Found 171 Papers
(click title to view abstract)

Volume 2009
A Framework for Promoting High Cognitive Performance in Instructional Games

Year: 2009

Authors: Michael Anthony, Terry Chandler, Erin Heiser


With the advent of gaming technologies as a method for instruction, practitioners have come to realize that gaming for learning lacks a universally accepted set of standards to both judge the effectiveness of training and inform training developers on empirically validated methods for effective instructional employment. Success stories in employing these methodologies have appeared in training literature and some principles for effective instructional games have been developed (Gee et al. 2003 - 2007, de Freitas & Jarvis 2006). However, there is not yet a commonly accepted, empirically derived set of standards available for instructional developers to describe the elements that make an effective instructional game.

This paper focuses on establishing an ontological framework for standards and guidelines in the development and employment of game-based training. To inform the discussion, the authors draw from several research and methodological sources, including 30 years of cognitive psychology literature (Anderson, 1981; Chi, Farr, & Glaser, 1988; Clark, 2008; Klahr and Kotovsky, 1989; Posner & Snyder, 1975; Schneider & Schifrin, 1977; Shiffrin & Schneider, 1977), work in Cognitive Task Analysis (Crandall, Klein, & Hoffman 2006; Klinger, 2003), and research and practical experience developing Intelligent Tutoring Systems (Anthony, 2006; Chandler, 2003) over the past 20 years. Using the proposed ontological framework as a starting point, it is expected that researchers will refine and improve upon the suggested dimensions and category levels and ultimately establish a fully specified, empirically derived ontology to be employed and used by content and instructional developers as they delve further into the world of game-based training.

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The Legal Fork In The OTD Roadmap - What Lies Ahead?

Year: 2009

Authors: Bela Joshi, Jesse Watters


In 2006, the Department of Defense (DoD) published a seminal document, the Open Technology Development (OTD) Roadmap, recommending the adoption of "open" technologies and practices within the DoD. The document advocates the adoption of open standards and interfaces, open source software, online collaborative tools, and technological agility in the acquisition and production of DoD software. The key motivation is to enable rapid deployment of the latest technology for the benefit of the warfighter.

There are multiple challenges associated with implementing OTD. Technical challenges are associated with developing software utilizing open source software, standards, design, and interfaces. Cultural challenges involve managing software processes for teams that may be geographically dispersed. Finally, there are legal challenges such as copyright, intellectual property, and licensing associated with the reuse of software components.

The technical and cultural challenges listed above are beginning to be well understood and have been documented through DoD case studies. However, the legal ramifications of adopting OTD have yet to be fully explored and understood. The OTD Roadmap itself provides little guidance on the impact of intellectual property, copyright, and distribution issues related to open software. This paper attempts to answer some of the common legal questions that arise with adoption of Open Technogies. We provide a high level overview of popular open source software licenses and describe terms and conditions associated with distributing software under these licenses. We also provide guidance on how to protect intellectual property and minimize the risk associated with the adoption of open source software.

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Assessing the needs of the warfighter in distributed collective training simulations

Year: 2009

Authors: Helen Dudfield, James Kearse

Abstract: The UK Ministry Of Defense (MOD) has a vision of providing Mission Training through Distributed Simulation (MTDS) for the air component of the joint battlespace. The MTDS Capability Concept Demonstrator (CCD) programme was funded to determine the key requirements for an MTDS capability and to understand the range of training which could be achieved within such a facility. To achieve this, a demonstrator facility was developed. This facility included fast jet and Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) simulators, and an extensive exercise management capability (including virtual role players and Computer Generated Forces). A synthetic air battlespace (air, land and maritime) was created for the exercises and the MTDS CCD facility was linked up to other UK and international facilities, all operating within a shared virtual world. This paper discusses how effectively warfighters' collective training needs can be met (when the trainees are collocated) with differing levels of simulator fidelities. The fast jet simulators used through MTDS CCD consisted of type representative mission simulators, representing four Tornado GR4 and four Typhoon aircraft. Each cockpit could be used within visual systems of three differing fidelity levels. A detailed human factors assessment was conducted to determine the requirements for these simulators and the impact of those requirements on training value. Clear themes supporting the need for a targeted fidelity approach emerged from the data analysis. For instance, it was clear that wraparound visuals would be needed to support Air to Air and Air to Ground training needs. It was also clear that to support a wide range of mission profiles, a sufficient range of weaponry models were needed. Collocation provided the audience with additional benefit of face to face training interactions. In consequence, enhancements to the facility to support future training exercises are being made as a result of these findings.

