Based on the NASA TLX scores, the results of this study determined that those students who completed the course had a higher cognitive workload than those who did not.
Based on TLX Subscale Scores of 25 Student Pilots:
- 5 who completed, and
- 20 who did not complete.
Table 1: TLX Subscale Scores of Successful/Unsuccessful Course Completion:
|Emotional Demand (Effort)||19||15|
- The difference between the scores, of students who completed the course and those who did not, are most significant in the the Mental Demand, Temporal Demand and Individual Performance factors.
- Slight differences in the Effort and Frustration factors of both groups of students hint at the emotional impact of flying training.
- Using the NASA Task Load Index’s (TLX) six subscales to quantify cognitive workload of student pilots
- 25 students from the Honolulu Community College (HCC) as part of their credit for college
- The study was carried out within a civilian training environment and could vary if applied in a military training environment; in view of the more rigorous selection processes for military flying
- Cognitive workload was determined using the NASA TLX’s 6 subscales of Mental Demand, Physical Demand, Temporal Demand, Individual Performance, Emotional Demand and Frustration
- The results for each subscale were grouped to compare students who had successfully completed the course against students who did not complete the flying course
- The student pilots were undertaking the course as part of their college credit so the motivation for completing the course might differ from a student pilot aiming for a professional licence
- Nevertheless, the results that higher mental workloads were seen across those who passed suggest the applicability of the link between cognitive workloads and flying training performance
Tilton, N.F., & Miller, R.M. (2009) Cognitive Workload as a Predictor of Student Pilot Performance. In D. Harris, (Ed.), Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics (pp. 600-605). Heidelberg, Berlin: Springer Verlag.
Want to know more?
NASA TLX More Information on the NASA Total Load Index
TLX Form An Example of a TLX Scale to capture quantitative data