is a series that's designed as a foundational one - a "first steps" set
of missions for anyone learning a flight simulator. This has revisited
a lot of the material from the "Knights in the Sky" series, only with a more contemporary setting.
The primary change in methodology here has been a focus on learning
one thing and then recontextualizing it to reinforce the concept. To
this end, the missions are presented in a two-pronged fashion. The
first time the player flies a mission, he will use a simplified
aircraft - an ultralight, which has been the go-to type of aircraft for beginner missions because of its simple control scheme and ease of piloting.
player is encouraged to master the mission with the "easy" aircraft -
and you see where this is going, right? We basically structuralize an
"easy" and a "hard" mode for each mission by using a simple aircraft
followed by a more complex one. The mission doesn't change
(effectively), but internalization of the skills is required to succeed repeatedly in the "hard" mode, where the aircraft is less forgiving.
It's not a terribly novel concept, but it's an important one, and
it works well here. Why is it important? That sort've comes back to the
whole reason the company I work for is doing these missions. The premise is that presenting a real-world scenario does two things:
It inspires the student by broadening the scope of what academic
material is used for - it removes the "dryness" of a purely academic
setting 2) It aids the student in visualizing a practical application for his knowledge - not only does it reinforce that there is a practical use, but it puts it in the context of several viable careers
all important, and it's a good reason for using something like aviation
to teach. There's one major problem with that, though. The problem is
that - on some level - the student must perform at something that
isn't implicitly academic-related to "access" the academic content. In
this case, students that don't feel as capable piloting an aircraft likely won't have as beneficial an experience as those who do.
the import of the easy/hard presentation is this - it helps to remove
the effect of player skill as it relates to the game-like elements.
When a player flies the mission the second (or third, etc.) time, he is
strictly being tested on his acquisition of the academic knowledge
(e.g. understanding of pitch and power) and not on his ability to perform (e.g. handiness with a joystick).