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Principal Investigator: Held, Christopher T.
Institute Receiving Award Metamedia Training International, Inc.
Location Frederick, MD
Grant Number R43ES034218
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 24 Jun 2022 to 15 Jun 2023
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Abstract Hazardous material releases pose a serious threat to our communities. In 2018, the Stakeholder Preparedness Review (SPR) found that 50% of states and territories identified chemical and radiological hazardous material releases, the most frequently cited ‘technological hazard’ was a troubling concern (FEMA, 2019). In 2019, the Department of Transportation reported an all-time high 22,756 hazardous material incidents, a 53% increase from just 10 years prior (U.S. DOT, 2020). Yet, first responder hazmat training initiatives for response efforts still often do not adequately prepare responders to safely manage a hazmat scene. Current trainings are limited to classroom-based table top exercises and videos - which do not sufficiently illustrate the risk and response effort. There is a real need for effective high-quality, realistic, and risk-based training to prepare first responders to act quickly and effectively when faced with a hazardous material incident. The team headed by MetaMedia will work collaboratively with the IAFF to develop a mobile learning gamification application combining 360-degree VR interfaced with our new learning paradigm “Point-of-View Learning” (PVL) and gamification training that is grounded in the Assess, Plan, Implement, and Evaluate (APIE) approach, a proven-effective response process for hazardous material situations. Our prototype, Engine Company 1 (EC1), creates a lifelike emergency response training environment using PVL that employs a collaborative, integrated solution combining the best of key learning methods including: (1) instructor-led training (ILT) aided by a custom-developed Facilitator’s Guide, (2) a real-world VR scenario, (3) a gamification eLearning platform designed to disseminate, display, and score APIE-based challenge questions, (4) and a post-assessment identifying weaknesses and feedback for remediation. EC1 will integrate the best practices of classroom instruction, instructional systems design, learning styles, and adult learning theory. This powerful combination harnesses critical decision-making skills by breaking down a complex incident scene into a methodical response approach, analyzing clues on the scene, planning a response, implementing the plan, and evaluating the progress. Making the right decisions in an emergency is not always straightforward and many can involve different perspectives and choices to properly and safely handle the situation. The need to proactively and innovatively support awareness and problem-solving skills before facing real-life situations is critical. A 360- degree VR scenario combined with gamification that encourages calculated and planned thinking from different perspectives strengthens decision making skills, puts knowledge into practice, makes relevant training fun and competitive, lets the learner make mistakes without sustaining harm, and provides a remediated assessment feedback loop. Integrating these multiple forms of learning into a custom training solution that can increase consistent and effective decision making and enhance key skills for situational awareness will be transformative in real-life emergency situations.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 88 - Worker Education and Training (U45, UH4, SBIR, and STTR)
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Kathy Ahlmark
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