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Game-based training in the aviation industry

Game-based training and serious games are extensively used across various sectors and industries today. A huge shift from traditional instructor-led training to game-based e-learning is visible in the global market today. Adding game-based training on digital platforms has proven to enhance the quality of training and knowledge retention of the learners. The knowledge retained This has resulted in a more in-depth and detailed training of the organization’s workforce. In a survey conducted by the University of Colorado, it was found that the use of game-based training increased self-efficiency of the employees by 20%.

Let’s look at how the aviation industry is using game-based training to upskill their staff and improve the on-the-job implementation.

Game-based training in the aviation industry

The aviation industry was one of the first to implement simulation-based learning. One of the highest contributing factors to introduce experiential training was due to the risk involved on-the-job to send pilots with only theoretical knowledge and no hands-on experience. A situation-based training for pilots is critical to ensure that they are aware of and can practice the response-protocol for every situation. The industry is now adopting game-based elearning as well, to train its staff.

For training pilots on working the aircraft, can we do away with the flight simulators? Absolutely not! A pilot in training must try their hands on a flight simulator before actually flying. I, personally, wouldn’t trust a pilot who has trained only on a desktop game with my life. Would you?

Then why game-based training? 

Flight-simulators come with their own set of limitations. The area that can help train in is limited to the technical know-how of flying an aircraft. But a pilot needs much more than that to improve their critical thinking, attention and decision-making skills. They are the ones responsible for the safety of several lives onboard.

In addition to this, the costs associated with flight simulators is high. One of the reasons for this is that a batch of pilots requires multiple flight simulators to train on them, while a game-based e-learning solution comes as ONE build which can be used across multiple learners (with no additional cost). 

Studies have shown that pilots have shown considerable improvement in their flying skills and awareness when trained using serious games. Game-based eLearning focuses on increased knowledge retention of the learners through repetition, emphasis and scenario-driven modules. This leads to visible improvement in on-the-job implementation (flying skills), awareness of the pilots and the rest of the staff, and more. 

game based training

Game-Based eLearning for the Digital Pilots

Technology has made advancements in the aviation industry, just like any other. And the continuous technological progress has led to a shift in the competency required by the pilots today, and in the years to come. Today, the aircraft is highly automated, creating a switch in the required skills. As per the research by Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), by the year 2030, it is expected that a pilot’s top required competencies will include operational monitoring, visualization, vigilance, and originality, in addition to the practical skills that are required for flying an airplane. Tactical prowess like spontaneous decision making, problem-solving and innovative thinking will top the critical skills list. 

The millennials and the Gen Z are known as the digital natives, that is, they have spent most of their time surrounded by technology – for communication, collaboration, analysis, decision making, as well as convenience. This makes it crucial to integrate technology to engage digital “pilots” – the pilots of the current generation.

The only way to meet the increasing demand for these skills, and to ensure an engaged audience is to bring in the new-generation technology into training programs. Game-based training can be used for qualification training as well as continuous learning for several modules, like Situational awareness, team coordination, workload management, Shared Mental Models, etc. 

Advantages of Game-based e-learning in the Aviation industry:

The use of game-based training has reported improved performance of the pilots on aircraft simulators, increased understanding of the functions and the equipments and more responsible behavior. 

Some key advantages reported include: 

  1. Use of devices that the learners are familiar with, like mobiles, desktop, tablets. There are no-limitation in terms of devices it allows faster and easier adoption of the training program among learners. This also allows learners to access the courses anytime, anywhere.
  2. Tracking performance with game-based modules is uncomplicated. The data of the learners’ performance can be viewed in the form of reports and raw data on the game-based training platforms. Individual reports, team performance, and more are some commonly used metrics to understand the learners’ results and the impact of training programs.
  3. Clearly defined objectives and narrative-driven modules enable learners to easily use and navigate through the course. 
  4. Customized content allows the airlines to give specific requirements based on their needs for the vendors to create storyboards and interactive games.
  5. Replay, recaps are easily available on game-based e-learning. This ensures higher knowledge retention rates and improved implementation of the learning.
  6. An immersive experience for the digital natives. The millennials and Gen Z pilots are engaged with digital narrative-driven interactive training programs. And serious games provide just that. 
  7. A blended-approach to the training of pilots in the aviation industry is highly recommended – to reduce the turn-around time and improve outcome. Flight simulators can be accessed by a limited number of people at a time, while digital game-based training can be deployed on multiple devices at the same time.

In conclusion,

Digital game-based e-learning does not replace the flight simulators. But a blended approach has several benefits to the learners. The impact of the training increases manifold and the turnaround time shows a fall. This also helps the airlines save on the training costs while improving the quality of the programs.

At Indusgeeks, we create high fidelity learning/training simulations specific to your needs and work with you to ensure that the outcome of your program is higher. Our solutions are available on desktop, mobile, tablet and browser-based, making it accessible anywhere and everywhere. #MakeanImpact