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What Can Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) Train?. Harry O’Neil and Richard Wainess University of Southern California/CRESST. DoD Training Transformation Technologies Developing, Distributing, and Assessing Joint Knowledge September 4, 2003 Alexandria, VA.

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What can massively multiplayer online games mmogs train l.jpg

What Can Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) Train?

Harry O’Neil and Richard Wainess

University of Southern California/CRESST

DoD Training Transformation Technologies

Developing, Distributing, and Assessing Joint KnowledgeSeptember 4, 2003Alexandria, VA

DOD NTSA TrainTransTech v.6 9/04/03


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CRESST Model of Learning

Content Understanding

Collaboration

Learning

Problem Solving

Communication

Self-Regulation


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Typical Measures

Non-existent

Unvalidated

Subject matter

Format as templates

Start anew

Cross sectional

Desired Measures

Validated

Cognition/transfer

Researched models

Reusable objects

Embedded simulations

Trajectories

A Focus on Learning

RECIPE FOR DISASTER:

Collect everything and figure it out later


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Collaborative Problem Solving in MMOGs

GroupTeamwork Process

Content Understanding

Problem-Solving Strategies

Self-Regulation

1. Adaptability

2. Coordination

3. Decision Making

4. Interpersonal

5. Leadership

6. Communication

Facts

Concepts

Procedures

Principles

1. Planning

2. Self-Checking

3. Effort

4. Self-Efficacy

Domain Specific


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Taxonomy of Teamwork Processes

  • Adaptability

    • Recognizing problems and responding appropriately

  • Coordination

    • Organizing team activities to complete a task on time

  • Decision Making

    • Using available information

  • Interpersonal

    • Interacting cooperatively with other team members

  • Leadership

    • Providing direction for the team

  • Communication

    • Clear and accurate exchange of information


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Social Capital

Trust

Teamwork Skills

MMOGOrganization

Networks

Efficacy

Transparency

Effort


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Do Games Train?

  • The research indicates that computer games were potentially useful for instructional purposes and were hypothesized to provide multiple benefits

    • Promotion of motivation

    • Improvement of skills

    • Facilitation of metacognition

  • Limited empirical research conducted on games topic (17 studies, 1990–2003)

    • PsycINFO, Education Abs, SocSciAbs,

    • Adults, empirical (qualitative/quantitative)

  • Only one relevant abstract on massive multiplayer games


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Different Mental Models

1Content understanding, problem-solving, self-regulation, communication, team skills.

2Action, role planning, adventure, strategy games, goal games, team sports, individual sports (Laird & VanLent, 2001).

3Implicit vs. Explicit: During or after (AAR).


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Integrate into Plan of Instruction

Instructor training

Doctrinal accuracy

Limited role for fantasy

Integrate into recreation/family time

Increased requirement for feedback, automated After-Action Reviews

Student “training” need (e.g., self-regulation)

Flexible Doctrine/Strategy/Tactics

Fantasy role

On-Duty vs. Off-Duty Trade-Offs

If on-duty in military school

If off-duty


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Motivation provided by instructor

Game can be less fun

Good application

Initial acquisition training

Available time in hours/days/weeks

Motivation provided by student/game

Game needs to be fun

Good application

Refresher training; prevent skill decay

Available time in minutes/hours

On-Duty vs. Off-Duty Trade-Offs(cont.)

If on-duty in military school

If off-duty


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Can MMOGs Train?

  • What to train?

    • Collaborative problem solving

  • Is there evidence?

    • There is little empirical work on effectiveness of games for adult training

  • Opportunities for an R&D agenda



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The Specification of What We Are Teaching Is Essential

  • From goal/objective, the instructional strategies follow (e.g., nature of feedback, timing of feedback, etc.) and assessment issues (e.g., how do we know that soldiers have more of X after playing the game)

  • Different Xs (e.g., leadership, battle command, situational awareness, decision making, tactical problem solving) require different measures, After-Action Reviews, take home packages, instructor training, homework assignments, etc.


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Game: Abstract Search Process

  • Article criteria: video/computer game, training, adults

  • Databases: PsycINFO, Education Abs, SocSciAbs

  • Date limits: 1990-2003

  • 17 relevant empirical abstracts

  • Articles being retrieved—there will be fewer relevant articles


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Game: Abstract Search

1Used in training and adults.

2Either qualitative or quantitative information.


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Multiplayer Search Process

  • Article criteria: multiplayer or massively multiplayer video/computer game, training, adults

  • Databases: PsycINFO, Education Abs, SocSciAbs

  • Date limits: 1990-2003

  • 1 relevant empirical abstract

    • Article being retrieved


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Multiplayer Abstract Search

Training potential of multiplayer and massively multiplayer video games for adults

1Use of training and adults.

2Either qualitative or quantitative information.






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Formative Evaluation Activity

  • 1. Check the game design against its specifications

    • e.g., setting, tactics

      • Attend critical designer reviews

  • 2. Check the validity of instructional strategies embedded in the system against research literature

    • Literature reviews1,2,3

    • Implementation of practice and feedback (e.g., After-Action Review)

  • 3. Conduct feasibility review with the instructors

    • Are right tasks being trained?

      • Review to be conducted with SMEs

  • 4. Conduct feasibility test with soldiers

    • One-on-one testing

    • Small-group testing


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Formative Evaluation Activity(cont.)

  • 5. Does more game-based training lead to better game performance (e.g., loss ratios: losses/kills)?

    • – Need to track a soldier’s performance across multiple games

  • 6. Assess instructional effectiveness

    • Cognitive

      • e.g., does it improve domain knowledge, problem-solving skills, self-regulation, tactical skills, situational awareness?

    • Affective

      • e.g., does it change self-efficacy?

  • 7. Do experts and novices differ?

  • 8. Assess unanticipated outcomes

  • 9. Implement revisions


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