Asee peer logo

Comparison of Student Learning and Flight Performance as a Function of the Method of Teaching – A Research Study

Download Paper |


2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Aerospace Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division


Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Adeel Khalid Kennesaw State University

visit author page

Adeel Khalid, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Systems Engineering
Office: 470-578-7241

visit author page


Christopher Douglas Roper

visit author page

Senior physics and mechanical engineering student with minors in aerospace engineering and mathematics. Enrolled in a dual-degree bachelor's program from the University of West Georgia and Kennesaw State University (formally Southern Polytechnic State University).

visit author page


J. Andrew Pirrello Jr. Kennesaw State University

visit author page

J. Andrew Pirrello recently graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree and Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics minors from Kennesaw State University in December of 2017. As a student at Kennesaw State, Andrew volunteered as a member of the Kennesaw State Aerial Robotics Competition Team where he founded the SAE AeroDesign Team and served as SAE Team Captain, and Team Pilot. Under Andrew’s leadership, the SAE AeroDesign Team designed, built, tested, and flew several large-scale radio-controlled airplanes capable of carrying a substantial payload. Additionally, Andrew served as Structures Designer and Pilot for the Sting One Owl Mascot Project where he designed, built, and flew a five-foot by five-foot hexa-copter drone designed to emulate an owl, Kennesaw’s mascot. The Unmanned Aerial System featured four onboard cameras for the purpose of flying over and recording Kennesaw’s football games. During his four summers as a college student, Andrew worked as a Design Engineer Intern for OFS Optics, an optical fiber manufacturing plant. As a Design Engineer Inter, Andrew created better solutions for factory processes using engineering concepts, enhanced his Computer Aided Engineering skills by designing new parts and assemblies to use in the plant, reverse engineered large machines and modified them to meet OFS’s needs, and created piping and instrument drawings of various plant processes. Now, Andrew works as an Aerospace Engineer at the C-17 Globemaster Program Office in Warner Robins.

visit author page

author page

Alain J. Santos

Download Paper |


In this study, student learning and flight performance are assessed using a motion based fixed wing flight simulator. Students chosen for this study have no prior flight experience and have minimal knowledge of the aircraft operations or functions of the flight simulator. As part of this study, students are given introduction to the principles of flight. Then they fly the aircraft flight simulator and are asked to complete a pre-defined mission. Points are given for successfully completing several legs of the mission. Three separate and independent groups of students are recruited for the study from a large body of students. Students are randomly assigned to the three groups. Group A is presented with written literature to review before the flight. The literature defines the functions of the flight simulator, flight controls, aircraft principles, instruments and the required mission details. They are then asked to fly the mission without much help during the flight portion. They are free to ask questions during the flight. Group B is not presented with any literature for review before the flight. A short presentation is given to them that describes the flight controls, basic instruments and the mission. Their first real exposure to the flight is when they get on the simulator and start flying. They are free to ask questions and the instructor guides them as needed during the flight. Group C is presented with both the literature for review ahead of time and are given a short presentation before the flight. All three groups are asked to fly the exact same mission. They are graded based on their flight performance and handling and control of the aircraft during the flight. The flight is composed of starting a single engine land based aircraft, taking off while staying center lined on the runway, going upwind to an altitude of 1,000ft above the ground level, performing a left traffic pattern including cross wind, down wind, base and final legs. They are then asked to land the aircraft on the same runway that they took off from. No wind, adverse weather or artificial runway excursions or other emergencies are introduced during the flight. Score for these three groups are then compared. It is expected that group C will perform better that the other two groups. As part of the extended study, all the students will be asked to return to fly the same mission several weeks later. Their flight performance is measured again and the scores are compared across the three groups.

Khalid, A., & Roper, C. D., & Pirrello, J. A., & Santos, A. J. (2018, June), Comparison of Student Learning and Flight Performance as a Function of the Method of Teaching – A Research Study Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30211

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015