Found 128 Papers
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Volume 2013
Interoperable Performance Assessment using the Experience API

Year: 2013

Authors: Tiffany Poeppelman, Jeanine Ayers, Michael Hruska, Rodney Long, Charles Amburn, Martin Bink

Abstract: Training technologies are evolving rapidly; yet, more efficient and effective use of resources and training time has not been significantly impacted by these advancements. Adaptive and tailored opportunities for learning represent a path ahead to larger efficiency (Durlach & Ray, 2011), but without interoperable tracking and assessment from multiple training systems, improved solutions are potentially cost prohibitive. By leveraging analytics and metrics of performance-based activity data from a variety of sources, organizations can provide the right support to unlock potential efficiencies. A number of efforts are underway at the Department of Defense (DoD), to develop adaptive, learner-centric systems that drive learning and performance forward. Army efforts, driven by Army Learning Concept 2015 (Department of the Army, 2011), such as the Soldier Centered Army Learning Environment (SCALE), and the Generalized Intelligent Framework for Tutoring (GIFT) are working towards this end. Additionally, the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative is stewarding efforts, which focus on new approaches with standards and frameworks, such as the Training and Learning Architecture (TLA), and the Experience Application Programming Interface (xAPI). In concert, these efforts represent a path ahead to tailored and adaptive learning. In this paper, we will describe an approach that combines a subset of the previously described DoD learning and performance efforts to create an interoperable method for tracking individual and group performance across mobile interactions, virtual worlds, real world activities, games, and other sources. This method will show that data about informal and experiential learning can be integrated with traditional formal sources and other organization systems easily. The resulting image will highlight a better understanding of the connection between learning and performance data.

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Comparing Training Performance With Vibrotactile Hit Alerts vs. Audio Alerts

Year: 2013

Authors: Stephen Gilbert, Anthony Civitate, Jonathan Kelly, Frederick Thompson, Alisha Smith, Ken Kopecky, Eliot Winer, Julio de la Cruz

Abstract:

Live, virtual, and constructive training that integrates dismounted warfighter training with convoy training, pilot training, and other systems has been demonstrated to reduce training time, and studies have shown that a high level of immersion and the illusion of presence in a VR environment contribute to this success. However, current force-on-force training simulators lack one major quality that is needed to impart this strong sense of presence for warfighters: the consequence of getting shot.

Simulated return-fire systems have been developed for different purposes including military, police and entertainment. Some use projectiles, but that approach is usually limited to a shoot house configuration rather than outdoors. Other methods use on-body electrodes to provide electric shock or tactors that physically strike the body using solenoids or pneumatics. These systems face challenges of either low body localization (with a small number of tactors) or tethering (if a real-time connection to electricity or air is needed to power the tactors).

In this paper, a tactile vest containing commercially available vibrating pagers is evaluated. These pagers allow a focused alert to be given to a Warfighter, indicating the bodily location of the shot and appropriate direction for return fire. They are also cost-effective and easily replaceable. The evaluation included a simple training mission while receiving either vibrotactile feedback vs. auditory spoken alerts of virtual sniper hits and direction of fire. Results showed that a tactile vest made from commercial off-the-shelf pagers performed well as an indicator of fire and could be viable option for integration with future LVC training, especially given its low cost. Also, results suggested that there may be strong individual differences between people in terms of their ability to process vibrotactile vs. auditory feedback while cognitively loaded.

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The Use of the Kinect in a Medical Serious Game

Year: 2013

Authors: Matthew Hackett, Howard Mall, Mark Mazzeo

Abstract: Interaction within a virtual environment is a key factor relating to a positive user experience. The current industry standard for interaction and character control is via mouse and keyboard or a game controller. Unfortunately, neither of these input mechanisms represents a natural input modality for a trainee. In the training domain, this disconnect can potentially result in negative training transfers and user frustration. Fortunately, recent advances in gesture and motion based control have opened up new avenues for intuitive and natural control schemas. Through a current research effort, the Tactical Combat Casualty Care Simulation (TC3Sim) serious game has been updated to use the Kinect motion sensor as an input device. The integration of the Kinect interface with a medical training game has revealed significant findings regarding its usability and performance. The research has also found general guidelines for the use of a natural user interface regarding poses, body positions, dynamic gestures, and menu interactions. This paper details these guidelines as well as the benefits and drawbacks of a natural user interface for a serious medical game. The changes made to the user interface to overcome many of those drawbacks are presented, including simplification of the control schema and certain game play alterations. Results of an initial usability study are also presented, focusing upon user interaction with the game and satisfaction metrics to identify the feasibility of the Kinect sensor in other medical simulation efforts.

