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Controller Training Methods and Tools

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Category: ATM Operations Training BP
ATM Operations Training Best Practices
Content source: SKYbrary About SKYbrary
Content control: EUROCONTROL EUROCONTROL

This article is aimed to make an overview of the methods and tools used during all phases of controller training. The article will provide a general description of training design and structure, simulator training, training techniques, computer based training.

Training as a Method of Itself

In general terms training is a set of educational procedures that refers to knowledge in terms of knowledge understood as a skill and competence and knowledge as doing. These are intended to result in developing the trainees’ skills and competence. And the essence of training is a combination between a defined educational phenomenon and specific method and tools used in the process of training.

There are many classifications of the different types of training in terms of a variety of categories: from sport, through arts and science, to jobs and professions. Controller training is regarded as a job or a professional training. Therefore all specifications related to the controllers as professionals are reflected not only in the content of the training but in the methods and tools as well.

The Trainer

There are not any methods and tools that could guarantee a successful training by themselves. There is a basic pre-requisite - the figure of the trainer (theoretical/practical instructor) who may be regarded in essence as a method and as a tool.

The most important element in a training situation is the trainer. The trainer who is enthusiastic, energetic and genuinely interested in both the subject and getting his or her message across in the best possible way so as to evoke the greatest response from the trainees. The trainer who lacks interest in training, who has little or no enthusiasm for the subject of the training and who merely goes through the modules of training is a failure. Such a trainer wastes not only his or her own time but also that of the trainees. The inept trainer is quickly identified by the trainees, who react with distraction, lassitude, neglect, undisciplined behaviour and absence from training sessions. Successful training - which produces the desired result – would depend entirely by the trainer. In the trainer's hands lies the heavy responsibility for ensuring that the trainees achieve the maximum results from the training.

However even the best prepared trainer has to be supported with knowledge for well-working practice that grows to methods and tools. That’s why the trainer uses methods and tools in his/her educational activities. Methods are ways and know-how for doing something. Tools are instruments and means that help something to be done. The trainer uses methods and tools in his/her educational activities. Methods are ways and know-how for doing something. Tools are instruments and means that help something to be done.

Training Design and Structure

The training design process contains the following elements: structure of training documentation (syllabus, training plan and assessment plan, training events plan), clear taxonomy of training objectives (with five different levels of knowledge, skills and competence) and definition of appropriate objectives, plans, syllabus, techniques etc. to be used further on.

Simulator Training

The process considers a model of communication where the learner, either individually or in a group, receives information through a media at a certain rate depending on the training technique.

Training techniques

Lecture

A straight verbal communication or exposition, possibly using visual or other aids, but without a group participation except for a question and answer session, usually at the conclusion.

Lesson / Demonstration

A training technique incorporating a number of instructional techniques designed to ensure the participation of the students in reaching the specified behavioural objectives. The instructor is able to ascertain whether the material has been assimilated.

Case Study

A technique in which a real or fictional situation or series of events are presented to the trainees for analysis and consideration of possible solutions or problems identified. If a real situation is used for the case study trainees’ findings can be compared with what actually occurred.

Supervised Practices

Manipulations of equipment where the instructor provides the necessary feedback.

Interactive Training

The provision of knowledge and skills by means of a computer with numerous interactions, student response analysis and allowing when appropriate free individual rhythm of learning (self-paced manner).

Pre-Simulation

It allows practicing in a restricted period of time or in real time a part of the skills necessary for the operational task in a possibly not realistic environment (e.g. 2D aerodrome).

Simulation

The provision of knowledge, skills and attitudes by means of a representation of air traffic responding to any student action as real air traffic. It always includes briefing, tutoring and debriefing.

Role-plays

Students act out a working model of some real-world human situation in an interacting group. They are provided with background data and roles to play together with constraints which may change as the play proceeds.

Structured Briefing

Planned group introduction to a simulation (or a series of simulations) stating the objectives of the exercise, the simulated operational procedures, the operation of the simulator and the expected role of each team member, including the instructor.

Briefing

A briefing is an introduction to a training event during which interruption of the student’s activity is not normally anticipated (e.g. OJT and simulation). The technique is used during the simulation (briefing/debriefing) or planned separately (structured briefing/ structured debriefing). Planned group review and discussion of the outcome of a simulation (or a series of simulations) are conducted. The discussion is centred on the strategies chosen and their results.

Debriefing

A debriefing is a review and discussion on the outcome of a training event based on a formative assessment of that event. The technique is used during the simulation (briefing/debriefing) or planned separately (structured briefing /structured debriefing).

Tutoring

The act of giving additional knowledge and guidance to an individual or a small group of trainees in an off-the-job, informal training situation. Tutoring is considered as a supplementary training event and may be automated in case of guided simulation.

Computer-based Training (CBT)

Provision of knowledge and skills by means of a computer with numerous interactions, student response analysis and free individual rhythm of learning (self-paced manner). This encompasses interactive guided learning and interactive exploration.

Use of Training Methods and Tools

Course designers are mainly responsible for the selection of proper training methods and tools to be included in the training plans upon their creation.

The right choice of training methods and tools is essential for the achievement of the training objectives.

However theoretical and practical instructors have a key role in application of provisions of training plans (e. g. training methods and tools) and performance is from significant importance for the quality of training.


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