Uzm. Psk. Asude GEREDE

Uzm. Psk. Asude GEREDE

Havacılık Psikolojisi, CRM, Havacılıkta Kişisel Gelişim

#MeetTheExpert: Dr. Suzanne K. KEARNS

23 Temmuz 2020 - 15:35

Havacılığa gönül vermiş,alanında uzman olan kişilerle gerçekleştirdiğim e-röportajları (e-interview) burada bulacaksınız. Bazıları makale tadında bazıları biyografi kıvamında olacak. Karşılaşacağınız her uzman kişinin sizlerde merak uyandırmasını, bilginizi zenginleştirmesini ve vizyonunuzu genişletmesini umut ediyorum. 

İlk olarak Suzanne K.Kearns ile başlıyorum. Havacılık aşığı olan Kearns, mükemmel vizyona sahip bir eğitmen, uluslararası alanda çalışmaları, makaleleri ile farkını belli eden bir akademisyen, araştırmacı ve yazardır.

Temel olarak "Yetkinliğe Dayalı Eğitim (CBT)" ile ilgili görüşlerini aldığımız Kearns'ün, alanda çalışan eğitimcilere ışık tutacak bakış açısını paylaştığı ve teknik olmayan beceriler (non-technical skills)  kapsamında kullandığı eğitim tekniklerinden örnekler verdiği, makale tadında röportajını kaçırmayın.

Hadi #UzmanıİleTanışın..




Suzanne Kearns is an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada. She has been passionate about aviation since her childhood and began flight training at the age of 15 in her hometown of Wiarton, Ontario, Canada. She had her private airplane and helicopter pilot licenses on her 17th birthday.
 
She went on to complete a helicopter pilot diploma and then her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in aeronautical science and human factors, through those experiences, she was drawn towards the aviation academic world more than operational positions as a pilot. Her research focuses on aviation human factors and pilot training.  She explores human limitations and how they contribute to aviation accidents and incidents.  She also studies educational theory related to aviation, including the shift towards competency-based education practices and the impact of e-learning in aviation.
 
Kearns has been awarded many times for her outstanding achievements and contributions to areospace education. In 2019, Kearns received the Elise MacGill Northern Lights award (Education Category) recognizing women who make outstanding contributions to aviation and aerospace.


#MTE: Competent aviator is the key element of aviation safety. In your article “Teaching to Competence: Myths and Solutions” (Kearns,2017) you mentioned that "it is worthwhile to occasionally step back and critically think about the way we teach and learn in aviation." So, Dr.Kearns, what can we do, as aviation educators, to teach more effectively and to improve the learning?

Dr.Kearns: Thank you for your question.  A few tips that I think are helpful. Sometimes, as educators, we get into the habit of repeating the same style of teaching over and over again.  Often, it’s the same style that was used to teach us.  We may forget to pause and reflect on the structure and tools of a course.  One thing I often ask teachers is “If you were a student in this classroom – would you find the learning experience engaging and enjoyable?”  Often, ‘death by powerpoint’ presentations are painful for both the teacher and student alike.  The basic qualification to be in a classroom is that the learner can read – so why do we pay a skilled instructor to stand at the front of the room and read slides out loud? Instead, it is useful to reflect on which medium is the most efficient, engaging, and cost-effective for each learning objective.  For example, a skilled instructor is best used to reinforce key concepts, explain how they apply to the real world, guide a learner’s thinking as they’re beginning to problem-solve like a practitioner, and orchestrate group activities and scenarios.  A book or e-learning course is best to prime learners, exposing them to the basic content, before they arrive in a classroom.  That allows the classroom time to be most beneficial and impactful. However, sometimes in our industry we take the concept too far.  Most pilots have experienced ‘chair flying’ where they push a chair up against a wall with a cockpit poster that displays the location of avionics.  Pilots will move their hands across the poster, practicing their ‘flows’ of movement to reinforce this skillset.  As we have adopted technology, several virtual reality applications representing cockpits have been developed for the same purpose – yet there isn’t demonstrable learning improvements over the $5 poster on the wall.  We need to strive for the most effective learning – through the most affordable medium.
 
#MTE: Is it possible to achieve the most effective learning  by competency-based training?
 
Dr.Kearns: It all depends on how you define ‘effective’.  In some courses, learning effectiveness is measured based on the score someone earns on a final test.  Sometimes, people forget to ask if that test is accurately reflecting the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to be a competent professional.  Perhaps the test is measuring your ability to remember enough to get through the exam – and you lack the ability to apply that content to real world situations.  Sometimes, I joke with my students that after a multiple-choice exam, as they’re walking out of the room it’s like I can see the ‘bubbles’ of information floating out of their minds.  The joke is that – we’ve all faced a test and thought “I just have to hold this information long enough to get through the test”.  Humans naturally ‘game’ education, by asking ourselves how can we get through the assessments in the easiest way possible while earning the highest grade.  It’s not very often that we ask ourselves, ‘How can I ensure that I get as much information out of this course as possible, to support my professional skills’.  That’s fundamentally what competency- based training (CBT) is attempting to do – reorient classroom instruction so it’s directly aligned with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for professional competence.
 
