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ETOILE - An Environment for Team, Organisational and Individual Learning in Emergencies

: Dörner, R.

Bulmahn, E.:
Online Educa Berlin. International Conference on Technology Supported Learning & Training 2000. Book of Abstracts
Bonn: International WHERE + HOW, 2000
ISBN: 3-925144-09-9
International Conference on Technology Supported Learning & Training (Online Educa) <6, 2000, Berlin>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IGD ()
computer based training; agent; virtual environment

Training of emergency scenarios have often a focus on operational issues while communicative, decision making and team aspects are more or less neglected. The reason is not because communication is unimportant (on the contrary, avoiding misunderstandings and having the right information policy is vital) but dedicated training methods and tools are missing. In addition, agreeing on a common training date is difficult with many people involved that often stem from different companies, institutions and authorities. Obstacles for communication and management training of emergency situations are also high costs associated with the training, disruption of the regular operation and potentially dangerous usage of expensive equipment and machinery. To improve this situation and raise the frequency and quality of emergency management training we propose to jointly apply three solution strategies: the usage of software agents, virtual reality (VR) and shared mental models. Although the agent and VR technologies are valuable in itself as they enable new training organisation forms or reduce training costs they have to be integrated in a sound training concept in order to significantly improve the training benefit. In ETOILE, one concept used are shared mental models (SMM). SMM describe how the single team members proceed in developing a common "mental simulation model" that allows the team to make predications and estimations of the current situation. SMM can be implemented in the agents. In order to build a SMM and improve team performance several strategies can be pursued. One example is to swap roles in a training (cross training). This is possible as the training simplifies the operational aspects and focuses on communication. Besides, reviewing and analysing the information logged during the training by the agents and the training system is essential. This can be supported with a reflective learning tool. As the authoring of agents behaviour is aimed to be accomplished by end users the trainees themselves may alter the behaviour or SMM representation of an agent and observe the consequences in further trainings. This is also a way to implement organisational learning.