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Online aviation learning experience during the COVID‐19 pandemic in Hong Kong and Mainland China

  • Online aviation learning experience during the COVID‐19 pandemic in Hong Kong and Mainland China
  • Blackwell Publishing
  • 2022
    • Hong Kong
    • 1997.7 onwards
    • Unknown or Unspecified
  • The COVID‐19 pandemic has triggered an unexpected digital revolution, speeding up universities' digital transformation worldwide. It has brought heavy disruptions to travel and mobility worldwide, but it drives the opportunity for hosting region‐wide or even international academic exchanges through learning programs, workshops, and conferences via an alternative online mode. This study reports on a case study of a 1‐month online aviation learning program that engaged 108 university students from Mainland China and Hong Kong during the lockdown. At first, we first recruited students in Hong Kong; however, the program registration was unsatisfactory. This could be attributed to the students' perceived future aviation career prospects and readiness of emergent remote teaching during the pandemic. In the program, we designed an alternative blended learning approach to attract students to sustain their aviation learning. First, we transformed the activities from face‐to‐face (F2F) to online settings using digital technologies including flight simulation and virtual visits in a web‐conferencing environment. Second, we extended the reach of the event and attracted a larger audience in the neighbouring regions in Mainland China. It turned out that we could successfully recruit 108 students from 20 cities. In the end, students' interviews and motivational surveys indicated that this online learning experience could effectively enhance students' knowledge and motivational gain. Since the government has relaxed the policy of homeschooling, we organised two F2F meetings for students in Hong Kong to connect them together. This blended mode of teaching favoured the students in Hong Kong who showed a greater motivation than those in Mainland China. Furthermore, follow‐up interviews for teachers revealed how they invest in new technological equipment and knowledge to support the radical changes. Overall, the virtual event eliminates geographical barriers which successfully motivate a larger audience and gain some online collaboration between universities. This article offered useful evidence for engineering educators to reflect on online informal learning, lab settings and academic exchanges, and motivate more students to revitalise aviation education and industry. Copyright © 2022 Blackwell Publishing.
    • English
  • Journal Articles
    • 00071013
  • 2023-04-11

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