Chapter 4: The Teaching Process
Use a combination of teaching methods (lecture, group learning, and discussion) and instructional aids (audio/visual and handouts), to achieve instructional objectives.
The Essence of Good Teaching (1985), psychologist Stanford C. Ericksen wrote “good teachers select and organize worthwhile course material, lead students to encode and integrate this material in memorable form, ensure competence in the procedures and methods of a discipline, sustain intellectual curiosity, and promote how to learn independently.”
Effective instructors come in many forms, but they generally possess four essential teaching skills: people skills, subject matter expertise, management skills, and assessment skills.
People skills are the ability to interact, talk, understand, empathize, and connect with people. Effective instructors relate well to people.
A subject matter expert (SME) is a person who possesses a high level of expertise, knowledge, or skill in a particular area.
Management skills generally include the ability to plan, organize, lead, and supervise.
Assessment of learning is a complex process and it is important to be clear about the purposes of the assessment. There are several points at which assessments can be made: before training, during training, and after training.
Instructor’s Code of Conduct
An aviation instructor needs to remember he or she is teaching a pilot or technician who should:
• Make safety the number one priority,
• Develop and exercise good judgment in making decisions,
• Recognize and manage risk effectively,
• Be accountable for his or her actions,
• Act with responsibility and courtesy,
• Adhere to prudent operating practices and personal operating parameters, and
• Adhere to applicable laws and regulations.
The Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) needs to remember he or she is teaching a pilot who should:
• Seek proficiency in control of the aircraft,
• Use flight deck technology in a safe and appropriate way,
• Be confident in a wide variety of flight situations, and
• Be respectful of the privilege of flight.
The teaching process consists of four steps: preparation, presentation, application, and assessment. Regardless of the teaching or training delivery method used, the teaching process remains the same. To be effective, an instructor utilizes people skills, subject matter expertise, management skills, and assessment skills.
Course of Training
In education, a course of training is a complete series of studies leading to attainment of a specific goal.
A curriculum is a set of courses in an area of specialization offered by an educational institution.
A syllabus is a summary or outline of a course of study that generally contains a description of each lesson, including objectives and completion standards.
Atraining course outline within a curriculum is the content of a particular course. It normally includes statements of objectives, descriptions of teaching aids, definitions of assessment criteria, and indications of desired outcome.
Preparation of a Lesson
A determination of objectives and standards is necessary before any important instruction can be presented.
Training Objectives and Standards
Performance-based objectives are essential in defining exactly what needs to be done and how it is done during each lesson. As the student progresses through higher levels of performance and understanding, the instructor should shift the training focus to decision-based training objectives. Decision-based training objectives allow for a more dynamic training environment and are ideally suited to scenario type training. The instructor uses decision-based training objectives to teach aviation students critical thinking skills, such as risk management and aeronautical decision-making (ADM).
Standards are closely tied to objectives since they include a description of the desired knowledge, behavior, or skill stated in specific terms, along with conditions and criteria. When a student is able to perform according to well-defined standards, evidence of learning is apparent.
Performance-based objectives are used to set measurable, reasonable standards that describe the desired performance of the student. The objectives must be clear, measurable, and repeatable. (And written.)
Performance-based objectives consist of three elements: description of the skill or behavior, conditions, and criteria.
Description of the Skill or Behavior
The description of the skill or behavior explains the desired outcome of the instruction. It is actually a learned capability, which may be defined as knowledge, a skill, or an attitude.
Conditions are necessary to specifically explain the rules under which the skill or behavior is demonstrated.
Criteria are the standards that measure the accomplishment of the objective. The criteria should be stated so that there is no question whether the objective has been met.
The Importance of the PTS [ACS] in Aviation Training Curricula
PTS hold an important position in aviation training curricula because they supply the instructor with specific performance objectives based on the standards that must be met for the issuance of a particular aviation certificate or rating.
Content validity is reflected by a particular maneuver closely mimicking a maneuver required in actual flight. Criterion validity means that the completion standards for the test are reflective of acceptable standards in actual flight.
Decision-based objectives are designed specifically to develop pilot judgment and ADM skills. Improper pilot decisions cause a significant percentage of all accidents, and the majority of fatal accidents in light single- and twin-engine aircraft.
