Who Needs Another Applied Mathematics Course?
2010 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
Aviation mathematics has been used for years and hence is not a new topic for discussion. In the digital-age and with millennial students it is time to revisit the methods of pedagogy. Because students have always had different learning styles this paper outlines an instructional approach that addresses the declining mathematical skill level of the entering freshman students. Our hypothesis states, "The researchers have observed students entering the Professional Pilot program at Kansas State
... m at Kansas State University at Salina lack the necessary prerequisite mathematics skills for success in subsequent higher mathematics courses. Using an introductory applied mathematics course coupled with applied aviation exercises and engaging pedagogical methods in mathematics courses could engage students and enhance their mathematics learning skills." A fall 2009 Kansas State University at Salina (KSU-S) aviation faculty survey, albeit small, supports this hypothesis. The researchers' observed presumption is that present day students possess more technology understanding and rely on audio/visual feedback stimuli. One approach modifies methods of instruction to accommodate this mode of learning in particular with professional pilot aviation students. The classroom presentation format must include a pedagogy that increases the student's motivation through visualization of the learning outcomes to create a richer and more stimulating learning environment. Millennial generation learning styles also seem to respond to pedagogies that visually tell a story personally applicable to them. A challenge exists to provide meaningful student learning outcomes and increase mathematical knowledge while meeting millennial students' expectations. We start by demonstrating a working knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, basic trigonometry, know how to organize data to arrive at solutions to various exercises and then apply practical problems involving aviation application exercises. Page 15.1373.2 Assessments for an aviation mathematics class include completion of homework assignments, examinations, and oral/written reports over the use of mathematics in aviation. We also believe peer reviews from outside the mathematics and aviation departments provide another supportive assessment tool for evaluating the instruction and student experience. By focusing on a separate aviation mathematics course with a personalized teaching pedagogy that meets the learning styles of millennial students, we hope students will realize and better understand mathematics concepts needed in their aviation careers. Provisions for extra training will enhance a higher mathematical level of the student. An increase in the mathematical level of the student will subsequently lead to an increase in student understanding of the mathematical concepts and therefore an increase in successful completion of the course.