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Observations on the Development and Implementation of Distributed Simulation

Year: 2013

Author: James Shiflett

Abstract:

Future developments in the use and capabilities of distributed simulation will be based largely on seminal developments that have occurred in the last thirty years. This time period witnessed the set of interrelated events that led to the development of the original Simulator Network (SIMNET) program through those that culminated in the achievements of the Close Combat Tactical Trainer (CCTT). These events have collectively formed the infrastructure that supports current and future achievements in distributed simulation. Having some knowledge about the facts surrounding this set of achievements is useful. Understanding the rationale behind the events, including the shaping constructs and influences, can transform simple knowledge into enabling wisdom. The primary goal of this paper is to set the conditions that will allow widespread growth of such wisdom.

This paper provides historical context for four related periods of systems development efforts that have enabled the robust distributed simulation capability that we enjoy today. First, the pre-SIMNET concept-formation period focused on operational tank and weapon system development. Second, the SIMNET era provided the initial demonstrations and uses of distributed simulation as a provably-valuable training vehicle. Third, the formalization era where the government's understanding of the power of these developments led to the formation of the Defense Modeling and Simulation Office (DMSO). Finally, the paper discusses the era of transformation where formal programs of record, like CCTT, replaced the more DARPA-like development environment. Each of these time periods included key events that, when fully understood, will serve as guideposts to drive future development efforts.

This paper fundamentally attempts to build on and amplify the lessons and views for our community's future provided by two previous I/ITSEC Fellows. Colonel (USAF, Retired) Jack Thorpe (2010 I/ITSEC Fellow) and General (USA, Retired) Paul Gorman (2011 I/ITSEC Fellow) provided their interpretation of events during this same period of development for distributed simulation. As such, this paper is much like the field of distributed simulation itself; progress is made by those who stand on the shoulders of giants.

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Assessing Decision Making under Stress Using Virtual Reality Environments

Year: 2013

Authors: Nir Keren, Warren Franke, Shawn Bayouth, Matthew Harvey, Kevin Godby

Abstract:

Making quality decisions under stress is a critical Warfighter attribute. Enhancing decision making skills requires two elements: (1) assessing decision making quality and (2) facilitating effective decision making training. Current methods for assessing decision making in real-life settings are based on retrospective process tracing; however, this method often yields unreliable data due to memory distortion, biased interpretation, and inability to recall facts that were not encoded in long-term memory (Reidi, Brandstatter & Roithmayr, 2008). Current training modes typically focus on covering gaps in states of knowledge rather than on the more appropriate cognitive skills (Klein & Baxter, 2009). Thus, developing effective training for decision making is hampered by a number of limitations.

Ideally, assessments of decision making quality would be made in real-time and in situ. Training would be done similarly but using computer automated After-Action Review programs that capture and then replay the decision process in situ for facilitating the desired cognitive changes.

The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effectiveness of a simulation engine created to test decision-making skills in naturalistic, virtual environments. For this experiment, novice (n=23) and veteran (n=39) firefighters were exposed to two stressful "real-world" virtual simulations (Difficult Tradeoffs, High Time Pressure) while decision-making strategies, physiological responses, and situation awareness via cue recognition were assessed. The results suggest that experience does not immunize from making suboptimal decisions. Analysis of the distribution of decision making strategies suggests that the Recognition-Primed Decision model (Klein, 1998) is employed often when Time Pressure is the stressor; it is not as prevalent when the stressor is Tradeoffs. Physiological responses suggest that veteran firefighters have greater autonomic arousal than novices under similar situations. Post-simulation feedback indicates a high level of immersion and training usefulness.

These results support the effectiveness of the developed simulation engine to assess decision making quality in real-time and in situ albeit using virtual reality. Therefore, this framework has promise for use in warfighting.