Other Uses of Training Objectives
Performance-based and decision-based objectives are also helpful for an instructor designing a lesson plan. Training objectives apply to all three domains of learning—cognitive (knowledge), affective (attitudes, beliefs, values), and psychomotor (physical skills).
Presentation of a Lesson
Organization of Material
Generally, the syllabus contains a description of each lesson, including objectives and completion standards. The traditional organization of a lesson plan is introduction, development, and conclusion.
The introduction is made up of three elements: attention, motivation, and an overview of what is to be covered. The purpose of the attention element is to focus each student’s attention on the lesson. The purpose of the motivation element is to offer the students specific reasons why the lesson content is important to know, understand, apply, or perform concepts of Thorndike’s law of readiness. Every lesson introduction should contain an overview that tells the group what is to be covered during the period.
Development is the main part of the lesson. The instructor must logically organize the material to show the relationships of the main points. The instructor usually shows these primary relationships by developing the main points in one of the following ways: from past to present, simple to complex, known to unknown, and most frequently used to least used.
An effective conclusion retraces the important elements of the lesson and relates them to the objective.
Training Delivery Methods
Instructors can choose from a wealth of ways to present instructional material: lecture, discussion, guided discussion, problem based, group learning, demonstration- performance, or e-learning. A training delivery method is rarely used by itself. In a typical lesson, an effective instructor normally uses a combination of methods.
Lectures are used for introduction of new subjects, summarizing ideas, showing relationships between theory and practice, and reemphasizing main points.
The illustrated talk where the speaker relies heavily on visual aids to convey ideas to the listeners. With a briefing, the speaker presents a concise array of facts to the listeners who normally do not expect elaboration of supporting material. During a formal lecture, the speaker’s purpose is to inform, to persuade, or to entertain with little or no verbal participation by the students. When using a teaching lecture, the instructor plans and delivers an oral presentation in a manner that allows some participation by the students and helps direct them toward the desired learning outcomes.
The teaching lecture is favored by aviation instructors because it allows some active participation by the students.
Preparing the Teaching Lecture
• Establishing the objective and desired outcomes
• Researching the subject
• Organizing the material
• Planning productive classroom activities
In the teaching lecture, simple rather than complex words should be used whenever possible. Picturesque slang and free-and-easy colloquialisms, if they suit the subject, can add variety and vividness to a teaching lecture. The instructor should not, however, use substandard English. [This paragraph is the source of several questions on the Knowledge Test.]
Types of Delivery
• Reading from a typed or written manuscript
• Reciting memorized material without the aid of a manuscript
• Speaking extemporaneously from an outline
• Speaking impromptu without preparation
Use of Notes
An instructor who is thoroughly prepared or who has made the presentation before can usually speak effectively without notes. If the lecture has been carefully prepared, and the instructor is completely familiar with the outline, there should be no real difficulty.
Formal Versus Informal Lectures
The lecture may be conducted in either a formal or an informal manner. The informal lecture includes active student participation. The primary consideration in the lecture method, as in all other teaching methods, is the achievement of desired learning outcomes. Learning is best achieved if students participate actively in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Therefore, the use of the informal lecture is encouraged. At the same time, it must be realized that a formal lecture is still to be preferred on some subjects and occasions, such as lectures introducing new subject matter and for explaining the necessary background information. [Exam question.]
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Lecture
There are a number of advantages to lectures. For example, a lecture is a convenient way to instruct large groups. If necessary, a public address system can be used to amplify the speaker’s voice. Lectures can be used to present information that would be difficult for the students to get in other ways, particularly if the students do not have the time required for research, or if they do not have access to reference material. Lectures also can usefully and successfully supplement other teaching devices and methods.
In a lecture, the instructor can present many ideas in a relatively short time. Facts and ideas that have been logically organized can be concisely presented in rapid sequence. Lecturing is unquestionably the most economical of all teaching methods in terms of the time required to present a given amount of material. [Exam question.]
The lecture method is useful in providing information, it is not an effective method of learning large amounts of information in a short time. [Exam question.]
An instructor who introduces some form of active student participation in the middle of a lecture greatly increases student retention.