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In Search of Greater Homogeneity in the Simulation Community

Year: 2009

Author: Paul Hanover

Abstract: From the mid-1980's, simulation applications to enhance our Fight-to-Win skills at every level from the individual combatant to the theater commander, have taken root as core tools for training, mission rehearsal, trade-off analyses and doctrine/tactics development and validation. As simulation technologies advanced, standards impacting simulation architectures advanced as well. Today, we have industry standards like IEEE 1278 (Distributed Interactive Simulation) protocols and IEEE 1516 (High Level Architecture) protocols that enable the interoperability of heterogeneous simulations. However, in that the interoperating simulations are still widely diverse both in architecture and model behaviors, the community is faced with significant integration and federation operation challenges even when these simulations interoperate flawlessly - and they rarely do. Accordingly, these standards should be regarded as only a first step on the path to simulation interoperability. In itself, interoperability is not sufficient. As a community, we need to pursue simulation homogeneity, wherein models of a given entity or process are equal in representation and performance. This paper describes the process for advancing homogeneity within our simulation community of practice. While granting up front that various developers and users of simulation will never devolve onto one set of tools to meet all requirements, the paper describes four levels of homogeneity for which guidelines could be defined that characterize existing and emerging simulations possessing progressively higher degrees of architectural and model commonality. These are referred to as the Common Interface Level (i.e., existing IEEE standards), the Common Data Level, the Common Architecture Level, and the Common Application Level. The paper presents the technical and functional implications of each level, and concludes with suggested implementation approaches for users and developers.

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Effective Acquisition of Virtual Worlds; Ensuring Return on Investment

Year: 2009

Author: Jay Graser


The acquisition of training technology is complicated by a lack of objective measures with which to perform a cost-benefit analysis. Virtual worlds are among one of the most recent tools to consider, yet they don't fit the usual metrics such as screen numbers, seat time or number of decision points. To further complicate matters, the term "virtual world" is often used generically to encompass a wide variety of environments from social networking applications and gaming engines to Massive, Multi-player Online Games (MMOG) and Massive, Multi-player Online Environments (MMOE). The challenge for the training professional is to differentiate between an instructionally valid use of a virtual world and a flashy application that does not contribute to the objectives. This paper will address the problem by presenting the following:

Compare the features of various virtual worlds within several scenarios

Evaluate virtual world features in the context of a media selection model allowing an objective approach for matching the most cost-effective solution to the requirement.

Techniques to estimate costs to apply virtual worlds

Guidelines to keep virtual world development costs down

Hidden benefits of distance learning in a virtual world that are not evident in other forms of distance learning.

Mitigating risks that threaten the successful execution of a virtual world project

Examples of misapplications of virtual worlds

How to avoid potential traps training professionals may find themselves in when driven by popular opinion to apply virtual worlds

How to maximize transferability of data between virtual worlds

How to objectively determine the cost-benefit trade off between various virtual worlds.

This paper will prepare readers with objective ways to acquire and execute virtual worlds while ensuring they are getting the expected return for the training dollars invested.

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The After Action Review through the Eyes of Practitioners at the National Training Center

Year: 2009

Authors: Phillip Jones, Jeffrey Wilkinson, Thomas Mastaglio, James Bliss, Samuel Minnis

Abstract: This paper details the results of a cognitive task analysis of dedicated after action review (AAR) practitioners, namely Combat Training Center Observer/Controllers. This analysis is being done in support of an Army Research Institute sponsored investigation into the theoretical basis of the AAR. The AAR is a facilitated, professional discussion of a training event by the training audience that compares trainee performance against task standards and training objectives. It is a significant part of training. This paper covers the portion of the AAR investigation that is examining AAR practices through detailed interviews of samples of AAR practitioners. These extensive, two-hour long interviews include over sixty open-ended questions that cover AAR practitioner deliberation across the total training cycle, including planning and preparation of training, training execution, AAR preparation and execution, and follow-up. The data obtained will inform a broad description of as-is AAR doctrine and practices. This paper explains the methodology used to conduct the analysis and the detailed synopsis of OC thought towards the role of the AAR within training, the preparation, presentation, and follow-up of the AAR, and desired results of the AAR.

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Assessing Performance in a Simulated Combat Information Center

Year: 2009

Authors: John Lee, William Bewley, Barbara Jones, Hoky Min, Taehoon Kang

Abstract: This paper describes research directed at determining the validity of measures of cognitive readiness, the mental preparation needed to be competent in the performance of complex tasks in a military environment. The Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) Multi-Mission Team Trainer (MMTT) is used to assess the performance of Tactical Action Officers (TAOs) operating in a simulated Combat Information Center (CIC). Scenarios require the TAO to defend against air, surface, and subsurface threats. A computer-based assessment system was developed for gathering data, analyzing, and reporting results. The system supports the assessor in rating the quality of learner responses to various scenario events on an "optimal," "adequate," and "other" rating scale, providing prompts for behaviors to record and questions to ask. The point and click interface minimizes interference with the assessor's observation of events and performance. The system automatically records and scores performance. Measures include (a) observed actions, e.g., reports appropriately communicated; (b) responses to mid- scenario probe questions, e.g., expectations regarding a track; (c) part-task anticipation requiring the learner to respond to short scenarios presenting a situation, e.g., identification of the greatest threat; and (d) critical events presenting cognitive "traps" designed to expose a cognitive error. Measures are mapped to cognitive constructs including situation awareness, decision making, communication, problem solving (formulating tactics plans), command and control (implementing and monitoring tactics plans) and acting effectively in a timely manner. The system aggregates results and generates graphs of performance by construct, identifies areas of strength, and provides recommendations for improvement. The paper describes the tool, the results of preliminary testing, the strengths and weaknesses of the approach to assessing cognitive readiness, and plans for future research.

