Virtual training simulations game based systems large scale adoption issues
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SpringSim, Military Modeling & Simulation, San Diego, CA, March 2009 (tutorial also presented at I/ITSEC 2008). Virtual Training Simulations & Game-Based Systems: Large-Scale Adoption Issues. Amela Sadagic, PhD [email protected] Motivation. Late 80s, early & mid 90s. Motivation.

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Virtual Training Simulations & Game-Based Systems: Large-Scale Adoption Issues

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Virtual training simulations game based systems large scale adoption issues

SpringSim, Military Modeling & Simulation, San Diego, CA, March 2009

(tutorial also presented at I/ITSEC 2008)

Virtual Training Simulations & Game-Based Systems: Large-Scale Adoption Issues

Amela Sadagic, PhD

[email protected]


Motivation

Motivation

Late 80s, early & mid 90s


Motivation1

Motivation


Motivation2

Motivation


Agenda

Agenda

  • Domain: What is Covered in This Tutorial

  • Current Training Needs

  • Simulations and Game-Based Systems

  • Diffusion of Innovation

  • Examples of (Partial) Success

  • Practical Considerations and Techniques

  • Increasing Adoption Rate

  • Conclusion and Q&A


Virtual training simulations game based systems large scale adoption issues

  • Domain: What is Covered in This Tutorial

  • Current Training Needs

  • Simulations and Game-Based Systems

  • Diffusion of Innovation

  • Examples of (Partial) Success

  • Practical Considerations and Techniques

  • Increasing Adoption Rate

  • Conclusion and Q&A


Tutorial is not about

Tutorial is Not About…

  • Connectivity to the network & server needs

  • Costs & financial aspects

  • Acquisition & procurement

  • Maintenance & administrative management


Tutorial is about

Tutorial is About…

  • The phase AFTER the training system is acquired.

  • User aspects: dissemination, adoption, deployment and use of those systems among intended users (both instructors and trainees).

  • Factors influencing large scale adoption.

  • Techniques for changing adoption rate.

  • Effective techniques for maximizing the investments made in those systems.


Virtual training simulations game based systems large scale adoption issues

  • Domain: What is Covered in This Tutorial

  • Current Training Needs

  • Simulations and Game-Based Systems

  • Diffusion of Innovation

  • Examples of (Partial) Success

  • Practical Considerations and Techniques

  • Increasing Adoption Rate

  • Conclusion and Q&A


Current training needs

Current Training Needs

Situation that military community deals with:

  • changes of doctrinal teachings & mission objectives,

  • operational tempo changes dramatically,

  • unsatisfactory retention rate for the serviceman,

  • … and no performance drop-off!

    Training needs:

  • train large number of skills,

  • train large number of people,

  • train in novel ways, motivate learners,

  • train in novel places & under novel conditions,

  • acquire new skills,

  • learn & do novel tasks,

  • … and achieve all that in a short period of time!


Virtual training simulations game based systems large scale adoption issues

  • Domain: What is Covered in This Tutorial

  • Current Training Needs

  • Simulations and Game-Based Systems

  • Diffusion of Innovation

  • Examples of (Partial) Success

  • Practical Considerations and Techniques

  • Increasing Adoption Rate

  • Conclusion and Q&A


Simulations and game based systems

Simulations and Game-Based Systems

Can they be a solution?

  • They will not provide a complete (only) solution,

  • … but most likely they will be a good part of that solution.

    A paradigm shift - truly and successfully enabling novel training practices, and achieving significant results, happens only when:

  • large majority (ideally everyone) uses those solutions,

  • they do it methodically and consistently,

  • they have those solutions available 24 / 7.


Definition of problem

Definition of Problem

Affordable solutions, substantial and continuing investments, fairly well recognized and acknowledged potential…

… yet still no evidence of large scale adoption of technology-based solutions and their effective and systematic use for learning and training purposes.

Large scale: > 80 % users


Simulations and game based systems cont

Simulations and Game-Based Systems …cont.

Game-based systems: computer-supported real-time systems that couple multiple sensory information (visual, auditory, haptic, olfactory) in an organized way providing a meaningful context for human action and collaboration. This includes the elements of:

  • content: representation of the environment, actors and characters (one or many),

  • storyline / plot / scenario,

  • dynamics: set of rules, behaviors and interaction modalities,

  • task(s) and overall goal of action,

  • system feedback about player’s success/results in session (score).

    Goal: learning and training.


Examples of games and game based systems

Examples of Games and Game-Based Systems

Games -> Entertainment:

  • EverQuest

  • World of Warcraft

  • Tiger Woods 99 PGA Tour Golf

    Game-Based Systems / Serious Games -> Learning and Training:

  • CCM (Close Combat Marine)

  • VBS 2 (Virtual Battle Space)

  • FOPCSim, VCCT

    Which group is concerned with the validity, correct simulation of physical phenomena and human behaviors, metrics and measurements?