The discussion method modifies the pure lecture form by using lecture and then discussion to actively integrate the student into the learning process. Active student participation, it also allows students to develop higher order thinking skills (HOTS). The give and take of the discussion method also helps students learn to evaluate ideas, concepts, and principles.
Guided Discussion Method
The guided discussion method relies on student possession of a level of knowledge about the topic to be discussed, either through reading prior to class or a short lecture to set up the topic to be discussed. In a guided discussion, the instructor guides the discussion with the goal of reinforcing a learning objective related to the lesson. The instructor acts as a facilitator to encourage discussion between students.
Use of Questions in a Guided Discussion
The purpose of a lead-off question is to get the discussion started. The instructor may ask a follow-up question to guide the discussion.
Questions can be identified as overhead (A question directed to the entire group in order to stimulate thought and discussion from the entire group), rhetorical (A question asked for a purpose other than to obtain the information the question asks. Usually answered by the instructor.), direct (A question used for follow-up purposes, but directed at a specific individual.), reverse (Returns the question to the same student to provide the answer.), and relay (The student question is redirected to another student.).
Characteristics of an Effective Question
• Has a specific purpose
• Is clear in meaning
• Contains a single idea
• Stimulates thought
• Requires definite answers
• Relates to previously covered information
Planning a Guided Discussion
• Select a topic the students can profitably discuss.
• Establish a specific lesson objective with desired learning outcomes.
• Conduct adequate research to become familiar with the topic.
• Organize the main and subordinate points of the lesson in a logical sequence.
• Plan at least one lead-off question for each desired learning outcome.
The introduction should include an attention element, a motivation element, and an overview of key points. Discussion questions should be easy for students to understand, put forth decisively by the instructor, and followed by silence. In the conclusion the instructor should tie together the various points or topics discussed, and show the relationships between the facts brought forth and the practical application of these facts.
In 1966, the McMaster University School of Medicine in Canada pioneered a new approach to teaching and curriculum design called problem-based learning (PBL). In the intervening years, PBL has helped shift the focus of learning from an instructor-centered approach to a student-centered approach.
PBL starts with a carefully constructed problem to which there is no single solution.
• Relate to the real world so students want to solve them.
• Require students to make decisions.
• Are open ended and not limited to one correct answer.
• Are connected to previously learned knowledge as well as new knowledge.
• Reflect lesson objective(s).
• Challenge students to think critically.
Teaching Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)
Risk management, ADM, automation management, situational awareness, and Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) awareness are the skills encompassed by HOTS.
Types of Problem-Based Instruction
Involves an incentive or need to solve the problem, a decision on how to find a solution, a possible solution, an explanation for the reasons used to reach that solution, and then reflection on the solution.
Scenario-Based Training Method (SBT)
SBT uses a highly structured script of real-world experiences to address aviation training objectives in an operational environment.
Collaborative Problem-Solving Method
The collaborative problem-solving method combines collaboration with problem solving when the instructor provides a problem to a group who then solves it.
Case Study Method
A case study is a written or oral account of a real world situation that contains a message that educates the student.
Electronic Learning (E-Learning)
Electronic learning or e-learning has become an umbrella term for any type of education that involves an electronic component such as the Internet, a network, a stand-alone computer, CD/DVDs, video conferencing, websites, or e- mail in its delivery.
Cooperative or Group Learning Method
Cooperative or group learning organizes students into small groups who can work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning.
Best used for the mastery of mental or physical skills that require practice, the demonstration-performance method is based on the principle that people learn by doing.
• Student Performance
• Instructor Supervision
Drill and Practice Method
Connections are strengthened with practice. It promotes learning through repetition because those things most often repeated are best remembered.
A successful instructor needs to be familiar with as many teaching methods as possible. Although lecture and demonstration-performance may be the methods used most often, being aware of other methods and teaching tools such as guided discussion, cooperative learning, and computer- assisted learning better prepares an instructor for a wide variety of teaching situations.
Application of the Lesson
Application is student use of the instructor’s presented material. It is very important that each student perform the maneuver or operation the right way the first few times to establish a good habit. Faulty habits are difficult to correct and must be addressed as soon as possible.
Assessment of the Lesson
Before the end of the instructional period, the instructor should review what has been covered during the lesson and require the students to demonstrate how well the lesson objectives have been met.
