Doctor Aviation is a series of fifteen lessons, each of which is about an hour long. The sessions are basically lectures delivered by an extremely knowledgeable and experienced instructor. They run the range of topics from aircraft, air traffic control, maintenance, airfield operations, and more about the aircraft (instrumentation and more.)
Each of the lessons contains different parts: technical trivia, notable innovators, legendary aircraft, and aviation events.
The style of the lessons is pretty much the instructor standing there, wearing a flight suit, near an airplane, lecturing. The lectures are thorough and quite interesting to listen to. A lot of vocabulary is introduced and explained nicely. There is a historical component, with a student learning historic basis for flight...as well as a physics-type component, learning the forces of flight and how we have arrived at this body of flight knowledge that is current today. There is a focus on those who pioneered ideas and methods and set the stage for what we have today. There is also a section that goes over different distinctive aircraft and the features that make/made them so special. It's not just "kid stuff" either -- a lot of this information is probably new to adults as well! (Or it takes info you already might have known about and shows how it fits into the subject of flight.
There's also a really neat component, and that is the "guided notes" for the program. There are notes in a fill-in-the-blank format for the student to follow along with, filling in the blanks as the answers are revealed. I think this is very valuable for keeping the student on track and keeping them paying close attention! I think this is a great training tool for homeschoolers--so much of my homeschoolers' learning is done from books, rather than lectures, so note-taking while someone is teaching is definitely a skill they need to hone, and these guided notes are a stepping stone to helping them learn to take notes independently.
As I have told you, it is pretty much a guy standing and lecturing, but my 15-year old son will tell you that though that description may sound a bit dull, it isn't! He really enjoys the lessons, and the way they are taught. Here's what he had to say about it: "The guy really knows his stuff. He is very clear at trying to get the point across. It is all really interesting stuff. He moves at a good pace through the material in order to cover a lot of stuff."
To me, a lecture like this is interesting as well. I love audiobooks and this reminds me of that...not as huge a need to view the screen (for the most part) and the information is shared in an interesting way. If my child was younger, I'm not sure if it would be a good format without lots on the screen, but for my 15 year old son, it's great.
There are also tests and activities to take each lesson further. If you are using it as a highschool course, you will want to make use of these to cover the subject thoroughly.
There were a few things I had questions about over the course of trying these lessons, and when I asked the questions, I received quick and thorough answers. I really appreciated that the course creator was so quick to follow through and take care of any issues/questions I was having. This is very valuable in an online course.
I'd definitely recommend this course, especially for the target audience of 16 years old and up.
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