Identifying the limits of an integrated training environment using human abilities and affordance theory
Hodges, Glenn August
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This research investigated the development and use of an analytical assessment methodology anchored in systems engineering principles, affordance theory, and human abilities, to measure the potential of integrated training environments (ITEs) to effectively support training. Empirical investigation of ITEs is costly, lacks formal guidance, and is therefore often unreliable. Ad hoc studies, commissioned by individual organizations, constitute the current state of Army ITE evaluation. These assessments are often entirely based on subject matter expert judgment through surveys, which produce results that are linked indirectly and loosely to the ITEs. What is required is a repeatable, inexpensive, analytical approach to ITE assessment that bounds the potential of a given system to the support it provides to the deliberate practice of specific tasks. The results of this research include the development and use of the integrated training environment assessment methodology (ITEAM). ITEAM was used to evaluate the ability of several ITEs to support the deliberate practice of specific tasks during training. The dissertation shows that ITEAM consistently predicted where training was supported by an ITE and generally how well. ITEAM is offered as a tool to be used early in the acquisition process to affordably define and verify the requirements of candidate ITE solutions for Department of Defense needs.
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