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Dr. Mark D. Miller


Of the three learning styles, kinesthetic (hands-on) learning is the most common for individuals (Dinkel, 2011). This is especially relevant for people who work in technical, skill-based fields, such as aircraft maintenance. The hands-on learning style, coupled with a job that requires a great depth of systems knowledge, tool, equipment, and component manipulation, and a multitude of other physical job-related skills, requires that the student maximize his or her knowledge and skill retention while in training. The purpose of this research was to determine if FAR Part 147 Aviation Maintenance Technician School (AMTS) students would achieve more success, as measured by the final course grade, based on the class schedule where meetings are two or three nonconsecutive days for 14 weeks or five consecutive days for seven weeks. Grades were recorder over a span of eight years for a sample population of 46 students from a university based AMTS program. The mean grades for courses taken in the fall and spring semesters (two or three nonconsecutive days) were compared to the mean grades for the same courses taken in the summer semester (five consecutive days). The results indicated that the knowledge retention in the summer courses was statistically significantly higher than that of its fall and spring semester counterparts. AMTS programs, in addition to other skill-based training courses, should make every effort to align class schedules to maximize the knowledge retention, skillset, and overall success of their students.

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