Chapter 6. Planning Instructional Activity

Prescenario Planning

For SBT instruction to be effective, it is vital that the aviation instructor and student establish the following information:

Flight scenario:

  • Scenario destination(s)
  • Desired student learning outcomes
  • Desired level of student performance
  • Possible inflight scenario changes

Nonflight scenario:

  • Narrative of the task goal
  • Desired student learning outcomes
  • Desired level of student performance
  • Possible scenario changes

The aviation industry is moving from traditional knowledge-related learning outcomes to an emphasis on increased internalized learning in which learners assess situations and react appropriately. Knowledge components are becoming an important side effect of a dynamic learning experience.

Reality is the ultimate learning situation and SBT attempts to get as close as possible to this ideal. It addresses learning that occurs in a context or situation. It is based on the concept of situated cognition, which is the idea that knowledge cannot be known and fully understood independent of its context. In other words, humans learn better, the more realistic the situation is and the more they are counted on to perform.

For example, realistic cross-country flight scenarios planned and executed by the pilot in training with assistance from the flight instructor begin the early development of flight deck management skills, situational awareness, and ADM. Continued engagement by the student in the planning, executing, and assessment of each scenario reinforces it throughout the training. It is important to remember the student is responsible for planning the flight scenario from a menu of short cross-country flights developed by the training provider. While the flight instructor will certainly assist the student in aircraft performance data, weight and balance, and general aircraft layout prior to the first lesson, the sooner the student assumes these responsibilities, the better the learning environment. The scenario descriptions offered in the FAA generic syllabi are a starting point for the training provider. Scenarios can be tailored for the local weather and terrain conditions and are most effective when they replicate the environment most likely encountered by the students.

SBT is a compilation of basic learning theory, adult learning concepts, and the best of the traditional aviation training procedures. Above all, it is about learning complex tasks in a realistic environment at a pace and in a structure the individual student can comprehend and process. [Figure 6-9] Good teaching techniques are still important, but only if they aid in student learning. More detailed information about SBT can be found at

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