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Ten Challenges for the Future of Computer Based Training

Year: 2009

Authors: William Ferguson, Alice Leung, Bruce Roberts, David Diller


A great many computer-based training systems are being built and experiments in new training techniques are being conducted, yet many critical questions remain unaddressed and appear resistant to current approaches. After tackling the research questions posed during DARPA's DARWARS program and spending years building training systems and developing techniques to meet particular training requirements, the authors felt that there were fundamental, cross-cutting challenges that needed to be met in order to make further progress toward delivering comprehensive training solutions. Our hope is that these challenges, if explicitly formulated and directly addressed, will provide a vision for the future of computer supported training. This short manifesto sets forth ten challenges, each of which could serve as the central focus of an R&D program:

1. Training Untrainable Skills - Training the intangibles: leadership, adaptability, resilience, or vigilance.

2. Practical, Collective Training - Training for large groups distributed in time and space.

3. Training to Learn - "Meta" training on the skills of acquiring expertise.

4. Keeping Training Current - Continually updating content.

5. Capturing and Transferring Experience - From the few to the many.

6. Training Each Other - Crowd-sourcing training; enabling peer training.

7. Training to Remember - Solving the skill retention problem.

8. Ubiquitous Training - Making training a natural part of task performance.

9. Persistent Mentoring - Providing career-long guidance.

10. Training to Excel - Pushing learners toward their top performance; aiming at excellence rather than training to standard.

In spite of some progress in addressing these items in the course of many different efforts, we contend that programs explicitly focused on these challenges would provide insight, progress and capability that will not be developed if we only continue with research on specific techniques, or the development of individual training systems.

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Training Range Modernization: New Technology on Old Infrastructure

Year: 2009

Authors: Joe Smith, James Todd, Randi Kahl


This paper describes the challenges in modernizing existing training ranges in the Army. As existing live-fire training ranges age, they become more difficult to maintain as equipment breaks down and their foundational technologies become increasingly difficult to procure due to obsolescence. The prohibitively high cost of complete range replacement coupled with ever-tightening training budgets has driven efforts to find innovative ways to extend the lives of these ranges while providing a path for affordable modernization of the ranges to align with emerging range standards and specifications, while continuing to provide dynamic support to today's Warfighter.

The Army has developed and deployed a single common target control systems called TRACR (Targetry Range Automated Control and Recording) to support the command and control of the Future Army System of Integrated Targets (FASIT) devices. While TRACR is capable of controlling ERETS (Enhanced REmoted Target System) legacy targets via a hardware/firmware bridge to the legacy infrastructure, there is no means to deploy modern FASIT targets on these legacy ranges.

The use of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology over existing range wiring (i.e., twisted pairs), allows incremental upgrades to modern FASIT devices and facilitates new technologies such as downrange cameras onto these existing ranges. This approach will modernize these legacy ranges without the need for expensive trenching and infrastructure upgrades.

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Tactical Digital Holograms in Support of Mission Planning and Training

Year: 2009

Authors: H. Kalphat, John Martin

Abstract: Tactical digital holograms (TDHs) are large-scale auto-stereoscopic (3D) static imagery presentations providing full parallax, viewable without requiring use of a special light source (e.g., laser), lenses, projectors or spectacles. TDHs have been operationally employed by the Army as mission planning tools, but initial information on their utility was anecdotal in nature with little to no quantitative data available to aid in evaluating the value of their capabilities. In 2007-2008 the Warfighter Readiness Research Division of the 711 Human Performance Wing (711HPW/RHA), Air Force Research Laboratory, with collaboration by the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's Simulation and Training Technology Center (RDECOM-STTC), conducted research to quantitatively assess the utility of TDHs for close air support mission planning and execution, with specific focus on the joint terminal attack control (JTAC) mission. The results clearly indicated that TDHs can be an effective tool for improving JTAC mission planning and execution tasks. RDECOM-STTC subsequently conducted research, with collaboration by AFRL, to evaluate the utility of TDH imagery in the performance of certain Army-specific missions and/or training and provide measurable data to quantify its value. Using static visual stimuli based on identical example data sets, a comparative analysis assessed 2D conventional methods/tools against the 3D TDH capability for mission planning and gathering situational awareness in several different types of Army-specific mission taskings. This paper briefly reviews results of the AFRL JTAC study and reports on RDECOM-STTC's research to assess human performance during mock mission planning activities and mock proficiency evaluations.

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