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Assessing Operational Decision Making

Year: 2013

Authors: David Kobus, Erica Viklund, Jason Kobus, Brian Dister, Matthew Kelly

Abstract: Operational decision making is one of the foremost cognitive demands in the field for infantry. Thus, there is increasing emphasis on training that enables Warfighters to build adaptive operational decision making (ODM) skills. Assessment of the effectiveness of this training is critical for determining its value with respect to both the cost and impact on Warfighters' limited time. To this end, an assessment method was developed and evaluated during a series of studies conducted at the Camp Pendleton Infantry Immersion Trainer (IIT). The method includes pre- and post-training assessments to allow quantification of training-related changes in ODM. Twenty-five IIT training scenarios were decomposed to extract ODM training objectives, from which 26 decision areas were selected. The decision areas fall into four competency areas emphasized during IIT training (Combat Hunter/Every Marine a Collector skills; Communication; Cultural Interaction; Infantry Squad/Team Skills). Multiple decision dilemmas resembling situations that may be encountered during field operations were developed for each decision area. Five potential courses of action (COAs) were developed for each dilemma. An assessment consists of a series of items (dilemmas and COAs); trainees use a 5-point scale to rate the effectiveness of each COA for addressing the associated dilemma. As part of the item development process, the dilemmas and COAs were subjected to a two-stage verification and validation process by separate sets of infantry subject matter experts (SMEs) to ensure face validity and consensus of SME ratings of COAs. Trainees completed one assessment prior to training, and another with similar (but not identical) items immediately following training. Their ratings were compared to those of SMEs. This paper describes the approach in greater detail, along with preliminary assessment results and a discussion of factors contributing to ODM training effectiveness.

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Not just for Kids - Simulation for Evaluation of Senior Drivers

Year: 2013

Authors: Kevin Hulme, Lisa Thorpe

Abstract:

Statistics show that in the United States, there are about 38 million licensed drivers over age 65, which currently represents about 1/8 of our population. By 2024, this figure will DOUBLE to 25%. Given this anticipated increase in senior citizens (and senior drivers) among our population, the current research is intended to address the driving capabilities of our older population, as accident and injury risk has been statistically shown to increase (when normalized per miles driven) with advanced age. Our primary objective is to perform a preliminary Pilot study that allows our research team to establish the potential of supplementing traditional driver evaluation for senior persons with a motion-based full field-of-view driving simulator. Within a simulator, a variety of driving scenarios can be implemented that sufficiently challenge drivers in a way that, due to safety and logistical concerns, cannot be accomplished within the confines of a real vehicle. Longer-term, a driving simulator can be used to define driving tasks that are most likely to be affected by stages of early-stage dementia, and used to measure, capture, and analyze associated vital driver performance metrics.

For this study, each driver was evaluated using a conventional driver evaluation mechanism: in-clinic (i.e., to measure cognition, motor and visual skills) and in-vehicle (i.e., to measure one's mechanical ability to operate a vehicle). Prior to these examinations, each driver was also evaluated within a driving simulator, using the same metrics used for the in-vehicle examination. A subsequent data analysis was performed to identify any trends or correlations between the three evaluation mechanisms. Ultimately, it is hoped that the insight gleaned from this Pilot study will help to inform recommendations for making simulation-based technologies more successful as a long-term supplementary driver evaluation mechanism, for this age demographic specifically.

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Towards Standardizing Simulators in Teen Driver Training - Lessons Learned

Year: 2013

Authors: Kevin Hulme, Nailah Hatten, Rebecca Norton, Jodie-Ann Duquesnay, Samantha Beim, Ian Duncan, Malika Brutus, Nichaela Bald

Abstract: Drivers aged 16-24 represent 12% of the total driving population, yet account for 20% of all road vehicle accidents. Teen driver/passenger deaths account for 25% of total teen deaths from any cause - more than cancer, homicide, and suicide. It is clear that roadway safety has been, and continues to be a major public health concern - and one which lacks standardization of training and education practices at the State/National level. The present study aims to build upon past research involving the expanded use of driving simulators to supplement existing driver training curricula. The eventual goal is to develop, validate, and standardize a state-level and nationally accepted revision to existing driver training policies - including simulation as a core component. Subsequent to our preliminary pilot study in 2012, numerous revisions have been made in an effort to improve the program, including enhancements to module content, modifications to the simulator itself, and revised data collection and analysis methods. The updated module content of the training program will focus on the statistically documented Top 5 causes of teen driver accidents (in New York State): unsafe speed, failure to yield right of way, driver inattention or distraction, driver inexperience, and following too closely. In this paper, these revisions will be described in detail, along with future recommendations for quantifying the success of using simulators by analyzing teen driving performance data longitudinally over time. Although the focus of this paper is on refinement of module content (and data collection/analysis methods), in an effort to quantify the improvement of the simulation-based framework, we have recruited a small cohort of participants to experience our revised program whose results are analyzed and reported. This process will help to ensure the continued evolution of our program towards achieving our long-term goal: widespread deployment and standardization of simulators at a National level.

