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Questioning Process
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Guide to Good Practices for Oral Examinations - index
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Oral Boards


DOE-HDBK-1080-97
5.2 Oral Checkouts
5.2.1
Conduct of Oral Checkouts
Examiners should refer to the associated learning objective(s) when conducting oral
checkouts. Generally, the learning objectives will specify that the trainee demonstrate
knowledge using the stated reference. Examiners should ensure the trainee has access to,
and uses, references such as system diagrams or procedures during the oral checkout.
Oral checkouts should include an in-depth questioning of the trainee's understanding of
fundamental theory, system equipment, processes, and a discussion of procedures as
required by the learning objective(s). Special emphasis should be placed on the trainee's
ability to apply this knowledge to facility operations. Questions asked during oral
checkouts should not be restricted to verbatim restatements of the learning objective(s),
but may be rephrased. The oral checkout may be used to test understanding and
judgment, as well as factual knowledge.
The length of time for an oral checkout should be dependent on the requirements of the
learning objective(s). Industry practices show that oral checkouts typically last 5 to 20
minutes, depending on the examiner's and trainee's preparation and the complexity of the
subject. Facilities should not set specific time limits for oral checkouts, because the
checkout should last as long as necessary for the examiner to determine that the level of
knowledge of the trainee is consistent with the requirements of the learning objective.
However, an oral checkout should normally be completed in one session.
5.2.2
Examiner Action at Completion of Oral Checkout
At the completion of an oral checkout, the examiner should make an objective
determination, referring to the learning objective(s) or qualification standard, as to whether
the trainee has a satisfactory level of knowledge. The signature of the examiner indicates
that the trainee has successfully completed the oral checkout, and that the trainee
possesses the minimum required knowledge. Several possible outcomes from an oral
checkout are discussed in the following paragraphs.
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