I recently had the opportunity to dictate a new course for Language Proficiency Evaluators, as an ICAO Technical Cooperation Consultant, addressed to operational and linguistic raters that are in charge of these important assessments in the Civil Aviation Authority of Panama.
This was a face-to-face course and I have also had the opportunity to dictate it in a non-classroom based modality, when problems have arisen for the travel of the participants or the consultant and there was an urgent need to comply with the recurrent course, due to good professional practices and quality recommendations of this ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standard.
In this regard, making a comparison between the two forms of delivery, I think that the face-to-face alternative has more advantages, since it allows a more fluid exchange of experiences and allows to answer, in a direct and practical way, the doubts of the participants, favoring not only the acquisition of knowledge, but also the optimization of skills and attitudes, which are fundamental to fulfill this delicate function with quality, equity and efficiency.
It is clear that in the distance learning case, there is a considerable cost savings, especially of airfares and travel allowances, but I think that when it comes to activities that are related to operational safety, as in this case, this should go to a secondary level and the authorities should make every effort to do the training to be the most optimal and enriching as possible.
That is why in many cases it is also considered that the best option is the blended learning, where we combine face-to-face activities with some aspects (mainly theoretical) that can be treated through distance learning or as prior learning to the practical part of the course.
Then, these are the three modalities that we have available for our training: e-learning, blended-learning and face-to-face learning, and I have had the opportunity to experience the three, as a student and as a teacher and I still think that the “Rolls Royce” option is the face-to-face learning, because the component of human interaction has not been replaced yet by the other two alternatives; that, however, are also very useful.
What do you think about it? Can you share some experiences?
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”
Remark.- Considering the requests of my friends and colleagues that do not have Spanish as their first language, I will post the articles in Spanish and English (which is an international language for global communication).