Computer-Based simulations allows leaders and instructors to conduct

Computer-Based Education

Simulations
and Goal-Based Scenarios

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            Learner-centered
and self-discovery methods have been the catalyst for the promotional use of
simulations and goal-based scenarios in technology-based learning. Once again,
real-life simulations is not new and has been used in military training for a
while. Simulations and goal-based learning has emerged to other areas enabling discovery,
experimentation, and practice, based on real scenarios in a risk-free virtual
environment.

            Unit
commanders and educators must effective use modeling and simulations to reduce
costs, speed up training, and increase proficiency. The use of live, virtual,
constructive, and gaming training allows leaders to perform cost-effective,
multiple events in rigorous operational environments from at base station. This
type of digital training with models and simulations allows leaders and
instructors to conduct training on exercising missions while adding warfighting
tactical components in real-life combative scenarios. National Guard members
must have the ability to use training models and simulations that help with
making decisions, action routes, mission planning, drills, and operations.

            National
Guard leaders must implement distance learning as a cost-efficient determinate.
Though access to distance learning might be a difficult task for many National
Guard soldiers, the Bureau must expand opportunities for distance learning
access. Soldiers must understand that their professional military advancement
is based upon their initiative that involves distance learning. Leaders also
must research for avenues for their soldiers who are interested in distance
learning stipulations.

The chart is a comparison of
simulations and traditional approaches of training.

 

Simulations
and Traditional Learning

 

Traditional

Simulations

Scope

Deductive: experts control
 learning scope and
dictates right and wrong
answers
 

Inductive: learner
experiences are
indicators of successful
outcomes
 

Focus

The objective or content to be
mastered
 

The learner’s behavior

Learning objectives

Listings and priorities determined by expert judgments
 

Focused on after the lesson
 

Nature of learning

Hierarchy, linear, and  set rules
 

Systemic, not linear, open
diverse feedback
 

Learning styles

 Multiple but less
kinesthetic
 

Highly visual and 
kinesthetic
 

Best suited to

Knowledge focused: Catered to simple, well-known, and structured
topics with requiring knowledge
 

Performance focused: Catered to complex topics with
required interaction or practice and where facts are not taught, but critical
thinking

 

Blended Learning

            Technology-based
learning that is not effective with on-the-job training has a very important
concept missing. Many educators and professional trainers have initiated a
mixture of technology-based learning and face-to-face learning into a blended
learning tool.

            Blended
learning or integrated learning has become a major shift for technology-based
learning success among training professionals and experts. Blended learning is
defined as a training technique that mixes online training and face-to-face
training for increased student engagement and retention (Krause, 2007).
Blending face-to-face and online training has the potential to combine both
physical and virtual connections of one course with online follow-up tasks in
the form of discussions and chats.

            Blended
learning is not new concept either. Several college courses have established
online classrooms with content without labeling it as blended learning. Success
of blended learning makes sure that each component is not duplicated.
Activities are widely available through online discussions, posting required
reading material on the course website, providing relevant links, assignments
and due dates, and questions and answers for frequently asked questions.

Self-Paced Learning and Need:

            Technology-based
training allow soldiers to progress through mandatory or personal interested course
content at a self-paced rate. Even though each virtual module is self-paced,
the soldier must be required to master the program before advancing, moving on
to the next training module, or receiving compensation. Furthermore, these cost-efficient,
self-paced programs can be used as extra practice to enhance or refresh skills.

Combining Self-Paced Learning and Learning Data

            Self-paced
learning could be combined with soldiers’ professional military training using
training instruction that is based upon data from content and instructional
tasks of pre-assessment skills or knowledge.

             Diagnostic tests and assessments should assess
the soldiers’ comprehension of technical or operational techniques of their
field or any military topic. Pre-assessments data could be an adjustment tool
in approaching instructional content. Pre-assessment data could also be used to
identify the soldiers’ comprehension at start of training, and used determine
soldiers ‘readiness, interests, or learning.

             Just as an enrolled student in a college course,
soldiers would have the opportunity to access content material on learning
management systems that monitors progress of learning. Mirroring colleges and
universities, this type of instruction enhances learning experiences. Same as
traditional college students, soldiers would assigned an electronic device to
use and access course material through applications, lectures, self-assessments,
videos, and other online methods.

            From
the standpoint of the instructor, he/she would use dashboards, learning
objectives, and the system to assign material and monitor the learner’s
progress.

A Growing Role for Learner

             Extensive new research is being conducted in
higher education as it is related to monitoring student progress in learning
management systems. Learner analytics has attracted attention because virtual
learning environments can analyze data of student behavior associated with a
learner’s action, participation, and login time of the learning management
system.

            The
idea of an analytic tool is to share information on students’ participation
with the learning objectives and virtual participation with other students
enrolled in the course. For self-paced learning classes, learner data could
provide improvement with instruction by reporting real-time feedback on the
course make-up, the instructional content, and student achievement of learning
objectives.