Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00

Supporting Crisis Simulations with the ARLearn Toolkit for Mobile Serious Games

Written by  Stefaan Ternier; Atish Gonsalves; Bernardo Tabuenca; Fred de Vries; Marcus Specht
Although the transfer of factual knowledge plays an important role when training personnel who operate in potentially dangerous conditions, mobile learning techniques to support security training are often underused. There is a great value in simulating dangerous situations in the training context. In contrast to learning from a textbook, a simulation leaves room for customization and surprise, as players do not know what will happen in advance. By experiencing a series of events that occur in a simulation, participants learn in an authentic context and are trained to respond to events as they occur. This is different from studying factual knowledge. The theory of situated learning supports this assumption, and states that learners do not learn via the plain acquisition of knowledge but rather through active participation in social contexts. Organizing simulations in the real world can become very expensive and resource-intensive. For instance, a real-life military simulation can require the use of weapons and explosives to engage the participants in the scenario. Many dangerous situations require personnel with different roles (e.g., team leader, communication expert) to cooperate. Managing these different roles during a simulation requires extra work of the simulation facilitator.