Chapter 6. Planning Instructional Activity

How To Use a Lesson Plan Properly

Be familiar with the lesson plan. The instructor should study each step of the plan and should be thoroughly familiar with as much information related to the subject as possible.

Use the lesson plan as a guide. The lesson plan is an outline for conducting an instructional period. It assures that pertinent materials are at hand and that the presentation is accomplished with order and unity. Having a plan prevents the instructor from getting off track, omitting essential points, and introducing irrelevant material. Students have a right to expect an instructor to give the same attention to teaching that they give to learning. The most certain means of achieving teaching success is to have a carefully reviewed lesson plan.

Adapt the lesson plan to the class or student. In teaching a class, the instructor may find that the procedures outlined in the lesson plan are not leading to the desired results. In this situation, the instructor should change the approach. There is no certain way of predicting the reactions of different groups of students. An approach that has been successful with one group may not be equally successful with another.

A lesson plan for an instructional flight period should be appropriate to the background, flight experience, and ability of the particular student. A lesson plan may have to be modified considerably during flight, due to deficiencies in the student’s knowledge or poor mastery of elements essential to the effective completion of the lesson. In some cases, the entire lesson plan may have to be abandoned in favor of review.

Revise the lesson plan periodically. After a lesson plan has been prepared for a training period, a continuous revision may be necessary. This is true for a number of reasons such as availability or non-availability of instructional aids, changes in regulations, or new manuals and textbooks.

Lesson Plan Formats

The format and style of a lesson plan depends on several factors. Certainly the subject matter helps determine how a lesson is presented and what teaching method is used. Individual lesson plans may be quite simple for one-on-one training, or they may be elaborate and complicated for large, structured classroom lessons. Preferably, each lesson should have somewhat limited objectives that are achievable within a reasonable period of time. This principle should apply to both ground and flight training. However, as previously noted, aviation training is not simple. It involves all three domains of learning, and the objectives usually include the higher levels of learning, at least at the application level.

In spite of need for varied subject coverage, diverse teaching methods, and relatively high level learning objectives, most aviation lesson plans have the common characteristics already discussed. All should include objectives, content to support the objectives, and completion standards. Various authorities often divide the main headings into several subheadings; terminology, even for the main headings, varies extensively. For example, completion standards may be called assessment, review and feedback, performance evaluation, or some other related term.

Commercially developed lesson plans are acceptable for most training situations, including use by flight instructor applicants during their practical tests. However, all instructors should recognize that even well-designed preprinted lesson plans may need to be modified. Therefore, instructors are encouraged to use creativity when adapting preprinted lesson plans or when developing their own lesson plans for specific students or training circumstances.

In the traditional lesson plan illustrated by Figure 6-7, the objective is “The student will learn to control for wind drift.” The content has the instructor pilot giving a thorough coverage of heading, speed, angle of bank, altitude, terrain, and wind direction plus velocity. This explanation is followed by a demonstration and repeated practice of a specific flight maneuver, such as turns around a point or S-turns across the road until the maneuver can be consistently accomplished in a safe and effective manner within a specified limit of heading, altitude, and airspeed. At the end of this lesson, the student is only capable of practicing the maneuver with assistance from the instructor.

The traditional type of training lesson plan with its focus on the task and maneuver or procedure continues to meet many aviation learning requirements, but as discussed earlier in the chapter, it is being augmented by more realistic and fluid forms of problem-based learning such as SBT. For the CFI, this type of training does not preclude traditional maneuver-based training. Rather, flight maneuvers are integrated into the flight scenarios and conducted as they would occur in the real world. Those maneuvers requiring repetition are still taught during concentrated settings; once learned, they are then integrated into realistic flight situations.

For the aviation technician instructor, SBT enhances traditional classroom instruction. By integrating SBT into the lesson, students are required to deal with problems they will encounter in the real world.

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