Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Flying Instructors & Examiners
Reload this Page >

CFI- ideas for spicing up my lectures

Flying Instructors & Examiners A place for instructors to communicate with one another because some of them get a bit tired of the attitude that instructing is the lowest form of aviation, as seems to prevail on some of the other forums!

CFI- ideas for spicing up my lectures

Old 1st Sep 2009, 12:16
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Alameda
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
CFI- ideas for spicing up my lectures

Iíll be going for the CFI practical test in about a month. During preparation, one of my instructorís recurring criticisms has been the lack of spice in my lectures. Specifically, I need some interesting/entertaining ways to teach basic principles. For example, the blowing of air over the top of a piece of paper to demonstrate Bernoulliís principle.


Also if you can remember any part of your training that left a particular impression I would be all ears. Iím specifically looking for anecdotes or anything that helped achieve a jump in learning or understand a difficult concept.


Lastly, I have a few die-cast model planes that I use for teaching. But what I really need is a sturdy model airplane with moveable control surfaces. I would be grateful if someone could point me in the right direction.

Thanks everyone.
Beatle1967 is offline  
Old 2nd Sep 2009, 06:53
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: these mist covered mountains are a home now for me.
Posts: 1,785
Received 29 Likes on 12 Posts
Have you considered giving a couple of practise lectures to a friend (if that's not too cruel) and videotaping your performance? Then go home and watch those same lectures that you just gave, and analyse it from a different point of view. Take notes. Maybe watch them each twice....
Runaway Gun is offline  
Old 2nd Sep 2009, 12:31
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 167
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why not buy a proper radio controlled model plane!

Make sure you are not crashing it infront of students though
Intercepted is offline  
Old 2nd Sep 2009, 13:10
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hotel this week, hotel next week, home whenever...
Posts: 1,492
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I know Pooleys (A UK company) used to make a model with controlable, movable ailerons, elevator, rudder and flaps.

I'm sure there will be something similar in the US somewhere, can your instructor or school not recommend somewhere? Sportys per chance?
Duchess_Driver is offline  
Old 2nd Sep 2009, 16:10
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Canada
Age: 63
Posts: 5,225
Received 135 Likes on 62 Posts
Holding a kitchen spatula under a stream of running water is a a great way to illustrate angle of attack and the stall
Big Pistons Forever is offline  
Old 2nd Sep 2009, 16:50
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 43
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Very handy indeed! If you have a spatula...and have the lecture in a kitchen.
NorthRider is offline  
Old 2nd Sep 2009, 17:34
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Canada
Age: 63
Posts: 5,225
Received 135 Likes on 62 Posts
North Rider

I contributed a time ex'd spatula to my local flying school and I give my 3 min demonstation using the sink in the bathroom. Rather than poking fun at my suggestion you could actually provide an example of a technique you use .....
Oh wait that would require crafting a constructive post
Big Pistons Forever is offline  
Old 2nd Sep 2009, 19:51
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Suffolk
Posts: 212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
After 30 years teaching for a living, I think the secret is to switch perspectives.

To start with you think, "What do I need to tell this audience?"

Once it clicks, you ask "What do they need to know to understand what I'm trying to teach?"

To find this out, you need to ask questions of your audience - for example, "Who knows what the rudder does?" The answers tell you what you need to say next - and in this case, assuming they think the rudder turns the aircraft, it's not enough just to say "No, it doesn't (much)", though even this interchange is more effective than making a plain statement, "The rudder does not turn the aircraft". If I were teaching this, I might follow up with a video clip of someone side-slipping, so they can see that the aircraft is flying in a different direction to the way the nose is pointing (thus proving my assertion), and then refer back to something they already know (wings produce lift) and asking them what happens if we tilt the wings; and from there, you're off.

This has the advantage of making your presentations interactive, and thus far more interesting than straight presentations of information.

It also means that, if you use slides, you can't put all the information on the slides (because you don't know exactly where you're going next). This is also a good thing, because the dullest possible presentations are where the lecturer reads what's on the slides - if the audience can read, they've got there ages ago, and if they can't read, why bother showing the slide? A slide is only a structure for what you need to cover, so you know the next point you're heading towards. In a two-hour lecture, I never use more than 20 slides which are mainly text. Add in images and video to create variety, and create contrast (a cartoon duck might be more effective than a picture of a Cessna if you want to talk through control surfaces, for example).

Anecdotes can work if they are connected closely to your talk - peraonal experience ("and then the tailplane fell off") is always more effective than a story aboout someone else. These need to fit into you narrative in a natural way - if you have a prepared anecdote, and the audience can see you leading up to it, it loses all its force. It needs to look like something that has just popped into your head.


But, the most important thing is to ask what the audience needs to know, and use that to structure what you are trying to teach them.
ProfChrisReed is offline  
Old 3rd Sep 2009, 00:42
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: these mist covered mountains are a home now for me.
Posts: 1,785
Received 29 Likes on 12 Posts
"And then the tailplane fell off" ????

You got MY attention


Beats my "there I was 2 mins late over my reporting point" story of excellence.
Runaway Gun is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2009, 13:08
  #10 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Alameda
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks!

This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. It's a great practical example of a complex abstract concept. And no wind tunnel required. Bravo.

I even found a youtube vid:

YouTube - Aerodynamics of a stall
Beatle1967 is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2009, 13:19
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 43
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BigPistonsForever
You could have seen the the funny side of my comment but that would require a sence of humour No seriously...both my previous post as well as this one where not ment to be taken seriously, but I guess you lose something in translation and non verbal communication. No offence ment.

Back to topic. I use youtube a lot. There are a lot of very good and informative clips on allmost all sudjects. Some times I just show some funny clip to help with the monotony. Some material on youtube maybe copyrigthed but I think it is not me committing the crime, it is the person uploading it. I could allso get around the issue by not showing the material in class but only telling the students to have a look at it themselves, in wich case maby olny half actually would...
NorthRider is offline  
Old 8th Sep 2009, 15:06
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 657
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Interesting discussion - personally I didn't want any 'spice' when being instructed in flying training. Much better to have an instructor you have confidence in and respect for, and that know their stuff.

If it can be 'spiced up' as well and not distract from the basic lesson, then fair enough. I've come across a couple of instructors in the past who have played the 'wise guy' and had to make a joke of everything - I just wanted to throttle them and tell them to cut the crap.
Parson is offline  
Old 9th Sep 2009, 12:36
  #13 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Alameda
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Interesting discussion - personally I didn't want any 'spice' when being instructed in flying training. Much better to have an instructor you have confidence in and respect for, and that know their stuff."

Parson, you make it sound like the two are mutually exclusive. Obviously everyone's experience is different, but it has been shown that instructional aids & practical demonstrations of abstract concepts accelerate the learning process for the majority of students.
Beatle1967 is offline  
Old 9th Sep 2009, 12:54
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 657
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Yes, perhaps I was a little harsh and it was not aimed at instructional aids per se which are of course very useful.

Took the original comment to be implying that the instructional technique was boring and needed jazzing up etc. Thankfully all the instructors I've ever had on a regular basis have been first rate, but I've come across a few (one-off check filghts etc.) who were not interested in whether I could fly or not and were out for a laugh and a joke. A good balance is required for professional instruction, but I'm probably drifting off topic now.
Parson is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.