Abstract to Action: Targeted Learning System Theory Applied to Adaptive Flight Training
Air Command and Staff College, Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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Education and training research that utilizes emerging technologies such as Virtual or Augmented Reality, Biosensing, and Artificial Intelligence often avoid broad approaches to maintain scientific rigor. This research study takes a practitioners approach to transform abstract ideas into actionable options for the future of education and training. Using exploratory and applied design research, this study draws on pertinent scientific knowledge and fuses technologies in a novel way to create the overarching idea of the Targeted Learning Systems Theory TLST. The TLST is an immersive, student-centered, multi-modal learning structure that empowers the learner and leverages emerging technology to provide high fidelity assessments and feedback. This paper examines educational structures, learning theories, emerging technologies, and uses a one-week trial with 40 subjects at Columbus, AFB to test the validity of the theory. The results indicated Cognitive, Kinesthetic, and Affective learning occurred. The average subject performance improvement was 205 altitude control, 38 knots airspeed control, and a 30 increase of procedural task completion with 1.5 hours of Virtual Reality Learning Environment VRLE training. The collection of biometric data also highlighted the value and possible impact of biosensing within future education and training structures. The TLST reimagines how the USAF could train and educate Airmen by creating flexible systems that capitalizes on human-machine integration to provide previously unforeseen value to the learner and the organization. It provides a vector to riposte the rising costs, changing requirements, and increasingly complex tasks plaguing education and training in USAF and is aligned with the 2018 AETC Strategic Plan.