Instructional Aids and Training Technologies
Instructional aids are devices that assist an instructor in the teaching-learning process. Instructional aids are not self-supporting; they support, supplement, or reinforce what is being taught. [Exam question.]
Instructional Aid Theory
• During the communicative process, the sensory register of the memory acts as a filter. As stimuli are received, the individual’s sensory register works to sort out the important bits of information from the routine or less significant bits. Within seconds, what is perceived as the most important information is passed to the working or short-term memory where it is processed for possible storage in the long-term memory. This complex process is enhanced by the use of appropriate instructional aids that highlight and emphasize the main points or concepts.
• The working or short-term memory functions are limited by both time and capacity. Therefore, it is essential that the information be arranged in useful bits or chunks for effective coding, rehearsal, or recording. Carefully selected charts, graphs, pictures, or other well-organized visual aids are examples of items that help the student understand, as well as retain, essential information.
• Ideally, instructional aids should be designed to cover the key points and concepts. In addition, the coverage should be straightforward and factual so it is easy for students to remember and recall. Generally, instructional aids that are relatively simple are best suited for this purpose.
Reasons for Use of Instructional Aids
In addition to helping students remember important information, instructional aids have other advantages. When properly used, they help gain and hold the attention of students.
Clearly, a major goal of all instruction is for the student to be able to retain as much knowledge of the subject as possible, especially the key points. …a show a 10 to 15 percent increase in retention, to more optimistic results in which retention is increased by as much as 80 percent. Words or terms used in an instructional aid should be carefully selected to convey the same meaning for the student as they do for the instructor.
Another use for instructional aids is to clarify the relationships between material objects and concepts. When relationships are presented visually, they often are much easier to understand.
Instructional aids can help to teach more and more in a smaller time frame. [Exam question.]
Guidelines for Use of Instructional Aids
• Clearly establish the lesson objective.
• Gather the necessary data by researching for support material.
• Organize the material into an outline or a lesson plan.
• Select the ideas to be supported with instructional aids.
Types of Instructional Aids
Chalk or Marker Board
Supplemental Print Material
Enhanced Training Materials
e.g. training syllabi; pilot training is a maneuvers guide or handbook which includes the PTS; lists of typical examiner questions.
Interactive CDs and DVDs
Computer-Assisted Learning (CAL)
Models, Mock-ups, and Cut-Aways
Test Preparation Material
While test preparation materials may be effective in preparing students for FAA tests, the danger is that students may learn to pass a given test, but fail to learn other critical information essential to safe piloting and maintenance practices. FAA inspectors and designated examiners have found that student applicants often exhibit a lack of knowledge during oral questioning, even though many have easily passed the FAA knowledge test. [Exam question.]
Spoken input, VR, simulators.
As indicated by this discussion, the teaching process organizes the material an instructor wishes to teach in such a way that the learner understands what is being taught. An effective instructor uses a combination of teaching methods as well as instructional aids to achieve this goal. By being well prepared, an effective instructor presents and applies lesson material, and also periodically assesses how well the learner is learning. An effective instructor never stops learning. He or she maintains currency in the subject matter being taught, as well as how to teach it by reading professional journals and other aviation publications, many of which can be viewed or purchased via the Internet, another source of valuable aviation information for professional instructors.
Chapter 5: Assessment
Assessment is an essential and continuous (ongoing) component of the teaching and learning processes. No skill is more important to an instructor than the ability to continuously analyze, appraise, and judge a student’s performance.
Assessment is the process of gathering measurable information to meet evaluation needs. Assessment involves both judgment by the instructor and collaboration with the student during the evaluation stage.
Traditional assessment often involves the kind of written testing (e.g., multiple choice, matching) and grading that is most familiar to instructors and students. Traditional assessment is more likely to be used to judge, or evaluate, the student’s progress at the rote and understanding levels of learning.
Authentic assessment requires the student to demonstrate not just rote and understanding, but also the application and correlation levels of learning. Authentic assessment requires the student to exhibit in-depth knowledge by generating a solution instead of merely choosing a response.
