that can possibly fail, and if you get it wrong too many times, you have to restart the whole thing. Luckily, someone 10 years ago was a step ahead of us, went ahead and made that a feature. Essentially, if you mess up voice recognition, you have to pay the warden again to retake the whole course.

 

Now these problems might not be so bad if the support system of the website is set up properly, and is ready to prevent misfortune from befalling customers. This is where online driving schools are a step behind the rest of us. The call centers are run by people who have limited access to your information, and so they sometimes can’t tell you necessary information. Examples include, how many more times can I miss the voice recognition? how do I do the voice recognition? what is voice recognition? All these inquiries and more are left partially answered,  and you must take repeated leaps of faith to avoid losing everything and starting over again. My personal advice, as someone who has slain the beast known as online driving education, is to call multiple times to cross check, and to finish the course ASAP.

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