Distance Learning Technologies with the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals: Lessons Learned

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Nick Wilson, Assistant Professor of Aviation, University of North Dakota (UND)

Nicholas D. Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Aviation at the University of North Dakota (UND). He specializes in advanced aircraft systems, primary aviation training, IP development, aviation operations and curriculum design. Nick received his MBA from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN in 2012 and is an active pilot and aviation instructor. Historically, Nick has worked for Northwest Airlines as a Manager of Customer Service, Airport Operations as well as Northwest/Delta Air Lines as a Sr. Flight Training Procedures Instructor on the A320. He also applied his MBA and aircraft systems knowledge while working for UTC Aerospace Systems (United Technologies) in business development on subsystems for Airbus and Boeing commercial aircraft. Nick also worked at Endeavor Air as Curriculum Developer for the CRJ200/900 prior to returning to UND in 2014. Nick is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Research at UND.Nick’s research interests include fatigue risk mitigation in aviation, situational awareness (human factors and technology), student motivational and performance factors relating to aircraft systems knowledge acquisition, curriculum design and airline operations.

Distance Learning Technologies with the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals: Lessons LearnedTraining the next generation of aviators is becoming critically important to ensure adequate supply to the ever-growing demand for professional pilots. This preparation process includes traditional methods of classroom lecture, flight simulation and flight lessons – in aircraft. What is becoming more evident is the trend towards use of distance or eLearning technologies (academics might say “blended” or “flipped” learning methods) within the aviation industry as well as the university classroom. This presentation focuses on use of an industry leading training courseware within the collegiate aviation environment as a facilitating tool for learning transport category aircraft systems. Student opinions vary on the use distance learning courseware, however, other qualitative factors such as overall course workload, course design and other external considerations may affect perceptions. Courseware developers and aviation training center administration may desire to consider these perceptions as they plan for the incoming generation of aviators.