The demonstration-performance training delivery method was discussed briefly in The Teaching Process, The Teaching Process, but the following in-depth discussion is geared to the flight instructor. This training method has been in use for a long time and is very effective in teaching kinesthetic skills so flight instructors find it valuable in teaching procedures and maneuvers. The demonstration-performance method is divided into four phases: explanation, demonstration, student performance with instructor supervision, and evaluation. [Figure 8-4]
The flight instructor needs to be well prepared and highly organized if complex maneuvers and procedures are to be taught effectively. The student must be intellectually and psychologically ready for the learning activity. The explanation phase is accomplished prior to the flight lesson with a discussion of lesson objectives and completion standards, as well as a thorough preflight briefing. Explanations must be clear, pertinent to the objectives of the particular lesson to be presented, and based on the known experience and knowledge of the students. Students need to know not only what they will learn, but also how they will learn it—that is, how the lesson will proceed and how they will be evaluated. In teaching a skill, the instructor must convey to the students the precise actions they are to perform. In addition to the necessary steps, the instructor should describe the end result of these efforts. The explanation phase also should include coverage of appropriate safety procedures. Before leaving this phase, the instructor should encourage students to ask questions about any step of the procedure that they do not understand.
The instructor must show students the actions necessary to perform a skill. As little extraneous activity as possible should be included in the demonstration if students are to clearly understand that the instructor is accurately performing the actions previously explained. If, due to some unanticipated circumstances the demonstration does not closely conform to the explanation, this deviation should be immediately acknowledged and explained.
Student Performance and Instructor Supervision Phases
As discussed in the The Teaching Process, these two phases involve separate actions that are performed concurrently. The first of these phases is the student’s performance of the physical or mental skills that have been explained and demonstrated. The second activity is the instructor’s supervision.
Student performance requires students to act and do. To learn skills, students must practice. The instructor must, therefore, allot enough time for meaningful student activity. Through doing, students learn to follow correct procedures and to reach established standards. It is important that students be given an opportunity to perform the skill as soon as possible after a demonstration.
Then, the instructor reviews what has been covered during the instructional flight and determines to what extent the student has met the objectives outlined during the preflight discussion. The instructor should be satisfied that the student is well prepared and understands the task before starting. The instructor observes as the student performs, and then makes appropriate comments.
In this phase, the instructor traditionally evaluates student performance, records the student’s performance, and verbally advises the student of the progress made toward the objectives. Regardless of how well a skill is taught, there may still be performance deficiencies. When pointing out areas that need improvement, offer concrete suggestions that help. If possible, avoid ending the evaluation on a negative note.
As discussed in the Assessment category, collaborative assessment (or learner centered grading (LCG)) is a form of authentic assessment currently used in aviation training with problem-based learning (PBL). PBL structures the lessons to confront students with problems that are encountered in real life and forces them to reach real-world solutions. Scenario-based training (SBT), a type of PBL, uses a highly structured script of real world experiences to address aviation training objectives in an operational environment. Collaborative assessment is used to evaluate whether certain learning criteria were met during the SBT.
Collaborative assessment includes two parts—learner self-assessment and a detailed assessment by the flight instructor. The purpose of the self-assessment is to stimulate growth in the learner’s thought processes and, in turn, behaviors. The self-assessment is followed by an in-depth discussion between the instructor and the student which compares the instructor’s assessment to the student’s self-assessment.
The Telling-and-Doing Technique
The demonstration-performance method can be applied to the telling-and-doing technique of flight instruction in three steps. However, the telling-and-doing technique includes specific variations for flight instruction. [Figure 8-5]
Instructor Tells—Instructor Does
First, the flight instructor gives a carefully planned demonstration of the procedure or maneuver with accompanying verbal explanation. While demonstrating inflight maneuvers, the instructor should explain the required power settings, aircraft attitudes, and describe any other pertinent factors that may apply. This is the only step in which the student plays a passive role. It is important for the demonstration to conform to the explanation as closely as possible. In addition, it should be demonstrated in the same sequence in which it was explained so as to avoid confusion and provide reinforcement. Since students generally imitate the instructor’s performance, the instructor must demonstrate the skill exactly the way the students are expected to practice it, including all safety procedures that the students must follow. If, due to some unanticipated circumstances, the demonstration does not closely conform to the explanation, this deviation should be immediately acknowledged and explained.
Most physical skills lend themselves to a sequential pattern where the skill is explained in the same step-by-step order normally used to perform it. When the skill being taught is related to previously learned procedures or maneuvers, the known to unknown strategy may be used effectively. When teaching more than one skill at the same time, the simple-to-complex strategy works well. By starting with the simplest skill, a student gains confidence and is less likely to become frustrated when faced with building skills that are more complex.