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Appendix II-Instructional Technique Course Syllabus 

Subject 62-The Practice and Theory of Flight Instruction 


It must be stressed that application of the principles and strategies in this syllabus should be applied with the aviation context clearly in mind whatever the training venue i.e. classroom, briefing room, aircraft, simulator, etc. The particular emphasis is not just the 'what' but the 'how' of instructing; the practical reality of tuition, briefing, instruction, and debriefing in the aviation environment. 

This syllabus is for the guidance of course presenters and should form the basis for developing a course. This document is syllabus content and not intended as course content. The syllabus sequence is not intended to dictate course sequence. 

Course concept 

The course, as a prerequisite for Categories D and C initial instructor rating issue flight test consists of 4 days (24 hours class contact time), which may be split into two modules, both conducted within the same 30 day period, and should present the syllabus material assuming no previous teaching/instructing experience exists and seek to provide the candidate with knowledge, attitudes, skills and techniques to aid them in instructing within the aviation environment. 

The instructional technique course is to be completed before the commencement of, or integrated with, the instructor flight training course. 


Learning Theory: How People Learn 

Define learning. 

Describe the following three dimensions (domains) of learning- 

  • cognitive (knowledge) 
  • psychomotor (skill) 
  • affective (attitudes) 

Explain Bloom's Taxonomy of intellectual performance. 

Describe how the human brain processes information. 

Explain the processes and limitations of human memory. 

Describe the relative value of each of the senses in the learning process. 

Explain perception. 

Describe the limitations of human perception. 

Describe the application of the following styles of learning- 

  • visual 
  • aural/auditory 
  • read/write 
  • kinaesthetic

Explain the meaning and application of the following principles (laws) of learning- 

  • readiness (relevance) 
  • exercise (repetition) 
  • effect 
  • primacy 
  • intensity 
  • recency 
  • belonging 
  • reinforcement 
  • feedback 

Explain the role of motivation, both extrinsic and intrinsic, in the learning process. 

Describe barriers to effective learning and ways of overcoming these barriers, including- 

  • physical 
  • intellectual 
  • emotional 
  • administrative 

Explain the effect of stress on the learning process.

Describe the following three phases (stages) in the learning of a skill (motor programme)- 

  • the knowledge (cognitive) phase 
  • the acquisition (associative) phase 
  • the automatic phase 

Describe the learning plateau in skill development. 

Explain how attitudes are learnt. 

Teaching Methods 

Describe the characteristics of the following teaching methods- 

  • lecture 
  • theory lesson 
  • guided discussion (tutorial) 
  • pre-exercise briefing
  • practical skill lesson 
  • post-exercise de-briefing 
  • programmed instruction 
  • facilitation 

Explain the strengths and weaknesses of each of the teaching methods listed above. 

Explain the importance of creating an effective learning environment. 

Aims and Objectives 

Define an instructional (behavioural/specific) objective. 

Differentiate between lesson aims and instructional objectives. 

State the purpose of lesson aims. 

State the purpose of instructional objectives. 

Describe the advantages of instructional objectives. 

Explain the following three characteristics of an instructional objective- 

  • a statement of performance 
  • a statement of standards 
  • a statement of conditions 

Write an instructional objective.

The Lesson 

Describe the major sections of a lesson model. 

Explain the purpose of an introduction. 

Explain the purpose of the lesson body. 

Explain the purpose of a lesson consolidation/conclusion. 

State the steps in planning a lesson. 

Write a plan for a lesson delivered during the course. 

Programme Planning 

Explain the relevance of prior learning and background. 

Explain the purpose and methods of completing a needs assessment. 

Describe the principles of planning and managing training programmes. 

Describe the influence of differing aviation goals on the structure and delivery of various training courses.


Explain a basic model of communication. 

Describe barriers to communication in instruction and ways of overcoming these barriers, including those associated with gender, culture and English as a second language. 

Describe techniques for effective verbal communication. 