Game based training systems examples

Game-Based Training Systems: Examples


Simulations and game based training systems

Simulations and Game-Based Training Systems

Why should we use them? They are:

  • mature enough,

  • affordable,

  • they have a potential to:

  • Enable more effective learning/training:

    • learn more, quicker, retain skills and knowledge longer, less cost involved,

  • Increase interest and motivate learners/trainees,

  • Enable learning/training situations that would not be possible otherwise,

  • But also…


  • Correspond to contemporary lives of its users

    …Correspond to Contemporary Lives of Its Users

    • 4 years ago: > 60% Marines played video games. They also used other digital gadgets & applications.

    • Now: All young IOC and TBS officers, as well as young Marines (almost everyone) own personal computer.

      Questions:

    • Should learners’ working hours (school, unit) be as contemporary as their free-time?

    • Is the alienation from a ‘clunky’ & ‘old’ segment of learner’s life possible to happen, and how can one address it?


    Classroom of the future

    vs.

    Classroom-of-the-Future

    (as seen by the high-school students 9 years ago in 2000!)

    Expectations set by new generations:


    More on why use game based training systems

    More on ‘Why Use Game-Based Training Systems…’

    • Provide rich visual and spatial representations

    • Simulate rich environment with multiple sensory information coupled together in an organized way - video, audio and other stimuli in a sync

    • Provide immediate feedback to learner’s actions

    • Include elements of storytelling and narration

    • Enable role-playing and experimentation

    • Engage user in active learning process

    • Can be fun and motivate users for learning (training)

    • Adaptable for different skill levels and learning styles

    • Enable high level of presence (this may influence performance)

    • Immerse users in problem-solving activities

    • Enhance experiential learning

    • Easy to play out a number of different situations (scenarios) - perfecting skills

    • Exploring a number of what-ifs

    • Self-selection of the level of difficulty – ownership over the learning process


    Caveats

    Caveats

    • Simulations (technology) are only the tools - not a goal and not a ‘full’ package, just a segment of it.

    • Simulations are not the ultimate replacement for current training approaches.

    • Simulation should be employed when it is a better solution for a given objective - need to match training approaches and tools with training objectives.

    • Efforts should be directed towards coupling of learning/ training objectives and goals with right approaches, right tools, having in mind the audience we deal with.


    Virtual training simulations game based systems large scale adoption issues

    • Domain: What is Covered in This Tutorial

    • Current Training Needs

    • Simulations and Game-Based Systems

    • Diffusion of Innovation

    • Examples of (Partial) Success

    • Practical Considerations and Techniques

    • Increasing Adoption Rate

    • Conclusion and Q&A


    Diffusion of innovation

    Diffusion of Innovation

    • It is a technical issue AND social process.

    • Innovations DO NOT sell themselves.

      5 categories of adopters:

      • Innovators

      • Early adopters

      • Early majority

      • Late majority

      • Laggards

        Opinion leaders - change agents - change agent aide

    Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations


    Diffusion of innovation cont

    Diffusion of Innovation …cont.

    time

    Cummulative diffusion

    Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations


    Diffusion of innovation cont1

    Diffusion of Innovation …cont.

    • Mass-media channels vs interpersonal channels.

    • Majority: form their opinion on the basis of subjectiveevaluation of information received from their peers (similar socioeconomic status, education and other values).

    • Interpersonal channels: most effective for ‘majority’ adopters.

    • Fastest adoption: decision coming from the authority.

    • An innovation should not be considered in isolation from other innovations.

    Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations


    Factors influencing adoption rate

    Factors Influencing Adoption Rate

    • Relative advantage: benefits over current solution.

    • Compatibility: degree of being consistent with current system of values.

    • Complexity: simpler to understand & simpler to use.

    • Trialability: adoption in an incremental fashion.

    • Observability: results being visible to other adopters.

    Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations


    Relative advantage issues

    Relative Advantage: Issues

    (definition: perceived benefits over current solution):

    • Absence of ‘full package’ solutions

    • Black-box solution… just a wishful thinking

    • Lack of formal training for people who deliver instruction

    • One time exposure only + short exposure

    • Timing not appropriate

    • Wrong order of skill mastery

    • Disconnect between the systems and (right) users

    • No syllabus, no high-quality scenarios

    • Not matching system capabilities and levels with users

    • Training or ‘fun’?

