Training skills and assessing performance in simulation-based learning environments

The aim of this project is to investigate the use of advanced technologies in the training and assessment of complex professional performance in simulations.

The idea is to allow the learner to reflect on his or her own actions, as well as the actions of others, in order to improve future performance. Summative assessments in maritime education have over last two decades evolved from paper-based tests, such as written exams, to tests grounded on actual performance in the simulators. When much of the training of maritime skills and practices are conduced in simulation-based learning environments, formal tests have been deemed out as irrelevant. As a result, there is a need for upgraded forms of assessment that, on the one hand, acknowledge the multifaceted nature of the performance in simulation based training and, on the other hand, meet the criteria for certification set up by international standards .

This, in turn, raises a number of practical and theoretical questions. It is far from evident how to conduct assessment based on observation of actions in the simulated environments. In this regard, the project connects to long-standing pedagogical debates on the character of knowledge in action as well as recent research on how professional knowledge develops in and through observable interaction.

The project connects to previous and on-going research projects within the two environments on how pedagogical and technological arrangements enable new ways of displaying and assessing professional competences. By investigating how reflection can be encouraged in debriefings on simulations of emergency situations in healthcare, one of the on-going studies share the specific interest in training and assessment in simulation. 

A central issue in these studies concerns the validity of simulations. Often this is framed in terms of authenticity; that is, in what ways simulated scenarios relate to the work setting they are supposed to represent (Koschmann, 2008). Authenticity though, is not only a matter of the realism of the simulator. An understanding of how a simulation is created as a work-related task also needs to account for how the situation is framed in and through the participants’ interaction.

The project is the result of a collaboration between the Department of Shipping and Marine Technology at Chalmers University of Technology and the Department of Education, Communication and Learning at the University of Gothenburg. To achieve its aims, the outlined project necessitates expertise from several disciplinary domains – in this case from Marine Design, Maritime Operations and Education.The project will involve lecturers at the Department of Shipping and Marine Technology and researchers at the Department of Education, Communication and Learning. Since the project primarily focuses on pedagogical questions a doctoral student in Education will be employed.
Department of Shipping and Marine Technology, Chalmers
The Department of Shipping and Marine Technology conducts research in maritime areas such as human factors, hydrodynamics, shipbuilding, safety at sea and marine environment. The department has three bachelor programs: master mariner, marine engineering and shipping and logistics. Areas for education are navigation, machinery system, cargo handling, resource management and marine environment. The department also provides several master programs and a research school. A modern and in several respects unique maritime simulator centre has been built at Chalmers Lindholmen together with Swedish maritime administration. The simulators are used for educational purposes as well as research. One of the research areas, of importance to the outlined project, is the assessment of non-technical skills that has been made relevant by new legislative demands.
Department of Education, Communication and Learning, University of Gothenburg
At the Department of Education, Communication and Learning, research is carried out on professional knowledge and how such knowledge develops in response to, and by means of, technological advancements within professions. Much of this research is conducted within the University of Gothenburg Learning and Media Technology Studio (LETStudio) and the Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS). The LETStudio is a strategic initiative for promoting interdisciplinary research within the learning sciences at the University of Gothenburg, and LinCS is a national centre of excellence funded by the Swedish Research Council. Both these environments take an interest in the consequences of modern digital technologies in relation to knowledge, learning, communication and expertise. A shared aim is to explore and further enable creative re-enactments of learning and instruction through the introduction of new media technologies.
All members in this project

Charlotte Sellberg, Hans Rystedt, Oskar Lindwall from the University of Gothenburg and Joakim Dahlman, Johan Hartler, Olle Lindmark, Johan Magnusson from Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology.

Page manager Published: Mon 02 Nov 2015.