Flight procedures training laboratory for Griffith Aviation Faculty Spark - View, reflect and apply

Last updated on 21/02/2020

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A Flight Procedures Training Laboratory was developed for the Bachelor of Aviation degree. This changed the way many courses are taught to Aviation students, and becomes the venue a new course, Flight Procedures.


By 2017, the The Bachelor of Aviation degree at Griffith University required an upgrade. The goal was to make the degree:

  • More aviation oriented
  • To cover more academic content
  • To prepare students better for employment/ further training upon the completion of their degree

In addition, opinion surveys indicated that some elements of the degree where considered rrelevant content by many aviation students. The students wanted to be “closer to the flight deck”, and to study material that was more directly relevant.


An Aviation Computer Laboratory was designed and developed to overcome these challenges. Appropriately named the “Flight Procedures Laboratory”, it was commissioned in November 2017.

It consists of 24 computer workstations equipped with flight controls and flying software. There is also a facilitator workstation that is connected to display screens located around the room.

Its purpose is to:

  • Be available for a new three part course series called “Flight Procedures”, which is aimed at teaching students flight related procedures for all phases of pilot development, from basic to very advanced.
  • Be a teaching aid for many of the courses presented in the Bachelor of Aviation and its Engineering double degree equivalent, e.g. Aerodynamics, Navigation, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and Flight Performance.
  • To provide an exemplar teaching laboratory where research can be conducted into various aspects of aviation and learning and teaching.

The computer lab is used for all teaching into the Flight Procedures courses and so students become very accustomed to the learning in the lab and as well as using the software available.


The first course to be presented in the new Flight Procedures laboratory was a one-off transitional Flight Procedures course, offered to second and third year Bachelor of Aviation students. This was challenging as there were many “firsts”.

The tutors and students received the new laboratory with delight. In an ensuing survey attracting 83 responses, many positive remarks of a specific and general nature were made.

It appeared that learning in the Flight Procedures lab helped in the following ways:

For example, one student responded to the question on improvements from working in the Flight Procedures laboratory: “All of it. I was pretty bad to start with but then got better.”

It is necessary to outline an important limitation of the laboratory. The Griffith Aviation approach to teaching in the laboratory is that it is an educational tool to convey knowledge only. “We cannot teach students how to fly aeroplanes here - this can only be done at a flight school using real aeroplanes” (Korf, onboarding session of the Griffith staff on 20 November 2017).

Present utilisation of the facility is estimated to be around 40%. This figure is expected to rise during 2018, as more development within the Bachelor of Aviation degree takes place and the three new Flight Procedures courses become available.Improved “aeroplane” spatial control

  • Improved understanding of the circuit geometry
  • Improved usage of the checklists
  • Increased awareness of the importance of speed
  • Better understanding of aircraft controls and systems

Enabling Technology

The initial objective with the laboratory project was “to teach new content in a new teaching environment using cutting edge educational technology” (Korf, onboarding session of the Griffith staff on 20 November 2017).

The inclusion of several technologies helped to achieve the objective. Microsoft Flight Simulator X Steam Edition. Although this software is somewhat dated (2007), it remains valuable as a training platform, for teaching both basic and more advanced aviation knowledge.

PebblePad provided a platform to teach in new and innovative ways. For example, in one assessment task, students were required to fly a Visual Flight Rules circuit while recording a video, and upload the clip into PebblePad for assessment. They then had to answer a number of reflective questions to focus their attention on specific learning experiences, which delivered many insights into their level of comprehension of the subject matter.

Active Presenter, an off-the-shelf screen and audio recording package was used to capture video.

Large television displays were installed on three walls and connected to the facilitator work station. This made demonstrating the different flight exercises much easier as all students were able to view the large screens.

See also:

Pebblepad (Fact sheet). Getting Started with VLE tools and the Course Design Standards.

Pebblepad (Module). Getting Started with VLE tools and the Course Design Standards.


If you wish to use the Flight Procedures lab please contact:

Louise Peters
Flight Procedures Laboratory Manager
Building N25, Room 1.18c
T: +617 3735-7303 or 617 3735-5097 | Email: l.peters@griffith.edu.au 

Next Steps

The laboratory was procured at high cost and high levels of utilisation should always remain an objective.

In the short term, activities could expand to increase utilisation in the laboratory in at least the following respects:

  • At present, the facility is only utilised for the new three part series of courses. There is room and possible application for many of the other courses in the Bachelor of Aviation degree, for example, Aerodynamics, Flight Planning and Performance and Navigation.
  • Research in the field of learning and teaching has commenced and many other research possibilities are available.

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Preferred Citation

Korf, A., & Campbell, C (2020). Flight procedures training laboratory for Griffith Aviation. Retrieved from https://app.secure.griffith.edu.au/exlnt/entry/7128/view