Title: Enhancing the spatial awareness of trainee submariners using 3D game engines as training tools

Authors: Michael Garrett, Mark McMahon

Addresses: Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup WA 6027, Australia. ' Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup WA 6027, Australia

Abstract: Three-dimensional (3D) gaming technologies can be used to create experiential based learning environments that realistically represent real world places. Such learning environments are well suited for cognitive tasks that include navigation and locomotion in three dimensional environments (Munro et al., 2002). This paper reports on a study to explore the effectiveness of the Location and Scenario Training System (LASTS) to enhance the spatial awareness of trainee submariners. The simulation was used to engage participants in a simplified version of the 12 point safety round (12 PSR) performed inside the main generator room (MGR) on a Royal Australian Navy Collins class submarine. Results indicated that LASTS trainees performed the simplified 12 PSR more effectively than non-LASTS trainees. There was also some evidence to suggest that LASTS trainees possessed a comparatively better overall spatial representation of the MGR, including the development of higher order spatial knowledge.

Keywords: computer simulation; virtual environments; 3D gaming technology; first person shooter; FPS; spatial cognition; spatial awareness; learning transfer; Collins class submarines; trainee submariners; training tools; defence support systems; comnputer games; experiential based learning; location; scenarios.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIDSS.2010.037088

International Journal of Intelligent Defence Support Systems, 2010 Vol.3 No.3/4, pp.151 - 171

Published online: 23 Nov 2010 *

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