Describe techniques for effective listening. 

State the approximate proportion of communication that is body language. 

Describe body language factors that are important in instruction. 

Demonstrate effective verbal, non-verbal and listening skills when instructing. 

Questioning Techniques 

Explain the purpose of using questioning in instruction. 

Describe techniques for framing questions. 

Identify faults in questioning techniques. 

Apply effective questioning in an instructional situation. 

Training Aids 

Explain how and why training aids benefit the learning process. 

Describe the types of training aids available to an instructor. 

Describe the characteristics of effective training aids. 

Explain the principles of planning for the use of training aids. 

Explain the principles for the construction/development of training aids.

Explain the techniques for using the following training aids effectively- 

  • power point 
  • overhead projectors and transparencies 
  • magnetic/whiteboards 
  • models 
  • cutaways 
  • videos/DVDs/film clips/slides 
  • synthetic flight training devices 
  • manuals/handouts/textbooks 
  • wall flip charts/posters 

Construct/develop and use training aids effectively during the course.


Explain the purpose and techniques of a briefing, including those of a formal ground briefing (long briefing) and those of a pre-brief prior to airborne training. 

Explain the purpose and techniques of a de-brief. 

Discuss the concept and ability to be critically reflective. 

Consider the elements of an appropriate briefing/debriefing environment including potential distractions. 

Demonstrate effective briefing and debriefing in an instructional situation. 

Application of Instruction in the Cockpit 

Describe instruction principles and practices relevant to 'between briefing room and cockpit'. 

Explain the management of the cockpit while instructing, including workload and instructing without compromising pilot in command responsibilities. 

Describe the components of a model of airborne instruction. 

Discuss the monitoring of student performance. 

Describe intervention principles and techniques. 

Describe the principles of managing lesson time, lesson objectives, student performance and cost. 


Identify characteristics particular to aviation students. 

Describe the characteristics of adult learners. 

Explain the importance of recognising differing personality traits and strategies for effectively managing these. 

Discuss preferred learning styles, including own preferred style. 

The Instructor 

Explain the role and responsibilities of the instructor including as facilitator, mentor, and assessor. 

Identify the characteristics of a good trainer including what makes an instructor credible. 

Discuss the avoidable traits and behaviours. 

Identify stresses in the role of instruction and techniques for managing them. 

Outline the professional duties and obligations of an aviation instructor. 

Outline the ethics applicable to aviation instructing.

Explain the importance of self-assessment as an instructor. 

Assessment of Learning 

Explain the purpose of assessing student learning. 

Describe the following three broad functions of assessment- 

  • diagnostic 
  • achievement 
  • predictive 

Differentiate between assessment and evaluation. 

Describe the various types of assessment used in aviation learning. 

Describe the following elements for effective assessment in the practical environment- 

  • validity 
  • reliability 
  • objectivity 
  • differentiation 
  • comprehensiveness 

Explain the function and importance of feedback in the assessment process. 

Describe and contrast criterion referenced and normative referenced assessment.

Describe and contrast objective and subjective assessment. 

Discuss the construction of the following types of objective assessment- 

  • multi-choice items 
  • true/false items 
  • matching items 
  • completion/open ended questions 

Describe the following problems associated with subjective assessment- 

  • differing standards 
  • the halo effect 
  • logical error 
  • central tendency error 

Explain 'competency based standards'. 

Describe the following means of improving practical assessment-

  • checklists 
  • numerical scales 
  • descriptive scales 
  • behaviourally anchored numerical scales (e.g. Flight Test Standards Guides) 

Describe the requirements for and principles of documenting records of training. 

Assess the performance of course participants in their demonstration of instructional techniques. 

Threat and Error Management 

Describe threat management as it pertains to flight instruction, including means of: 

  • recognising threats 
  • avoiding 
  • mitigating the effects of threats 

Identify methods for detecting, avoiding and mitigating error during flight instruction.