Training Incident Commander’s Situational Awareness—A Discussion of How Simulation Software Facilitate Learning

Stella Polikarpus, Mikkel Bøhm, Tobias Ley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution to proceedingpeer-review


In larger atypical emergencies, the lives of victims and firefighters depend on the incident commander’s decision-making skills. In the paper, we discuss how different software programs facilitate significant learning experiences for the incident commander’s situational awareness. Current research shows that situational awareness (SA) is a key to effective decision making and safe performance in any incident. In time-critical situations, it is hard for the incident commander to understand limited information and to forecast future events. SA is trained in various ways using different technologies and methods. Computer-based simulations are promoted to improve incident commander training. However, how to employ computer-based simulation tools for helping learners to gain SA-related learning outcomes is still unclear. We analyzed the relation between SA and the learning process by identifying learning outcomes using significant learning taxonomy. We compared facilitation of SA training based on learning outcomes and assessment criteria by building the same scenario in two different training software programs. We concluded that XVR Simulation virtual reality training software for safety and security, XVR On-Scene, allows learners more freedom while supports training all three SA-related learning outcomes. On the other hand, Digital Combustion Fire Studio 6 is easier for trainers to use and is a lower cost tool for training local-content-based standard operating procedures (SOPs). Both programs could be used to offer feedback for understanding SOP, if self-checking tests for learners are built. Computer-based simulations support facilitating SA training only if the trainer knows when and how to use simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Turn in Schools—Research, Policy, Practice : Proceedings of ICEM 2018 Conference
EditorsTerje Väljataga, Mart Laanpere
Place of PublicationSingapore
Publication date5 Jun 2019
Article numberChapter 15
ISBN (Print)978-981-13-7360-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-13-7361-9
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2019
SeriesLecture Notes in Educational Technology

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