So, long story short, if you measure ‘effective’ as a training program that has impact on real world performance-I think that competency-based training is a good strategy.  It’s important to note, however, that CBT doesn’t mean throwing away all the good aspects of current training.  It means that all training uses ‘professional competencies’ as the benchmark/outcome of instruction.  In reality, many of the learning activities will likely be the same (or very similar) between traditional & CBT.
 
#MTE: It was mentioned in your book, “Competency-Based Education in Aviation: Exploring Alternate Training Pathways" (Kearns, Mavin, and Hodge,2016) that achieving competency can be accomplished through a wide variey of methods, equipments and instructional design. Can you give us some examples in brief, maybe from ones that you are applying in your classes?
 
Dr.Kearns: I teach university-level courses that are theoretical in nature (not ground school courses for a pilot license).  In all of my courses I use different techniques to help learners make connections to the real world:
 
In my human factors course, students learn about the non-technical skills framework (situation awareness, workload management, communication, etc).  Then, to understand how real-world environments and time pressure complicate these issues, the class goes to an Escape Room and completes it in competition style in teams.  They then reflect on how they used the various NOTECH skills. 
 
Instead of having them write academic literature reviews, I ask them to research and identify at least 5 peer-reviewed academic articles and write a 2 page blog post that applies that high-level research to the aviation industry (using common terms/expression rather than a formal academic style).  I encourage them to add this work to their professional portfolio and share it on Linkedin to get feedback from industry.  I often tell my students that my goal is to have them understand research and how to find and access scientific work – but to also be able to express it to the aviation industry in a way that is accessible and engaging.
 
In my two upper-year courses I have ‘design challenges’ where student groups are tasked with problems.  They need to apply different theories and concepts (to understand different dimensions of the problem) before creating their final solution.  Final solutions are presented before a panel of industry judges, who assess all groups and reward the highest-scoring group with prizes (often a flight pass or a dinner/tour of their company’s hangar facility).

It’s a different setting in a university compared to a flight training school, but my goal is to decrease the gap between academic studies and professional competencies.  I want to prepare them for the job they’re seeking, to avoid the situation where they arrive on the first day of their job to someone saying “forget everything you learned in university, now I will teach you how the job is really done”.  I want to give them a foundation of industry awareness, a skillset to access and use research and literature, soft-skills to communicate, work with teams, and manage heavy workloads, etc. 
 
Like all teaching, I don’t ever see my courses as ‘complete’.  Each year I’ll carefully review student feedback and make adjustments to improve the learning experience.  It’s never perfect – but overall it’s a fun process that is never static.  The best part is 6-12 months after a course when a student has gained further experience and comes back to say that now they understand why I was teaching them the way I did.  With experience, they better understand the connections that I reinforced and often find themselves ahead of their professional peers.
 
 #MTE: Dr. Kearns, I thank you sincerely. Before we end this very informative and inspirational virtual talk do you have any recommendation for aviation educators/trainers?"
 
Dr.Kearns: I guess the final recommendation I would have for aviation educators/trainers would be to reflect on what sparks their imagination, passion, excitement and engagement with material.  What creates interest and enthusiasm when you’re learning something new?  It’s probably not someone reading static powerpoint slides.  If we can continue to reflect on what creates engagement for ourselves, we can evolve the way we teach and ensure that student engagement is one of the priorities of instructional design.  Share your passion, your stories, why you became involved in aviation in the first place.  Ensure you’re connecting the teaching to ‘why’ it’s important and matters for professional competence – teach people to recognize why things matter and how they apply to the real job (rather than memorize to get through an exam).  Small adjustments to teaching can make big improvements – moving towards competency-based education doesn’t always require big changes.
 
Thank you for the virtual chat. It was fun to discuss these issues and I wish you all the best.
 
#MTE: Thank you so much.
 

 
Kearns,S.K. (2017). Teaching to Competence:Myths and Solutions. ICAO Training Report 7(1) 7-9.
Kearns, S.K., Mavin T.J., and Steven Hodge,S.(2016). Competency-Based Education in Aviation: Exploring Alternative Training Pathways. Ashgate Publishing Ltd.


 
Books by Suzanne K Kearns :
Canadian Aviation, 2009
e-Learning in Aviation, 2010
Competency-Based Education in Aviation: Exploring Alternate Training Pathways, 2016
Fundamentals of International Aviation, 2018 
(Türkçe Basım: Uluslararası Havacılığın Temelleri, 2020)
Engaging the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals: An Edited Volume, 2020
 
 
 

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