The terms “criteria/criterion” and “standard” are often used interchangeably. They refer to the characteristics that define acceptable performance on a task. Another term used in association with authentic assessment is “rubric.” A rubric is a guide used to score performance assessments in a reliable, fair, and valid manner. It is generally composed of dimensions for judging student performance, a scale for rating performances on each dimension, and standards of excellence for specified performance levels.
• Diagnostic assessments are used to assess student knowledge or skills prior to a course of instruction.
• Formative assessments, which are not graded, are used as a wrap-up of the lesson and to set the stage for the next lesson.
• Summative assessments are used periodically throughout the training to measure how well learning has progressed to that point.
Purpose of Assessment
An effective assessment provides critical information to both the instructor and the student. A well- designed and effective assessment process contributes to the development of aeronautical decision-making and judgment skills by helping develop the student’s ability to evaluate his or her own knowledge and performance accurately.
General Characteristics of Effective Assessment
In order to provide direction and raise the student’s level of performance, assessment must be factual, and it must be aligned with the completion standards of the lesson.
The effective assessment is objective, and focused on student performance.
The instructor must evaluate the entire performance of a student in the context in which it is accomplished.
The student must accept the instructor in order to accept his or her assessment willingly. Students must have confidence in the instructor’s qualifications, teaching ability, sincerity, competence, and authority.
An effective assessment covers strengths as well as weaknesses. The instructor’s task is to determine how to balance the two.
Praise can be very effective in reinforcing and capitalizing on things that are done well, in order to inspire the student to improve in areas of lesser accomplishment.
Almost any pattern is acceptable, as long as it is logical and makes sense to the student. Sometimes an assessment can profitably begin at the point at which a demonstration failed, and work backward through the steps that led to the failure.… Breaking the whole into parts, or building the parts into a whole, is another possible organizational approach.
An effective assessment reflects the instructor’s thoughtfulness toward the student’s need for self-esteem, recognition, and approval.
At the conclusion of an assessment, students should have no doubt about what they did well and what they did poorly and, most importantly, specifically how they can improve.
As defined earlier, traditional assessment generally refers to written testing, such as multiple choice, matching, true/false, fill in the blank, etc.
Characteristics of a Good Written Assessment (Test)
A test item measures a single objective, and calls for a single response.
Reliability is the degree to which test results are consistent with repeated measurements.
Validity is the extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to measure, and it is the most important consideration in test evaluation.
Usability refers to the functionality of tests. The wording of the test items needs to be clear and concise. Graphics, charts, and illustrations appropriate to the test items must be clearly drawn, and the test should be easily graded.
Objectivity describes singleness of scoring of a test. It is nearly impossible to prevent an instructor’s own knowledge and experience in the subject area, writing style, or grammar from affecting the grade awarded in an essay question. Selection-type test items, such as true/false or multiple choice, are much easier to grade objectively.
Comprehensiveness is the degree to which a test measures the overall objectives. The instructor has to make certain the evaluation includes a representative and comprehensive sampling of the objectives of the course.
Discrimination is the degree to which a test distinguishes the difference between students.
Authentic assessment is a type of assessment in which the student is asked to perform real-world tasks, and demonstrate a meaningful application of skills and competencies. Students must generate responses from skills and concepts they have learned. By using open-ended questions and established performance criteria, authentic assessment focuses on the learning process, enhances the development of real-world skills, encourages higher order thinking skills (HOTS), and teaches students to assess their own work and performance.
The instructor begins by using a four-step series of open-ended questions to guide the student through a complete self-assessment.
Replay—ask the student to verbally replay the flight or procedure.
Reconstruct—the reconstruction stage encourages the student to learn by identifying the key things that he or she would have, could have, or should have done differently during the flight or procedure.
Reflect—insights come from investing perceptions and experiences with meaning, requiring reflection on the events.
Redirect—the final step is to help the student relate lessons learned in this session to other experiences, and consider how they might help in future sessions.
The purpose of the self-assessment is to stimulate growth in the student’s thought processes and, in turn, behaviors. The self-assessment is followed by an in-depth discussion between the instructor and the student, which compares the instructor’s assessment to the student’s self-assessment.
The collaborative assessment process in student-centered grading uses two broad rubrics: one that assesses the student’s level of proficiency on skill-focused maneuvers or procedures, and one that assesses the student’s level of proficiency on single-pilot resource management (SRM), which is the cognitive or decision-making aspect of flight training.