    • Missing training relevance (need for continuous updates)

    • Lack of evaluation of training effectiveness

    • Lack of accountability for achieved training results

    • Motivation: “Checking the ‘technology’ box”


    Compatibility issues

    Compatibility: Issues

    (definition: degree of being consistent with current system of values)

    • Lack of system support for After Action Review (AAR)

      Record your session, appoint the ‘observers” & ‘evaluators’

    • Do I need to forget everything I knew and did so far?

      Explore a synergy of old (known, tested) technologies/ methods and simulations - that mix may well be the best solution for given training objective!


    Complexity issues

    Complexity: Issues

    (definition: simpler to understand & simpler to use  adopted more rapidly)

    • Do I need to be a technology expert?

      • One possible solution: trainees acting as (occasional) technical support.

  • User interfaces, user navigation and interaction modalities differ from one system to another:

    • Learning new system is more difficult - making those parameters uniform/same across different systems would help.


  • Trialability issues

    Trialability: Issues

    (definition: adoption in an incremental fashion  adopted more rapidly)

    • Rigid definition of what it means to ‘use the technology’: 100%, 50% or 3% of training time?

    • Should all trainees use computers… or not?

       Consider different combinations and arrangements with some people using the system and some not using it.


    Observability issues

    Observability: Issues

    (definition: results being visible to other adopters -> adopted more rapidly)

    • Mandatory use of simulations (e.g. aviation; ship, submarine & tank navigation; missile engagements):

      Results were substantial, tangible, clearly visible, with high relative advantage and immediate

    • Optional use of simulations (e.g. tactical decision-making skills):

      Relative advantage visible only after a long term use

       Advertise the successes of peers in their community.


    Influencing users attitude

    Influencing Users’ Attitude

    • “This will help us reduce the number of instructors” - hope for BIG savings.

    • “This system is all you will ever need.”

    • “These systems will (should) sell themselves.”

    • “It will be a ‘pull’ process only, no need for ‘push’ strategies.”

    • “We will start preparing for deployment once the training system is acquired.”

    • Unrealistic expectations on learning results and timing

      • More complex & more expensive solution  higher the expectations.

      • Time to get acquainted with the system - it is a process.

    • Accountability for the skill transfer (field performance).


    Virtual training simulations game based systems large scale adoption issues

    • Domain: What is Covered in This Tutorial

    • Current Training Needs

    • Simulations and Game-Based Systems

    • Diffusion of Innovation

    • Examples of (Partial) Success

    • Practical Considerations and Techniques

    • Increasing Adoption Rate

    • Conclusion and Q&A


    Examples of partial success

    Examples of (Partial) Success

    America’s Army

    • It is a game. Started as a recruitment tool, not as a training system.

    • Substantial promotional efforts invested, and they are still present.

    • Has active web support: support forums, organized events for peers (gamers) and chat networks.

    • Professional web-site with

      segments focused on

      engaging new players: expanding

      user base is their mission.

    • No user studies done

      (‘transfer of training’).

    (image taken from America’s Army web site)


    Examples of partial success1

    Examples of (Partial) Success

    FOPCSim (Forward Observer PC Simulation)

    • Training system designed by Marines (MOVES students).

    • Actively promoted by Marines - available in each Simulation center.

    • Agent of change was one of original designers. He is also artillery officer i.e. peer of targeted

      end users.

    • Includes good & tested scenarios.

    • Uses Delta3D game engine – no

      license fees involved.

    • User studies proved

      training effectiveness.


    Examples of partial success2

    Examples of (Partial) Success

    VBS 2 (Virtual Battlespace 2)

    • Training system.

    • Actively promoted by Marines - Available in each Simulation Center.

    • Continually perfected and fine-tuned to fit training needs.

    • Company offers courses for administrators and developers &

      support for users (ex-military

      contractor team  experienced

      as very close to peers/users)

    • Supports large spectrum of

      training situations.

    • Still need to perfect their

      simulations.

    (image taken from VBS 2 web site)


    Virtual training simulations game based systems large scale adoption issues

    • Domain: What is Covered in This Tutorial

    • Current Training Needs

    • Simulations and Game-Based Systems

    • Diffusion of Innovation

    • Examples of (Partial) Success

    • Practical Considerations and Techniques

    • Increasing Adoption Rate

    • Conclusion and Q&A


    Practical considerations

    Practical Considerations

    Q1: Do my trainees need any prep time before they

    engage in active learning/training?

    Q2: Do I need to bring any learning/training aids? Cards? Projector? Recording devices? And how about the use of headphones?

    Q3: What should I do when the trainees start gaming

    (playing around, using non-doctrinal tactics)?

    Q4: How should I arrange my computers (I need to

    organize a session for an entire group)?

    Q5: Should I think about introducing elements of a

    challenge or competition?


    Learners as your technical support members

    Learners as Your Technical Support Members?

    Q: Is it realistic to expect that all instructors will have necessary technical expertise and experience?

