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Your Environment. Your Health.

INTERACTIVE TRAINING IN EMERGENCY OPERATIONS FOR THE RESPONSE COMMUNITY

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Principal Investigator: Venugopalan, Gautham
Institute Receiving Award Gryphon Scientific, Llc
Location Takoma Park, MD
Grant Number R44ES025448
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 11 May 2015 to 30 Apr 2021
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In this Phase II SBIR, Gryphon Scientific proposes to develop a refresher training in form of an interactive, mobile app that will allow two groups that are intermittent participants in disaster response to practice their emergency response skills after completing basic training. The app will target the research responders (RR) who were the focus of the Phase I project as well as the “citizen responder” community including Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). Using three different disaster scenarios, modular active learning exercises will be presented in two tracks for the two responder types. The app will provide a creative means for maintaining trainee engagement after the completion of classroom sessions. It can also be used in a flipped classroom structure where students review classroom materials on their own and spend much of their classroom time in practice exercises. Recognizing that financial constraints often pose a barrier to the sale of novel commercial training products, the app will be deployed at no out-of- pocket cost to training organizations or trainees using an advertising-supported business model commonly encountered in the mobile video-game market. Moreover, as a freely available app that will be deployed nationwide, the technology we propose provides a framework to study trends in citizen responder capabilities and improve curricula. CERT trainers (in over 2600 program nationwide) will be able to track knowledge decay and evaluate the long-term learning outcomes of their training programs. Formative research will be conducted using unstructured interviews with nine CERT volunteers and nine trainers to understand the learning styles and usage needs of our target populations and to develop appropriate learning objectives. Following the development in Unity of the iOS and Android compatible apps, usability testing will occur with seven experienced RRs, 7 experienced CERT volunteers, and 7 CERT trainers. The revised prototype will then be tested with up to 30 RRs and 60 CERT volunteers. Within RRs and CERTs, testers will be randomly assigned into three groups of equal size (10 for RRs, 20 for CERTs): (1) use the app on a recurring basis for 3 months, (2) use the app only once, at the start of the three-month period, and (3) a control group who receive no training. All testers will complete three short assessments: pre-training baseline, immediately post-training (or one week after the pre-assessment for the control group), and approximately three months following the date of first training. Based on the results of these assessments, the app will be revised, translated into Spanish, and deployed through CERT training providers and professional research organizations.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 88 - Worker Education (U45)
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Kathy Ahlmark
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