Maneuver or Procedure “Grades”
• Describe—the student is able to describe the physical characteristics and cognitive elements of the scenario activities, but needs assistance to execute the maneuver or procedure successfully.
• Explain—the student is able to describe the scenario activity and understand the underlying concepts, principles, and procedures that comprise the activity, but needs assistance to execute the maneuver or procedure successfully.
• Practice—the student is able to plan and execute the scenario. Coaching, instruction, and/or assistance will correct deviations and errors identified by the instructor.
• Perform—the student is able to perform the activity without instructor assistance. The student will identify and correct errors and deviations in an expeditious manner. At no time will the successful completion of the activity be in doubt.
• Not observed—any event not accomplished or required.
Single-Pilot Resource Management (SRM) “Grades”
• Explain—the student can verbally identify, describe, and understand the risks inherent in the flight scenario, but needs to be prompted to identify risks and make decisions.
• Practice—the student is able to identify, understand, and apply SRM principles to the actual flight situation. Coaching, instruction, and/or assistance quickly corrects minor deviations and errors identified by the instructor. The student is an active decision maker.
• Manage-Decide—the student can correctly gather the most important data available both inside and outside the flight deck, identify possible courses of action, evaluate the risk inherent in each course of action, and make the appropriate decision. Instructor intervention is not required for the safe completion of the flight.
Choosing an Effective Assessment Method
When deciding how to assess student progress, aviation instructors can follow a four-step process.
• Determine level-of-learning objectives.
• List indicators of desired behaviors.
• Establish criterion objectives.
• Develop criterion-referenced test items.
Determine Level-of-Learning Objectives
The first step in developing an appropriate assessment is to state the individual objectives as general, level-of-learning objectives.
List Indicators/Samples of Desired Behaviors
The second step is to list the indicators or samples of behavior that give the best indication of the achievement of the objective.
Establish Criterion Objectives
The next step in the test development process is to define criterion (performance-based) objectives.
Develop Criterion-Referenced Assessment Items
The last step is to develop criterion-referenced assessment items.
Practical tests for maintenance technicians and pilots are criterion-referenced tests. The practical tests, defined in the Practical Test Standards (PTS), are criterion referenced because the objective is for all successful applicants to meet the high standards of knowledge, skill, and safety required by the regulations.
Critiques and Oral Assessments
Used in conjunction with either traditional or authentic assessment, the critique is an instructor-to-student assessment. These methods can also be used either individually, or in a classroom setting.
An effective critique considers good as well as bad performance, the individual parts, relationships of the individual parts, and the overall performance. A critique can and usually should be as varied in content as the performance being evaluated. A critique may be oral, written, or both. It should come immediately after a student’s performance, while the details of the performance are easy to recall.
The instructor leads a group discussion in an instructor/ student critique in which members of the class are invited to offer criticism of a performance.
The instructor can specify the pattern of organization and the techniques or can leave it to the discretion of the student leader.
Small Group Critique
The class is divided into small groups, each assigned a specific area to analyze. Each group must present its findings to the class. It is desirable for the instructor to furnish the criteria and guidelines. The combined reports from the groups can result in a comprehensive assessment.
Individual Student Critique by Another Student
The instructor may require another student to present the entire assessment. A variation is for the instructor to ask a number of students questions about the manner and quality of performance.
A student critiques personal performance in a self-critique. Like all other methods, a self-critique must be controlled and supervised by the instructor.
A written critique has three advantages. First, the instructor can devote more time and thought to it than to an oral assessment in the classroom. Second, students can keep written assessments and refer to them whenever they wish. Third, when the instructor requires all students to write an assessment of a performance, the student-performer has the permanent record of the suggestions, recommendations.
The most common means of assessment is direct or indirect oral questioning of students by the instructor.
Fact questions are based on memory or recall. This type of question usually concerns who, what, when, and where. HOTS questions involve why or how, and require the student to combine knowledge of facts with an ability to analyze situations, solve problems, and arrive at conclusions.
