The Training Department at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3, the West Coast’s fleet replacement squadron (FRS), recently redesigned its ground-training syllabus using videos to modernize the materials and increase speed.
We applaud this innovation, and we strive to grow further as technology advances,” said Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Dan Dwyer. “Modernizing the flight training curriculum from initial entry through undergraduate training, FRS and into the fleet, will allow students greater opportunity to excel faster.”
Starting with a fleet replacement pilot’s first day at the FRS and continuing throughout the “Seawolf” training program, videos now introduce each system and guide students through basic operation and key study points, explained Lt. Cmdr. Robin Dirickson, HSC-3’s training lead. Engaging, instructional videos can direct a student through challenging material the same way, for example, a video can guide a do-it-yourselfer through a home repair, she said.
The videos feature active-duty instructors introducing a system and demonstrating the standard for briefing. They use linear diagrams and animated graphics side-by-side with aircraft photos to break down complex topics and include handwritten notes to highlight important information. Students then reference a study guide with required reading from source documents with a personnel qualification standard style outline of learning objectives. Open and closed book tests for each lesson further direct students to study and evaluate the information that is most critical to commit to memory.
This “flipped classroom” strategy helps better accommodate individual study time, because in-person instructional time is now spent answering questions, having discussions, testing comprehension and practicing problem solving.
Lt. j.g. Richard Wheeler, an FRS student pilot, praised the new courseware. “The videos help break the system down to general concepts of why and how it works, then build it back up for how it works in the helicopter. It helps cue students toward what matters for the system in plain English,” he said.
“The redesigned training also aligns with the Navy’s Ready, Relevant Learning initiative,” said Capt. Ed Weiler, HSC-3 Commanding Officer, “because it makes learning accessible at the right time, at the right level and in the right format, and it aligns with the recommendations released in a report this year from a Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division review of current FRS instructional methods.”
Beyond systems basics, explanatory and walk-though videos will also be available for topics that either require repetition for comprehension or combined audio-visual instruction, Dirickson said.
At the Production Alignment Conference in August, HSC-3 proposed extending the training videos to cover mine countermeasures, unmanned aerial systems and aircraft maintenance operations. To do that, a cloud-based server and site dedicated to aircrew training will need to be established so students can access the content on their phones, tablets or home computers in addition to computers in the learning center. HSC-3 has completed multiple “prototype” videos and plans to bring this initiative to the HSC community starting in January 2020.
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