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Kicking and Bleeding: Empirical Testing of an Amputee Trauma Trainer

Year: 2013

Authors: Christine Allen, Sae Schatz, Teresita Sotomayor

Abstract:

Battlefield casualties are an unfortunate consequence of military service. Over 50% of all penetrating wounds affect warfighters' limbs, and the most fatal injuries result in exsanguinating hemorrhage (i.e., "bleeding out"). In fact, limb hemorrhage accounts for 10% of all combat deaths in contemporary operations (Champion, Bellamy, Roberts, & Leppaniemi, 2003). However, exsanguination from extremity wounds is often preventable; hence, the Department of Defense continues to emphasize the use of hemostatic procedures.

In the U.S. Army, the Tactical Combat Casualty Care doctrine directs the liberal use of tourniquets (Parsons, 2010), and first responders learn to use the Combat Application Tourniquet® to stop extremity bleeding. Unfortunately, Soldiers typically practice tourniquet application on makeshift training devices, such as a 2×4 wooden plank wrapped with carpet or low-fidelity simulator. Although this helps large numbers of trainees experience tourniquet application, it can have negative training effects. Other training facilities ask trainees to apply tourniquets to one other. This also yields negative training because trainees can only tighten tourniquets to the pain tolerance of their buddies, which may not correspond with the pressure required to stop a real wound.

To address this training gap, the Army has developed the Multiple Amputee Trauma Trainer® (MATT®) simulator, a lifelike lower-limb amputee that includes animatronic movement, bleeding, and physical resistance. Although other tourniquet part-task trainers exist, the MATT® is one of the few that incorporates realistic movement during tourniquet application. To evaluate the training impact of the animatronic movement, we conducted a between-subjects, repeated-measures experiment with 41 Reserve Soldiers. In this paper, we present the results of this study, including the positive correlation between simulator movement and increased trainee speed over time. We also describe the history and contemporary usage of tourniquets, summarize the Army's bleeding intervention procedures, and discuss recommendations for emerging medical simulators.

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Cultural Awareness for Military Operations (CAMO) - A Distributed Training Approach

Year: 2013

Authors: Alexander Walker, Sterling Wiggins, Ellen Clarke, Tara Rench, Stephanie Pratt

Abstract: The Marine Corps engages in a variety of operations, many of which require the establishment of quality relationships with individuals of a foreign culture to achieve mission success. To ensure that Marines effectively learn and maintain cultural skills, it is critical to employ a flexible and engaging training environment. To this end, the Marine Corps has implemented training around "operational culture" - or how the actions taken by Marines in a foreign culture can affect operations. In this paper, we will describe an approach to training operational culture skills that uses computer-based training software (CBT), specifically designed around scientifically-valid pedagogical strategies. The CBT platform is a flexible, distributed method of training delivery that combines exploratory learning, didactic instruction, and deliberate practice in an effort to maximize the comprehension and transfer of course material on operational culture. Participants in this study were 34 Marines randomly assigned into one of two operational culture training conditions (Instructor-led vs. CBT). All participants completed a pre-training declarative knowledge test and situational judgment test (SJT) on operational culture, participated in the operational culture training, and then completed a post-training declarative knowledge test, SJT, and reaction survey. Our analyses demonstrated a positive main effect of training, regardless of training group, with scores improving on the knowledge tests and SJTs from pre-test to post-test. Our findings suggest that the CBT training was as effective as current classroom training at improving the operational culture knowledge and skills of Marines. The distributed nature of the CBT also provides additional benefits, including easier access, self-paced completion, flexible administration, and an extensible framework for modifying and authoring content. Together, these findings highlight the utility and value of this CBT as a supplemental or standalone operational culture training tool.

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