Assessing the potential of virtual worlds for Navy Training and Education: cognitive learning processes and outcomes in the virtual school house (VSH)
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This study assessed the role of cognitive factors and processes on the performance and satisfaction outcomes of training conducted in the Submarine Learning Center’s (SLC) virtual schoolhouse (VSH). Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center provided a setting to test the VSH and conduct this study. In each of three test sessions, 12 students were trained, divided between the VSH and face-toface (FTF) setting. NPS researchers conducted observations and administered pre-, mid- and post-training surveys to students in both the VSH and FTF setting. VSH students and instructors also participated in post-training interviews. Findings show that training in virtual environments can be successful. Students in the VSH performed as well as, and in some instances better, than students in the FTF setting. Findings suggest that training in virtual environments must be supported through instructor and student preparation specific to the virtual environment. Additionally, training outcomes can likely be improved, and perhaps exceed those of FTF training, through attention to the design of the learning system and training activities. The VSH provided some specific advantages including, the potential to support life-work balance, unique learning tools and spaces, and improved access to learning tools. The only perceived disadvantage was the lack of FTF contact with instructors. The learning system and training activities should be designed specifically to fully utilize the advantages of the virtual setting and to mitigate the perceived disadvantage.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
NPS Report NumberNPS-GSBPP-15-002
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