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Blog - Blended Learning in Pilot Training


Blog - Blended Learning in Pilot Training

I think we can all agree that those attracted to the pilot profession are not your typical ‘nine to five desk job individuals’. Their livelihood requires them to be mobile, flexible and adaptable. Shouldn’t their training be the same? 

Pilots are highly skilled individuals. The continuous training they undergo throughout their careers helps to foster development of their skill sets. With education in general subjects, systems, procedures and flight maneuvers for initial and ongoing recurrent training, pilots are committed to spend a significant time in the training environment.

Time spent in training is invaluable and necessary for both pilots and airlines, so we are always looking to improve the training journey. Here at L3, we are constantly looking for answers to the questions: How can we optimize the many hours required for training? Can we use different learning tools to cater to those who learn differently, and provide additional resources to enhance knowledge earlier in training? And how do we make the most efficient use of expensive training time in flight simulation devices?

Our solution: ETHOS, an application that runs on tablet and web platforms, (including a current airline favorite, the iPad) allowing learning that is no longer limited by time and location constraints. ETHOS provides professionally developed content that meets requirements for general subject and systems knowledge, while also providing a range of tools, resources and features designed to allow classroom independent learning in a controlled and interactive application. And why stop at general subjects and systems training? Unique in the aviation courseware realm, ETHOS provides additional content focused on procedure training that can guide and reinforce understanding during this important stage in the training footprint.
It is becoming increasingly important to explore the use of blended learning as part of pilot training. We must provide high-quality content, a variety of interactive applications, tools and lessons to maximize knowledge retention while ensuring that minimum training requirements are met. And students should have round-the-clock access to these resources. We should not be holding students back because of limited access to their training content.

Typically within a classic classroom environment, instructors support the delivery of such content, and while it’s crucial to continue in-house training, we can extend the learning environment outside the classroom. Blended learning can reduce costs for the airlines while giving the students the flexibility to learn when and where they want, reviewing content on an as-needed basis to ensure a high level of proficiency. Instructors can dedicate their time to classroom and simulator training, focusing on the specific needs of the individual to assess and support their understanding, rather than reviewing basic training principles. Embracing this solution makes for optimized, higher quality training at a lower cost. Surely a winning strategy!

It is also important that the delivered content is current, relevant and appropriate to the training needs. Aviation is a global industry, with multiple and diverse training requirements: airlines incorporate multiple aircraft types, variants and configurations, along with customized operating procedures and regulatory requirements specific to local regions. ETHOS allows pilots to both prepare and review specific content chosen by their training department on an “as needed” basis, constantly improving their knowledge and providing them with customized airline and fleet specific training.

In the quest for better learning and improved results, pilots need flexibility in their training - a flexibility that allows for training whenever and wherever it may be convenient. Pilots cover an extraordinary distance every day, so why should their learning be restricted to a set classroom, or a set time? Embrace blended learning. Embrace ETHOS.

- Jason Thompson, Business Development Manager