Proper quizzing by the instructor can have a number of desirable results:
• Reveals the effectiveness of the instructor’s training methods
• Checks student retention of what has been learned
• Reviews material already presented to the student
• Can be used to retain student interest and stimulate thinking
• Emphasizes the important points of training
• Identifies points that need more emphasis
• Checks student comprehension of what has been learned
• Promotes active student participation, which is important to effective learning
Characteristics of Effective Questions
Prepared questions merely serve as a framework, and as the lesson progresses, should be supplemented by such impromptu questions as the instructor considers appropriate.
To be effective, questions must:
• Apply to the subject of instruction.
• Be brief and concise, but also clear and definite.
• Be adapted to the ability, experience, and stage of training of the students.
• Center on only one idea (limited to who, what, when, where, how, or why, not a combination).
• Present a challenge to the students.
Types of Questions To Avoid
Effective quizzing does not ever include yes/no questions such as “Do you understand?” or “Do you have any questions?” Also avoid the following types of questions: puzzle, oversize, toss-up, bewilderment, trick questions, irrelevant questions.
Answering Student Questions
• Be sure that you clearly understand the question before attempting to answer.
• Display interest in the student’s question and frame an answer that is as direct and accurate as possible.
• After responding, determine whether or not the student is satisfied with the answer.
This chapter has offered the aviation instructor techniques and methods for assessing how, what, and how well a student is learning. Well-designed assessments define what is worth knowing, thereby improving student learning. Since today’s students want to know the criteria by which they are assessed, as well as practical and specific feedback, it is important for aviation instructors to be familiar with the different types of assessments available for monitoring student progress throughout a course of training, and how to select the most appropriate assessment method.
Chapter 6: Planning Instructional Activity
The key to developing well- planned and organized aviation instruction includes using lesson plans and a training syllabus that meet all regulatory certification requirements.
Course of Training
An instructor plans instructional content around the course of training by determining the objectives and standards, which in turn determine individual lesson plans, test items, and levels of learning.
Blocks of Learning
After the overall training objectives have been established, the next step is the identification of the blocks of learning which constitute the necessary parts of the total objective. A student can master the segments or blocks individually and can progressively combine these with other related segments until their sum meets the overall training objectives.
The blocks of learning should be fairly consistent in scope. They should represent units of learning which can be measured and evaluated—not a sequence of periods of instruction.
Aviation instructors use a training syllabus because as technology advances, training requirements become more demanding.
Syllabus Format and Content
The format and organization of the syllabus may vary, but it always should be in the form of an abstract or digest of the course of training. It should contain blocks of learning to be completed in the most efficient order. Since effective training relies on organized blocks of learning, all syllabi should stress well-defined objectives and standards for each lesson.
How To Use a Training Syllabus
Any practical training syllabus must be flexible and should be used primarily as a guide. When necessary, the order of training can and should be altered to suit the progress of the student and the demands of special circumstances.
Ground training lessons and classroom lectures concentrate on the cognitive domain of learning. A typical lesson might include defining, labeling, or listing what the student has learned so far. Many of the knowledge areas are directly or indirectly concerned with safety, ADM, and judgment. Since these subjects are associated with the affective domain of learning (emotion), instructors who find a way to stress safety, ADM, and judgment, along with the traditional aviation subjects, can favorably influence a student’s attitude, beliefs, and values.
Flight training lessons or aviation technical lab sessions also include knowledge areas, but they generally emphasize the psychomotor domain of learning because the student is “doing” something.
The flight training syllabus should include special emphasis items that have been determined to be cause factors in aircraft accidents or incidents.
A lesson plan is an organized outline for a single instructional period. It is a necessary guide for the instructor because it tells what to do, in what order to do it, and what procedure to use in teaching the material of a lesson.
A mental outline of a lesson is not a lesson plan. A lesson plan should be put into writing. Another instructor should be able to take the lesson plan and know what to do in conducting the same period of instruction. Written out, the lesson plan can be analyzed for adequacy and completeness. [Exam questions.]
Purpose of the Lesson Plan
Lesson plans are designed to assure that each student receives the best possible instruction under the existing conditions.
Characteristics of a Well-Planned Lesson
After the objective is determined, the instructor must research the subject as it is defined by the objective. Once the research is complete, the instructor determines the method of instruction and identifies a useful lesson planning format. The decision of how to organize the lesson and the selection of suitable support material come next. The final steps include assembling training aids and writing the lesson plan outline. [Exam questions.]
