The world is moving on, the pressure to train pilots is piling up on nations and airlines. Despite the economic woes we are all facing, they are churning them through in ever increasing numbers. China particularly is supplementing their undersupply with a steady stream of pilots from the battered US community.
Quite how that training is delivered is my point of discussion here. Face to face (f2f) methods have their benefits, but they are an inefficient and expensive way of delivering volume learning in a high bandwidth, networked world.
You may be enthusiastically working your way through the delights of Air Law, Navigation or Meteorology, but if you are driving for an hour or two to get to a classroom then doing the reverse at the end o the day, every dollar you slop into your gas tank is another you cannot spend getting nearer your license goal. And if you with an airline changing types on the company tab, the time and money spent on the motorway could be better spent elsewhere – our planet might breath a little easier too (the irony?).
Enter the Virtual Learning Environment – the ‘VLE’ There are plenty around, some good, some awful, but over the coming weeks I will be feeding into this blog some of the discoveries I am making during an Open University degree I have been working through since early February, an MA in Online & Distance Education (ODE).
VLE’s are not a magic bullet for all learning needs, they are simply a focus point for materials and collaborative learning – the new paradigm gradually sweeping its way through higher education. Within aviation ‘blended learning’, a mix of f2f and eLearning is obviously the way we do it.
If you have any comments or experiences to relate, I would be delighted to hear from you either through the comments facility here or via email. With your permission I will even use the results in my projects, either anonymous or quoted – all within internal, closed discussion groups within my OU cohort. Strictly not for external publication and no ‘creative’ use of your email address either.
‘Fancy sharing your experiences? Please use 777globalnomad at gmail dot com