Taking Flight: Active learning through online aviation business simulations (Gui's Story) Faculty Story - View, reflect and apply

Last updated on 01/10/2019

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Taking Flight: Active learning through online aviation business simulations (Gui's Story)
Assoc Professor Gui Lohmann


Associate Professor Gui Lohmann, Head of the Aviation Discipline, implements an online business simulation where Master of Aviation Management students experience the interrelated and complex nature of the multiple aspects of the airline business.

See the full faculty story here


Associate Professor Lohmann identified three significant challenges:

  1. Plagiarism issues, with students writing reports based on other peoples' experience rather than their own
  2. The inability of courses to address program outcomes such as teamwork and collaboration
  3. The limitations of textbook centric learning. The importance of supporting students to make strategic business focused aviation decisions amd to experience the implications of interdependence of business elements.

This led him to consider how a course might be re-designed to create a more engaging and authentic learning experience, where students would be able to apply the theory of managing an airline to the practice of running a simulated airline, as a member of a team.


In order to overcome the identified challenges, Associate Professor Lohmann investigated a number of online aviation business simulations. A chance meeting with a colleague, Associate Professor Pierre Benckendorff (The University of Queensland) at a conference meant Associate Professor Lohmann was introduced to the Airline Online application. Their successful collaboration has enabled shared assessment plans and teaching approaches, as we as collegial conversations, discussing the implications of tweaking aspects of the application in order to create the most appropriate group learning experience for their students. The use of the new online business simulation approach led to a major re-design of the course Strategic Airline and Airport Management through the incorporation of a flipped classroom approach.


The online aviation business simulation proved to be effective for engaging students in real-world contexts and experiencing real-world teamwork and collaboration situations.

Student experience data indicate that the environment encouraged strong engagement and participation as well as helping students to shift their thinking toward becoming aviation managers. Students also indicated that the simulation allowed them to go beyond theory to apply models in a real-world aviation management context.

In addition, the collaboration led to an Office of Learning and Teaching Grant, working with fellow academics across Australia to investigate the use of online simulations within the Business curriculum. Resources from their work can be found at Online Business Simulations.

Enabling Technology

Airline Online

This is the online portal to access the simulation. You can create a free account to experience the simulation.

OLT Online Business Simulation site

Detailed information about the use of the Airline Online simulation available at the OLT Grant site.

Interview with Associate Professor Lohmann about his experience in using the Airline Online simulation.

See the full faculty story here

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Preferred Citation

Lohmann, G., & Learning Futures (2019). Taking Flight: Active learning through online aviation business simulations (Gui's Story). Retrieved from https://app.secure.griffith.edu.au/exlnt/entry/6165/view