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Training Cultural Awareness in Military Operations in a Virtual Afghan Village: A Methodology for Scenario Development
 

Training Cultural Awareness in Military Operations in a Virtual Afghan Village: A Methodology for Scenario Development

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Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland, Mikhail Fominykh, Ramin Darisiro, and Anders I. Mørch: "Training Cultural Awareness in Military Operations in a Virtual Afghan Village: A Methodology for Scenario ...

Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland, Mikhail Fominykh, Ramin Darisiro, and Anders I. Mørch: "Training Cultural Awareness in Military Operations in a Virtual Afghan Village: A Methodology for Scenario Development," in the 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Wailea, HI, USA, January 7–10, 2013, IEEE, ISBN: 978-1-4577-1925-7, pp. 903–912.

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    Training Cultural Awareness in Military Operations in a Virtual Afghan Village: A Methodology for Scenario Development Training Cultural Awareness in Military Operations in a Virtual Afghan Village: A Methodology for Scenario Development Presentation Transcript

    • Training Cultural Awareness in Military Operations in a Virtual Afghan Village: A Methodology for Scenario Development Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland, Mikhail Fominykh Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway Ramin Darisiro Norwegian Armed Forces Anders I. Mørch University of Oslo, Norway The 46th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) January, 7-10 2013 Wailea, Maui, HI, USA1
    • Motivation (1) o 3D virtual worlds and game-based simulations are to an increasing degree used for military training – demonstrating concepts and situations that are difficult, expensive or unsafe to represent efficiently enough in a classroom setting o Operational culture: understanding culture is a basic component of operational planning, training, and execution o Lack of systematic, research-based methods for using game-based simulations in military training, especially in the area of cultural awareness – Few of the existing methods are published and systematized due to security concerns or/and commercial interests2
    • Motivation (2) o “…the (US) Army lacks both experience in using GBS (Game-Based Simulations) within a training program as well as research-based training methods for using GBS in training. In addition, the use of GBS systems requires aids for scenario development, training practices, and performance measurement tools that do not exist”.3
    • Tactical Iraqi (Pashto, Dari, Indonesian) Source: Johnson, 2009; Surface et al., 2007; www.alelo.com4
    • First Person Cultural Trainer Source: Zielke, 2011; Zielke et al. 20105
    • Second Life: US Military islands6
    • Cultural Awareness in Military Operations (CAMO): Project Goals o create an inexpensive and flexible simulation for training cultural awareness among military personnel o explore the advantages and limitations of 3D virtual worlds in this context o create methodological guidelines and tools for developing 3D educational simulations for future use7
    • Participants o Norwegian Armed Forces: – Norwegian Defense University College (ADL) – Norwegian Army War Academy – Norwegian Defense Language and Intelligence School – Telemark Battalion – Norwegian Defense Media Center o Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) o University of Oslo (UiO)8
    • Theoretical and methodological background o Theoretical basis – Situation Awareness theory (Endsley, 1995) – Naturalistic Decision Making approach (Klein, 2008; Caird- Daley et al., 2009; Zsambok, 1997) o Existing methodologies – UK Human Factors Integration Defence Technology Centre – The Royal Netherlands Army/TNO Defense, Security & Safety/Delft University of Technology9
    • Scenario development for military simulations Source: Hartog, 200910
    • Learning goals o T. Tactics: general tactics (in a concrete cultural context), e.g. identifying threats based on the relevant cues from the environment o G. Gender: interacting with women in tribal/clan communities, e.g. how to act towards Afghan women o R. Religion: dealing with religious customs and practices o S. Socializing: observing local customs, e.g. when dealing with children, visiting a house o L. Language: basic language skills for simple tasks like polite greeting, asking for directions, identifying security threats; interactions between the interpreter, the locals and the squad11
    • Example: learning sub-goals and associated mini-scenarios o Tactics T3. Securing an area (village/house) o Religion R1. Correct behavior during a prayer o Religion R2. Food during Ramadan o Gender G1. Close contact with local women o Social interaction S3. Dealing with children o Language L1. Basic polite phrases in local language12
    • Example: Gender o Learning goal G1: Close contact with local women – Cues: a local woman asks for/needs (medical) assistance – Appropriate reaction: a female soldier approaches the woman, talks to her and provides necessary assistance – Typical/possible mistake: a male soldier approaches the woman, talks to her and in the worst case touches her while attempting to provide assistance – Typical response in case of mistake: the woman (other locals) gets upset/hostile, further efforts are needed to resolve the situation13
    • Mini-scenarios => story example o Scene 6. While passing by a house, the squad observes a crying local woman, visibly injured – Learning goals: G1. Close contact with local women + S5. Providing medical assistance to local population + T1. Identifying possible threats + T2. Interaction within the squad + L1. Basic polite phrases in local language + L2. Interaction between the interpreter, the locals and the squad – Cues to focus and reflect over – Responses and possible outcomes (”best/worst case”) – Instructions to the players + improvisation – Requirements for the virtual environment – Story = mission order + role definitions + ‘scenes’ + alternative courses – REUSE!14
    • Virtual Afghan village: Environment design o Focus – Low cost – Short development time – Reusability o Types of content – General content for creating the context and atmosphere – Specific content for specific mini-scenarios o Phases – Design and search for the required content – Building and co-locating objects (reused in multiple places, copied, and joined in different combinations)15
    • CAMO evaluation16
    • Mission Order17
    • Evaluation results: an overview o Study settings – 14 cadets from Norwegian Army War Academy – 8 students and teachers from Norwegian Defense Language and Intelligence School – Pre- and posttests, interviews, observations – 2 walk-throughs, 3 debriefs o Major outcomes – Cadets positive to the use of 3D virtual worlds for training cultural awareness – Learning outcomes related to the major topics in the scenarios – Learning from taking different perspectives, facing dilemmas, observing squad leader actions18
    • Feedbacks from the participants o Advantages: – “I got very much out of it during a very short time”, “plenty of aha- experiences” – “This (system) can provide several possibilities in a deployment environment to increase understanding among troops preparing for international operations” – Immersion in the role – User-friendly, motivating, and fun experience o Limitations/improvement suggestions: – Differentiation of scenarios and challenges according to the different roles within the squad (active and peripheral participation) – Crowd simulation (important for identifying threats) – Limited selection of gestures and body language – Limited range for voice communication19
    • Conclusions and future work (1) o Virtual worlds for cultural awareness training – Flexible, inexpensive, suitable for distance education – Support for collaborative work and learning – Technological challenges o Further development of methodology – Extension of existing learning goals and corresponding mini- scenarios ‘database’ – Adjustments for different destinations and different user groups – Enhancing scenarios and the virtual environment with ‘dramatic’ elements – Formalization of role definitions, matching between rank and difficulty levels20
    • Conclusions and future work (2) o Integration with the existing educational practices at the Norwegian Armed Forces – Combination of traditional classroom sessions and virtual simulations – Testing of the developed methodology on other platforms/cases o Possible usage areas – Language training – Training negotiation skills – Reconvalescence (e.g. post-traumatic stress) – Recruitment – ‘Command and Control’ training – Mission rehearsal exercise – Civilian use21
    • Questions? Feedbacks? Ekaterina Prasolova-Førland ekaterip@idi.ntnu.no Mikhail Fominykh mikhail.fominykh@svt.ntnu.no22