Unity—each lesson should be a unified segment of instruction. A lesson is concerned with certain limited objectives, which are stated in terms of desired student learning outcomes. All teaching procedures and materials should be selected to attain these objectives.
Content—each lesson should contain new material. However, the new facts, principles, procedures, or skills should be related to the lesson previously presented. A short review of earlier lessons is usually necessary, particularly in flight training.
Scope—each lesson should be reasonable in scope. A person can master only a few principles or skills at a time, the number depending on complexity. Presenting too much material in a lesson results in confusion; presenting too little material results in inefficiency.
Practicality—each lesson should be planned in terms of the conditions under which the training is to be conducted. Lesson plans conducted in an airplane or ground trainer will differ from those conducted in a classroom. Also, the kinds and quantities of instructional aids available have a great influence on lesson planning and instructional procedures.
Flexibility—although the lesson plan provides an outline and sequence for the training to be conducted, a degree of flexibility should be incorporated. For example, the outline of content may include blank spaces for add-on material, if required.
Relation to course of training—each lesson should be planned and taught so that its relation to the course objectives is clear to each student. For example, a lesson on short field takeoffs and landings should be related to both the certification and safety objectives of the course of training.
Instructional steps—every lesson, when adequately developed, falls logically into the four steps of the teaching process: preparation, presentation, application, and review and evaluation.
How To Use a Lesson Plan Properly
Use the lesson plan as a guide.
Adapt the lesson plan to the class or student.
Revise the lesson plan periodically.
Lesson Plan Formats
Each lesson should have somewhat limited objectives that are achievable within a reasonable period of time.
Commercially developed lesson plans are acceptable for most training situations, including use by flight instructor applicants during their practical tests.
The traditional type of training lesson plan with its focus on the task and maneuver or procedure continues to meet many aviation learning requirements, but as discussed earlier in the chapter, it is being augmented by more realistic and fluid forms of problem-based learning such as SBT. For the CFI, this type of training does not preclude traditional maneuver- based training. Rather, flight maneuvers are integrated into the flight scenarios and conducted as they would occur in the real world. Those maneuvers requiring repetition are still taught during concentrated settings; once learned, they are then integrated into realistic flight situations.
Scenario-Based Training (SBT)
Since humans develop cognitive skills through active interaction with the world, an effective aviation instructor uses the maneuver- or procedure-based approach of the PTS but presents the objectives in a scenario situation.
Advanced avionics have contributed to a shift in the focus of aviation training to include aeronautical decision-making (ADM) and risk management. For the pilot, this is called Single-Pilot Resource Management (SRM). Since SRM training requires the student or transitioning pilot to practice the decision-making process in real-world situations, it combines traditional task and maneuver-based training with SBT to enhance ADM, risk management, and SRM skills without compromising basic stick and rudder skills.
Duties, Responsibilities, and Authority of the Aviation Instructor
1. Orient new learners to the SBT approach.
2. Help the learner become a confident planner and a critical evaluator of his or her own performance.
3. Help the learner understand the knowledge requirements present in real world applications.
4. Diagnose learning difficulties and help the individual overcome them.
5. Evaluate student progress and maintain appropriate records.
6. Provide continuous review of student learning.
Reality is the ultimate learning situation and SBT attempts to get as close as possible to this ideal. It addresses learning that occurs in a context or situation. It is based on the concept of situated cognition, which is the idea that knowledge cannot be known and fully understood independent of its context. In other words, humans learn better, the more realistic the situation is and the more they are counted on to perform.
Single-Pilot Resource Management
SRM is the art and science of managing all the resources (both on-board the aircraft and from outside sources) available to a single pilot (prior and during flight) to ensure that the successful outcome of the flight is never in doubt.
As indicated by this chapter, it is possible to develop well-planned and organized instruction by using a training syllabus and lesson plans that meet all regulatory certification requirements. By identifying and incorporating “blocks of learning” into the teaching of objectives, the instructor can plan lessons that build on prior knowledge. Maneuver and/or procedure training coupled with SBT will help the aviation instructor train professional aviators and technicians who are able to gather and analyze information to aid in making good aeronautical decisions and decrease risk factors, leading to a successful flight or maintenance outcome.