Wendy Beckman

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In the Aerospace Department at Middle Tennessee State University, Microsoft Flight Simulator (MFS) has been utilized in the classroom for several semesters in an effort to develop student aeronautical decision-making (ADM) skills. This software is used to create realistic scenarios which are experienced in class. Two Private Pilot ground school classes were evaluated to determine if experiencing these MFS scenarios had an impact on student development of ADM skills. At the beginning of the semester, each student completed a baseline evaluation of their ADM skills. One class was taught incorporating MFS scenario-based training, while the other class discussed the same scenarios in traditional case study format. At course completion, students completed a second evaluation of their ADM skills. It was found that while both classes made gains in their ADM abilities over the course of the semester, the class taught using MFS demonstrated significantly higher gains in these skills.