Educating Aviators: Challenges for Distance Learning in Aviation Tertiary Education

Educating Aviators: Challenges for Distance Learning in Aviation Tertiary Education

Tarryn Kille (Griffith University, Australia), Paul Bates (Griffith University, Australia) and Patrick S. Murray (Griffith University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6555-2.ch005
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Abstract

This chapter provides a critical examination of the evolution of distance education in tertiary aviation programs. By reviewing the literature and studies associated with Professional Pilot training, the chapter explores the issues affecting the delivery of distance education in university Professional Pilot programs, including the global shortage of Professional Pilots, the nature of work as a Professional Pilot, the importance of simulation, and the integration of assessment. In an effort to address some of the challenges, this chapter also offers recommendations and solutions. The authors contend that tertiary aviation distance education programs need to be adjusted to consider the needs of the student and industry by: (1) implementing action-based learning, (2) considering pedagogy before technology, (3) encouraging interaction and collaboration, and (4) embedding formative assessment. The chapter aims to contribute to the body of literature aimed at enhancing the effective delivery of distance learning in aviation tertiary education.
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Background

The application of technology in higher education has received increasing attention in the past two decades (Kirkwood & Price, 2014). Two important movements have stimulated this attention including the emergence of online teaching into the everyday practice of university business and the rise of distance education programs offered throughout the higher education sector (Larreamendy-Joerns, 2006). The two movements have forced changes to the delivery of higher education that has had, and will continue to have, an effect on student learning now and into the future (Simmons, 2007).

In the case of distance education, the principle stimulus for change has been the emergence of new technology (Moore & Kearsley, 2012) including the significant growth of the internet as a global medium for telecommunications. Many aspects of the learning process, ranging from information delivery, interactivity and communication, to the evaluation and assessment of learning outcomes, can now be offered through vastly accessible online and internet-based platforms (Thomas, 2003). This method of education delivery is now widely marketed as ‘e-learning’ or ‘online learning’ (Moore & Kearsley, 2012).

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