The purpose of the digital learning resource (DLR) tool – named “Knowledge Center” (KC) – is to provide performance support to pilots, mainly those undergoing training for initial (QC) or recurrent (CQ) aircraft qualification programs/curricula. Each aircraft type has its own QC and CQ training programs. The DLR tool will be used as a reference resource for all Procedures Training phase training topics taught in a QC curriculum.
Multipurpose use includes: (a) preparing for a session, (b) homework/review after a session, and (c) on-going, on-demand reference during any stage of CQ or QC training, as well as before “on the line” flying by providing learning support and refreshing knowledge at any time and place.
The target audience is of age 25-55 and as such, work experience varies:
- QC training is mostly undertaken by (a) new-hire pilots coming from regional operators who have flown 20-60 seat aircraft or more experienced new-hire pilots joining the company from larger Canadian and non-Canadian operators, and (b) experienced pilots transitioning from one fleet to another and therefore need training on aircraft systems and procedures for the new aircraft type to which they’re transitioning. This program usually takes 55-60 days net to complete to be able to achieve aircraft type qualification. Multiple levels of training devices are used whose level of technology varies (i.e. computer-based training, virtual simulation instructor-led training, integrated procedures training devices, full-flight simulator devices). The final stage of training consists of on-the-job training operating flights as a co-pilot with a Training Captain to allow integration of all previous learning to a real flying environment.
- CQ training, or recurrent training, is undertaken every 8 months (some fleets have a more frequent recurrent cycle). This consists of a 1.5hr instructor-led briefing followed by a 4-hour full-flight simulator session. The session covers specific aircraft systems, manoeuvres and other training events based on a combination of Transport Canada mandated and select operational training events that require re-enforcement.
Until recently, briefings were consisting of death-by-PowerPoint material combined with some videos filmed in a training device. It was up to the instructor to ensure they deliver effective briefings and learners mainly relied on their notes and manuals as learning material to take home. Recognizing the importance of providing effective training material to cater to the needs of instructors and trainees, the first step to improve briefing material was recently made as a result of feedback provided my trainees and instructors. Therefore, presentations have already been enriched with content that is developed based on visual design principles, meaning, media-rich content to include artifacts, such as images, videos, simulation recordings, graphs, etc.
With the mindset of implementing a design thinking process to improve learning experience and effectiveness, Matthews, Williams, Yanchar and McDonald (2017) state that designers view empathy as caring about those that they are designing for, reflecting on personal learning experiences to imagine what learners are experiencing, and trying to see things from the learners’ perspective. The need to design and develop a KC was identified after the Training Design Team performed a more recent design thinking process (Stanford, 2016) to uncover unmet needs. Therefore, the KC will leverage existing instructor-led training material, will repurpose and repackage it to allow access on-demand through the company-provided iPads using a menu of the topics covered in a QC training program.
As this is a non-budgeted initiative where both subject-matter expert and development resources are extremely limited, the Team sought to use tools that are already available. Hence, no expenses will be made other than assigning human resources to repurpose existing content and develop it in a way that it can be made available through existing channels where trainees have already access to without human intervention to provide additional access rights. Therefore, an eLearning authoring tool (Articulate Storyline 360) will be used to re-purpose the existing PowerPoint presentations and re-develop them after breaking them down to individual topics/chunks of knowledge modules. The modules will be published in SCORM format and uploaded to the company Learning Management System (Saba Cloud LMS). The KC will be created in the LMS as a “curriculum” and the individual modules as “classes”.
The effectiveness of this initiative will be measured with the implementation of the KC on one specific fleet before proceeding to all-fleet implementation. A survey will be distributed to obtain learner feedback and an LMS report will be extracted to measure consumption and popularity of the KC and its individual modules. The data will be used to further improve the KC and identify which topics are more popular, thus signalling knowledge gaps or areas for knowledge re-enforcement.
Learning Theories & Instructional Design Principles Used
The cognitivist paradigm essentially argues that the “black box” of the mind should be opened and understood. The KC activates mental processes such as thinking, memory, knowing, and problem-solving.
- Anchored Instruction & Cognitive Load
The KC involves the use of an “anchor” material or piece of media, in most cases a video, to create a shared experience among learners and a beginning point for further learning on a topic. The anchor video supports a few key instructional objectives and takes into consideration not to overwhelm the learner with excessive visual and aural messages, also known as Cognitive Load. Modules will be short enough to showcase a specific procedure that has previously been introduced by the instructor. Procedure references are included allowing the instructor and the trainee to refer to in conjunction with manuals during classroom discussions and activities. Furthermore, the instructor and students can refer to the video anchor for additional learning and any questions that arise as students understand more about the topic.
The KC is an example of how Internet technologies have created new opportunities for people to learn and share information online and among themselves. A key feature of connectivism is that much learning can happen across peer networks that take place online, in this case, through the LMS.
- Learner-centred Design
Learner-centred design (LCD) theory emphasizes the importance of supporting the learners’ growth and motivational needs in designing resources to support their learning. In addition, since learners have different learning needs and learn in different ways, the KC is designed for the specific learner-audience. As the theory suggests, the KC scaffolds existing knowledge and supports learners optimally as they need it. The KC provides explanation and encouragement to help learners understand a procedure and allow for further reflection on what they are learning to ensure optimum performance.
Learning Experience – Instructions and Plan for Use
The KC will be accessible through Saba Cloud iPad app since all pilots have been assigned a company iPad. The App allows for direct access to a pilot’s online learning content and the KC will be listed under “my learning” for ease of access. Upon accessing the KC, a menu of all topics (modules) appearing alphabetically will assist in identifying and selecting the desired topic with no more than 2-3 clicks. Content can also be downloaded on the app for offline viewing. Completion of the module will be registered after the iPad regains online access.
Instructions for Use for the purpose of Assignment 2
To simplify ease of access and use for the MALAT cohort, a video mock-up of one of the modules will be provided. The KC module will be accessible through an online link. Additional instructions are not necessary.
Kouprie, M., & Visser, F. S. (2009). A framework for empathy in design: stepping into and out of the user’s life. Journal of Engineering Design, 20(5), 437–448. https://doi.org/10.1080/09544820902875033
Learning Theories and Models summaries – Educational Psychology. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://www.learning-theories.com/
Matthews, M. T., Williams, G. S., Yanchar, S. C., & McDonald, J. K. (2017). Empathy in Distance Learning Design Practice. TechTrends, 61(5), 486–493. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-017-0212-2
Stanford University Institute of Design. (2016). Bootcamp bootleg. Retrieved from http://dschool-old.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/METHODCARDS-v3-slim.pdf