Online Learning for Aviation Training

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

The Keys to Providing the Optimal Experience

Online learning has become mainstream in academia, and it’s heading that way in aviation training. More than 71% percent of academic leaders rate the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face‐to‐face instruction.

It’s our vision to have every operator in the U.S. using online training by 2027. To make it easy for operators to switch from inefficient classroom training to online training, our industry must continue to deliver a high-quality pilot training experience. But how do you define a high-quality experience? That’s something that not everyone agrees upon.

From our experience (launching TrainingBoom in 2008, and over a decade of deploying online training programs prior to that at FedEx), there are three pillars in a high-quality online learning experience:

  • Content
  • Software – LMS Experience
  • User Support

Here’s what we recommend to look for in each area for the optimal online learning for aviation experience.


Ensuring quality content is obviously a critical factor in online training. Most online aviation training providers deliver the basic material that pilots and staff need to know to fulfill their FAA requirements. However, online learning providers need to distill complex text into the right mix of words and visuals on a slide, matched to the voiceover. That’s more of an art, and good online content writers can improve the users’ retention, thus creating a better experience.

When reviewing providers, review lessons and see if the material is easy to understand. Be wary of lengthy, complex slides and explanations. This might mean that the provider didn’t spend a lot of time distilling the material into the key points, delivered in the best format for learning.

online learning for aviation training - content 2

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”― Mark Twain

Also, check for graphical elements and styling. Sometimes, providers might add fancy animation and unnecessary graphics, in hopes of making the content more interesting. But these can distract the user from the content and add additional cost. Simple, clean slides are the most effective.

Additionally, ensure that the content can be customized for your operations. Most providers offer “customization,” but many have limitations, so look for providers that can customize the content 100% for your operation.

Software – LMS Experience

The software controls the user’s interactions with the content. A good software interface is intuitive and allows the user to focus on the content – optimizing their learning experience, without frustrating them trying to figure out how to control the content.

Studies show that people learn better with a clean-looking interface that doesn’t distract them from the lessons. With online pilot training, users prefer to quickly get right to the important content that they need to learn, without wasting time listening to lesson preambles that don’t add any value. Time is important to pilots, and if they get distracted or frustrated, their retention drops.

The Learning Management System, the vehicle that hosts and displays the content and database records, should be built to play on all mobile devices (computers, iPad, cell phones, etc.) without any work-around to a third-party application. It just needs to be a solid platform that just works with most any browser and internet connection.

When reviewing providers, look for a clean interface that is intuitive to use and guides the user directly to the content, and doesn’t contain any distracting features.

aviation training online

User Support

Support is important, especially for users just starting with online training. Check into how your provider onboards pilots and handles real-time questions. Most first-time users still prefer human support, and can have issues with improper login credentials and accessing the content.

It may sound trivial, but frustrated users won’t have a great learning experience, and in our industry, learning improves safety, so it’s important.

The Value of Online Learning

Safety is the single most important driver of the viability of the aviation industry. We’ve invested our careers in it.

And high-quality training is the bedrock of aviation safety – where you learn the building blocks of what you perform every day.

If you’re new to online pilot training and would like to learn more, review the TrainingBoom experience, view our content training library or hear what our customers have to say about their experience with us.

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