Conventional Training Versus Game-Based Training

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase I
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
301 East Carrillo Street 2FL P. O. Box 5, Santa Barbara, CA, 93102
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Tricia Mautone
Senior Scientist
(805) 966-6157
Business Contact:
Douglas Harris
(805) 966-6157
Research Institute:
Merrill R Karp
Polytechnic Campus 7442 E. Til
Mesa, AZ, 85212
(480) 727-1873
Nonprofit college or university
Game-based training (GBT) has been touted as a promising medium for achieving improved training objective performance outcomes and increasing learner motivation, particularly in military training environments. However, there is little empirical research upon which to make informed decisions about when, where, or even if applying particular game elements to training is effective. The primary objective of Phase I is to investigate the feasibility of successfully integrating GBT into training curriculums. Formal empirical evaluation of the effectiveness of applying specific gaming elements to achieve specific training objectives will be conducted in Phase II. The first objective of Phase I will be to identify core training objectives that are likely to benefit from the introduction of GBT, and to begin development of a taxonomy that links game elements, training objectives, and training environments. The second objective will be to develop a plan for implementing selected game elements in an actual training environment and assessing the effect on learning outcomes. Storyboards of the plan will be created to allow evaluators to assess the feasibility of incorporating the plan into an existing training program. If Phase II is approved, a functional prototype of a segment of the GBT plan will be created and tested.BENEFITS: There is much interest in developing and incorporating innovative and effective instructional methods such as game-based training into current training curriculum; however, there are few guidelines on how to best implement this approach. The development of a theoretically-driven and empirically-supported decision-aiding tool that specifies when and how specific gaming elements should be integrated into training and instruction would allow instructional designers in a variety of domains to make informed decisions about to best use game-based training to enhance learning and performance outcomes. The decision tool could ultimately be applied to training and instructional development in a wide range of organizations from the military to K-12 classrooms to private companies wishing to design more effective training curriculum for their employees. Any industry that must provide rapid training to individuals on hard-to-learn equipment, where practice is helpful, would be aided by GBT. Likewise, many team-based industries, such as process control, emergency medical response, and transportation, as well as many business-oriented companies could benefit from a tool that provides guidance on how to maximize the effectiveness of GBT.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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