Carlotta M. Boone, James P. Bliss, and Enid N. H. Montague
Department of Psychology
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23508
Donald R. Lampton and Bryan R. Clark
U.S. Army Research Institute, Simulator Systems Research Unit,
Glenn A. Martin
Institute for Simulation and Training
University of Central Florida
As the first phase of a program to develop and improve feedback systems for simulation-based training, we examined the usability of the Dismounted Infantry Virtual After Action Review System (DIVAARS) interface and operator’s manual. DIVAARS enables trainers to record and replay small unit (e.g. infantry squad) mission exercises conducted in virtual environments. The AAR process, a cornerstone of military training, helps determine what and why events occurred, and how to improve subsequent performance.
To support this research, the DIVAARS software was successfully transferred to a laptop computer. Eight ROTC students and eight U.S. Army officers read the DIVAARS operator’s manual and then, using a pre-recorded training exercise, performed DIVAARS functions corresponding to an actual AAR. The usability test included 30 tasks. Examples of the tasks are: select an optimal angle for viewing action, and view action occurring inside of a building. For each task, speed and accuracy measures were recorded, and analyses of errors were conducted.
Participant ratings of the operator’s manual were favorable; ratings of the DIVAARS system were highly favorable. Results will be used to improve the DIVAARS software and operator's manual, and to guide the design of future training systems.