    A: Trainees acting as (occasional) technical support:

    • active involvement vs. ‘being served’ approach,

    • great opportunity to learn more about technology - they may need those skills in very near future,

    • recognition of their skills,

    • instills a sense of ownership over the process,

    • higher appreciation for instructor’s efforts,

    • more forgiving when technical difficulties are experienced.


    Everyone using the system or not

    Everyone Using the System… or Not?

    Q (Valid concern): Certain tasks represent considerable cognitive load for an individual - do I add to that by asking them to control an input device in addition to their already complex tasks?

    Q: Could the experience of watching someone use the system be another form of learning?

    A: Consider different combinations and arrangements with some people using the system and some not using it.

    The goal: ALL trainees should benefit from that arrangement and that session.


    Combinations with other instructional approaches

    Combinations With Other Instructional Approaches

    Q: How beneficial is it to use a combination of new and old tested instructional approaches?

    A: Potential benefits:

    • They work (quite often very successfully).

    • This combination may be the best fit for training (match with beginning, intermediate, advanced levels).

    • ‘Old’ approaches serving as ‘suspenders’ in case of hasty behaviors while training with simulations.

    • Instructors are familiar with them - may be more inclined to accept a combination then simulation-only approach.


    Combinations with other technologies and media

    Combinations With Other Technologies and Media

    Q: How beneficial is it to use a combination of different technologies and media?

    Consider:

    Synchronous & asynchronous tools

    Before, during & after the session

    Optional (additional) media:

    Chat (audio and text)

    Blog as a project diary (text blog, video blog, podcasts)

    Social networking

    Videoconferencing


    Virtual training simulations game based systems large scale adoption issues

    • Domain: What is Covered in This Tutorial

    • Current Training Needs

    • Simulations and Game-Based Systems

    • Diffusion of Innovation

    • Examples of (Partial) Success

    • Practical Considerations and Techniques

    • Increasing Adoption Rate

    • Conclusion and Q&A


    Increasing adoption rate

    Increasing Adoption Rate

    time

    Cummulative diffusion


    Increasing adoption rate1

    Increasing Adoption Rate

    Knowing the characteristics of military as a social system:

    • Introduction of mandatory deployment and use of simulations

      • If you do, make sure there is a strong and valid rationale for such decision. Also, make sure it is accepted on ALL levels.

    • Increase the number of agents of change:

      • Create new billets dedicated to dissemination and use of simulations + make simulation focus be the main focus

    • Make some training tools/systems ‘unit/Marine-centered’ instead of ‘simulation center-centered’

    • More active and changed role for simulation centers.

    • Introduce challenge programs and competitions.


    Virtual training simulations game based systems large scale adoption issues

    • Domain: What is Covered in This Tutorial

    • Current Training Needs

    • Simulations and Game-Based Systems

    • Diffusion of Innovation

    • Examples of (Partial) Success

    • Practical Considerations and Techniques

    • Increasing Adoption Rate

    • Conclusion and Q&A


    References

    References

    • Malcolm Gladwell (2000), The Tipping Point, Little, Brown and Company, 2000.

    • Joseph M. Nolan and Jason M. Jones (2005), Games For Training: Leveraging Commercial Off The Shelf Multiplayer Gaming Software For Infantry Squad Collective Training, Master Thesis , NPS.

    • Baxter, Holly C., Ross, Karol G., Phillips, Jennifer, Shafer, Jennifer, Fowlkes, Jennifer. (2004). Leveraging Commercial Video Game Technology to Improve Military Decision Skills. Inter-service/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) 2004.

    • Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Game Based Training. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001.

    • Everett M. Rogers (1995), Diffusion of Innovations, The Free Press 1995.

    • Amela Sadagic (2007), The Deployment and Use of Virtual Training Simulations: What Does it Take to Serve the Needs of Majority Of Its Users?, New Learning Technologies Orlando 2007 SALT Conference, Orlando, FL, Jan 31 - Feb 2, 2007.


    References cont

    References …cont.

    • Amela Sadagic, Rudy Darken (2006), Combined Arms Training: Methods and Measures for a Changing World, NATO workshop Virtual Media for Military Applications, US Military Academy, West Point, NY, 13-15 June 2006.

    • Robert Sibley and Amela Sadagic (2003), Emerging Technologies as Enablers of Advanced Teaching and Learning Practice, National Educational Computing Conference - NECC 2003, Seattle WA, July 2003.

    • Wayne Zachary, Robert R. Hoffman, Kelly Neville, Jennifer Fowlkes (2007), Human Total Cost of Ownership: The Penny Foolish Principle at Work, IEEE Intelligent Systems, March/April 2007.


    Virtual training simulations game based systems large scale adoption issues

    Q & A


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