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SA Technologies conducts game-based training research at West Point Simulations Center

Awardee Story SA Technologies conducts game-based training research at West Point Simulations Center
Date: Sep 06, 2013
Author: Laura Strater
Source: Company Data ( click here to go to the source)

LTC Daniel Kidd and Mr. Victor Castro from the West Point Simulations Center hosted the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences-Orlando Technology Based Training Research Unit (ARI-T2RU) and SA Technologies, Inc. on 23 and 24 July 2013 in support of an on-going collaborative research project. The project is a part of an ARI Science and Technology (S&T) research program focused on determining the effectiveness of automated, text-based prompts for supporting Soldier metacognition and learning during a simulated, military land navigation training exercise.

Utilizing the TRADOC Training Brain Operation Center’s (TBOC) VBS2 Land Navigation Trainer-West Point Course and SA Technologies’ Virtual Environment Situation Awareness Rating System (VESARS) training tool, the West Point / ARI team are working with SA Technologies in developing innovative measures and methods to improve and enhance instructional interventions within games and simulations that will maximize learning and improve training. For this particular experiment, researchers from ARI and SA Technologies wanted to evaluate the use of the VESARS in a classroom instructional setting with the goal of demonstrating improvement in Cadet performance in several different land navigation tasks based on an embedded automatic intervention that prompted Cadets to effectively regulate their own cognitive processes while performing land navigation tasks and procedures. This effort allowed for the empirical collection of data to determine 1) whether automated metacognitive prompts provide sufficient instructional support to improve land navigation skills learned during simulated training and 2) if these skills transfer to real-world applications like live land navigation.

The West point staff and ARI and SA Technologies researchers predict that Cadets receiving automated metacognitive prompts via VESARS will perform comparably to Cadets receiving direct human instructional intervention (e.g., traditional instruction that places a high workload on instructors) both during computer-based and real-world land navigation exercises. While providing a valuable learning experience for Cadets as to the nature and benefit of scientific, DoD sponsored research, this collaboration also affords USMA with the opportunity to use VESARS as a supplemental coaching tool, thereby freeing limited instructor face-time with the Cadets and enhancing Cadet simulation and live training.

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