CREATING SAFE AND EFFECTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT TRAINING USING VIRTUAL REALITY
AbstractThere is a growing need for cost effective training of personnel in emergency management work that integrates stakeholders of diverse work roles and who are from both the private and public sectors, for example, petroleum industry and fire service respectively. Use of live trials as training modules to model emergency situations and prepare for crisis events can be expensive, risky, inflexible to adapt to alternate scenarios, and difficult to replicate. Innovative use of virtual reality technologies for the education and training offer new opportunities that can address needs for modular design that are: adaptive, safe, flexible and reusable. Yet the application of virtual reality simulations in emergency management training is a relatively new area of research and innovation. While some technologies have been tested in lab settings, for the most part virtual reality as applied to adaptive learning environments in support of emergency management training has yet to be validated in the field. This paper is a position paper, where we explore and discuss how a decision making model can form the basis for a pedagogical model that can be applied for emergency management training. We focus on a particular case in the petroleum industry. Our findings are based on interviews with two representatives of an emergency management training organization in this industry, that help to identify learning elements that need to be represented in training modules in order to create immersive and adaptive training environments. We propose a design approach of the learning module based on the model of Recognition Primed Decision making that is within the family of models in Naturalistic Decision Making. We identify the opportunities and challenges for applying virtual reality based learning environments for efficient and safe training.