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- 22/02/2016, 15:25 #1
Revolutionizing Pilot Training in Prescott
Revolutionizing Pilot Training in Prescott | Prescott, Arizona | Embry-Riddle
There’s a revolution underway in Embry-Riddle Prescott’s flight training courses. Aviation faculty member Ray Bédard and his team of Embry-Riddle students and alumni have designed True Course Simulations (TCS) software to better prepare students for flight activities in the Aeronautical Science degree program.
“As an Academic Advisor, I heard my students say they wanted flexibility, more enjoyable learning and cost savings. The old way used books and paper and drawings on the white board — not very engaging. Some had to re-do lessons or even courses because they did not retain the learning,” said Bédard. “TCS revolutionizes the way pilots-in-training learn because it is based on the premise that students learn best by using all three channels: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The result is a series of dynamic lessons where the students ‘Read it, Watch it! and Do it!’.”
In flight training, students incur costs with each instructor meeting and every flight activity. Being prepared to practice mastery of the learning objective on the first attempt saves time and money and builds confidence in students.
View the True Course Simulations Private Pilot training software Powerpoint presentation.
TCS consists of 60 lessons with 200 learning objectives currently used in conjunction with the Ground School classroom course for the private pilot course. This Spring semester, the lessons will be extended and taken concurrently with flight activities to better match the pace of learning by the student pilots.
“As a student at Embry-Riddle currently in training as a private pilot,” said Dillon Smith, Embry-Riddle Prescott student, “I am confident that my engagement with True Course Simulations has accelerated my flight training, saving me precious time and money as well as made me an overall better pilot.”
Built on Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D flight simulation platform, TCS is customized to Embry-Riddle’s specifications using realistic visuals to illustrate the principles in action. Students read flight briefings, watch videos, and fly simulation exercises to develop mastery on the ground before going flying.
“We took the Flight Training Course Outline and mapped every learning objective to exercises in TCS,” said Bédard. “Students have a lifetime subscription to the software so they can go back at any time to review the content and practice their simulated flight skills. We made it responsive to all electronic platforms, so that students have the flexibility to read the briefings and watch the videos on their own time.”
View the short whiteboard animation we created to explain the True Course Simulations Private Pilot training software.
Assessment analytics are an important feature of the software. TCS has a built-in Engagement Dashboard allowing faculty to track and analyze student activity, including how many times a student attempted the exercise, how long they were engaged and their success rates. In the Fall semester, approximately 100 students used TCS resulting in over 160,000 data points currently being analyzed.
“We intentionally integrated cutting-edge educational recording software, GrassBlade LRS, and information analysis technology, Extenso, to make this a powerful tool for instructor evaluation. So, not only does TCS benefit the student, it also allows for performance analysis of student behavior by their flight instructors who will know how and when to best help their students at any point during their flight training,” said Bédard. “There’s nothing else like this available right now.”
An initial review of metrics show the software, first tested during the 2015 Summer semester, is working. Of those who completed the course, all have finished their Private Pilot’s check-ride ahead of the traditional student timeline. “It’s all about the students. The best compliment is seeing students in the lab at 7 a.m. to fly their missions,” said Bédard.
Bédard is especially proud that his software development team is made up of current students and alumni. “My strength is finding the diamonds-in-the-rough and giving them opportunities,” said Bédard.
The TCS team is already exploring how to develop software for other Embry-Riddle Prescott flight activities.
For more information on True Course Simulations software, contact Ray Bédard at email@example.com
What's the "revolution" provided by the "True Course Simulations" software? Flight Training based on Microsoft Flight Simulator (or X-Plane) has been around for a good while already.
Also, it's interesting how Prepar3d is being portrayed as a "professional" tool, distinguishing itself from the Microsoft FSX "game for kids" while both are basically just the same.
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