VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT CASE STUDY
Client: Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE)
Area of Focus: Simulation and Virtual Environments
Contract Vehicle: OPM TMA
The Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE) wanted to enhance its curriculum by creating a virtual environment (VE) that it could use to assess its students’ performance in a variety of security disciplines. Carney’s first engagement was to create a series of scenarios to assess students’ performance in conducting a physical security inspection of a military installation. Carney was also contracted to develop a tool that CDSE staff could use to generate their own scenarios including assets created for the physical security inspection scenarios.
In 2008, Carney’s partnership with CDSE began with basic Level 2 courseware. As trust in Carney developed, CDSE expressed a desire to expand its training and service offerings to its customer base, so they asked Carney to help accomplish this goal.
CDSE is seeking ways to use technology to assess students’ ability to actually perform the tasks they are taught – to move beyond lengthy multiple choice exams and mastery of concepts and towards application of those concepts in real world situations.
Carney met with CDSE to understand the immediate need for the VE as well as how CDSE envisioned its expansion in the future. Carney researched various tools and technologies for building a VE and determined that the best fit for CDSE involved leveraging an existing software application, Thinking Worlds which was developed by Caspian Learning (a UK company). Carney determined that it would be less costly to develop a VE using an existing software application than developing the VE in Flash. The software application allows graphic artists full flexibility in creating and incorporating 3-D models into the VE. The flexible scripting mechanism allows custom actions to be incorporated into both standalone and Internet-based versions of the VE and the software application contains built-in support for SCORM.
Carney showed CDSE a demo created in Thinking Worlds and secured approval to move forward with this approach. Carney developed a series of three prototypes – Alpha, Beta, and Final for internal and external validation of product and process. Each version was more refined than the previous version in terms of artwork, interactivity, and scoring.
Carney is currently in full development cycle using a phased approach to develop the numerous scenarios for this project.
When completed, the solution will be a fictional, 3-D military installation consisting of eight different areas. Learners’ avatars will walk around each area of the installation, just as the learners would in real life. They will inspect each area to determine its compliance with physical security standards and procedures. Within each area, certain items will be compliant and certain items will present security deficiencies. Learners will interact with characters in certain areas, having or overhearing conversations that will provide more information or present a security deficiency. The state of each area will be randomized, so that no two learners will have an identical experience. If a learner retakes the assessment, he or she will be faced with a new set of security concerns. Learners will be scored on whether they correctly identified the compliance of each item.
The VE is still being developed, so implementation results are not yet available.
Delivering Remarkable Client Experience
Carney collaborated with CDSE to obtain the images necessary to build the VE. Carney provided a list of objects to be photographed and CDSE personnel traveled to multiple military installations to acquire those images. Based on these photos, Carney artists created 3-D models and built the fictional military installation. CDSE was astounded by the quality and level of detail in the artwork. Carney continues in a true consultative partnership as the vision of the VE project is refined. CDSE is now looking to Carney to perform a comprehensive analysis of how the VE can be expanded for full impact across the CDSE curriculum areas.
Carney – A trusted partner
Carney, founded in 1994, provides government and military clients with innovative knowledge management solutions that accelerate workforce performance. Carney’s products and services help agencies accomplish mission-critical objectives and improve readiness.
Through best practices and a thorough examination of the challenges facing military and government leaders, Team Carney identifies new ways to capture, control, and transform knowledge through competency analyses, knowledge transfer strategies, and assessment evaluations.
Carney strives to provide remarkable client experiences by delivering quality performance solutions at the speed of need.