Below, Dr. Philip Greenspun and Dr. Tina Srivastava describe various aspects of how they teach 16.687 Private Pilot Ground School.
- Goals for Student Learning
- Offering an Intensive Learning Experience
- Engaging Students in a Large Lecture
- Using a Spiraling Curriculum to Teach Complex Material
- Inviting Students into the Aviation Community
- Course Iteration: Considering an Extension
Unrestricted Elective Credits
Students receive a P/D/F grade rather than standard letter grades. P (passing) indicates a C- or better.
Enrollment was about 170 in the 2019 IAP, of whom 51 were MIT students taking the course for credit.
Breakdown by Year
30% undergraduates, 40% graduate students, 10% MIT alumni, 20% other
Typical Student Background
About 25% of students had taken one or more flight lessons; 20% had studied some written pilot training materials; 55% had no aviation experience of any kind.
How Student Time Was Spent
The course met on three successive days from 9 AM to 5 PM each day. Class sessions were lecture-based, with many opportunities for asking and answering questions. Lectures were also infused with images, graphics, and props.
Out of Class
Students were expected to read portions of the FAA training manuals before the beginning of the course and many prepared to take the FAA official knowledge test outside of class.