Of course it's done in such a casual manner that most first-timers have no idea what their rights are nor what they're being asked to waive. Typically the judge will inform the citizen that they have been charged with either a Class A or Class B misdemeanor and tell them the range of punishment. Then the judge gives them the options.
At no time does the judge inform the citizens that the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution affords them the right to counsel, the right to trial by a jury of their peers and the right to confront the witnesses against them. At no time does the judge inform the citizens that the Fifth Amendment affords them the right to remain silent or that anything they say to the prosecutor can, and probably will, be used against them. At no time does the judge inform the citizens of the protections against unreasonable search and seizure afforded them by the Fourth Amendment.
In short, at no time does the judge give the citizens all of the information they need to make an informed decision about how to handle their case.
I was recently retained to obtain post-conviction relief for a citizen who pled guilty to driving while intoxicated as a result of a breath test result that has since been ruled invalid. He pled on his first court appearance without ever having consulted with an attorney. He pled based on statements made to him by the prosecutor. He pled without having seen the formal charge against him, reading the offense report, examining the breath test slip and maintenance records, or watching the video. In short, his plea was the result of fear and ignorance, not a knowing and intelligent waiver of his basic constitutional rights.