The Value of Scenario-Based Training

Getting a pilot’s license used to involve simply showing your flight instructor that you could follow the steps to get from A to B. If you mastered the individual tasks required to take off, maneuver through the flight pattern and land safely, you were OK’d for your solo and the ultimate test of competency. 

Now, however, flight schools have realized that better training involves understanding not just what to do but why you do it. This is the value of scenario-based training.

Here is an example of the value scenarios add and why in our instructional design consulting business, we often identify key scenarios and include simulations for more effective learning and behavior change. 

  • In our flight school, we want the pilot to be able to adjust to constantly changing circumstances and make sound decisions along the way. 
  • Imagine being at the controls. You have learned the mechanics of short-field landings. One day, when on your path to a standard landing, your instructor asks you to imagine an obstruction half-way down the field. You suddenly need figure out how to avoid a collision. 
  • You have to shift from your planned landing. 
  • Swiftly, you adjust the controls, descend at a faster rate and apply the brakes more aggressively than usual. 
  • You just completed a short field landing after assessing the situation, determining and implementing the appropriate course of action.

The best corporate training prepares the learner to operate successfully in real-world situations. With scenario-based training, learners are challenged to decide which skills to apply in various contexts; they go beyond rote learning to understanding how and when to apply what they have learned.

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