SAS looks at how to ensure that our Trainees Understand us – Checking for Understanding (CFU)

Sofema Aviation Services ( looks at how to ensure that our Trainees Understand us – Checking for Understanding (CFU)

Checking for Understanding (CFU) is a fundamental element of ensuring effective instruction. By Checking for Understanding we are able to continually verify that our delegates or students are connecting with what is has been taught. It also allows us as “teachers” to adjust or modify our content so that it connects in a stronger way with our students.

Say No to Yes / No !

So the first comment is to Avoid Yes/No questions. And not only, also avoid phrases like “Does this make sense?” Simply because it encourages the student to usually answer “yes”.

Typically we find out later that the student is not understanding – therefore it is incumbent on us to identify the gaps so that we can do our best to fill them with knowledge.

Involve the Student or Delegate in the Validation!

By Asking the students to summarize the key points of what has been said you are able to measure the acceptance and understanding clearly and quickly.

Using Hand Signals!

It is not unusual to find that students are passive when we ask a question – one way to address this is to use Hand Signals. Ask the Student to show anywhere from five fingers to signal maximum understanding to one finger to signal minimal understanding.

The big advantage of this strategy is that it requires effective engagement by all students and allows the assessor to check for understanding within a large group.

Student Interaction

An extremely effective way to check for understanding is to have one student to explain a subject or concept to another student. Clearly if they can do this then they have understood he subject – with multiple subjects this can be repeated around the room.

Identify Misconceptions!

This off course requires the assessor to be knowledgeable about a particular subject or element.

By presenting students with a common misconception or ambiguity and engaging them in conversation for example asking them for their opinion and to explore in details provides a good learning opportunity.

Variety is the spice of Life!

Try to use several different individual and whole group techniques to check understanding and in this way you will be able to maintain interest.

Engage with the students using 3 – 2 – 1 (Ask a student to identify give them 5 mins to prepare !)

3) things they learned from your lesson;

2) things they want to know more about; and

1) questions they have. The prompt stimulates student reflection on the lesson and helps to process the learning.

Sofema Aviation Services offers EASA Compliant Regulatory and Vocational Training covering a range of Part 147 and Part 66 Topics including the following

Developing Training Needs Analysis (TNA) for Type Rating Training Courses,

Developing a 147 Maintenance Training Organisation Exposition ,

Managing Competence within a 147 Organisation

Managing Quality Assurance & Compliance within a 147 Organisation,

Aviation Auditing in a Part 147 Environment, EASA Part 147 Regulatory Training,

Practical Assessor Training Skills Development,

147 & Part 66 Combined Regulatory Review and Recurrent Training

For details please see the website or email