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Charles River Analytics Develops Adaptive, Game-Based Environment to Help US Air Force Provide More Powerful, Personalized Training

Charles River Analytics, a developer of intelligent systems solutions, announces a contract awarded by the US Air Force to design and demonstrate an adaptive game-based environment to help provide a more powerful and personalized training experience. The two-year contract is valued just under $750,000.

Game-based training can provide a powerful, personalized, and motivating approach for individual training needs across a number of domains, including training essential maintenance skills. However, updating the training content can be costly without accessible development and adaptation tools. Charles River’s Maintenance Training based on an Adaptive Game-Based Environment using a Pedagogic Interpretation Engine, or the MAGPIE Framework, addresses the Air Force’s need for more efficient and cost-effective tools for constructing game-based maintenance training.

“MAGPIE dynamically adapts to both the scenario and the mechanics of the game to maximize effectiveness, providing maintainers with customized training for key tasks,” explained Sean Guarino, the principal investigator of the project at Charles River. “This adaptation is based on the trainee’s performance, instructional design theory, and motivational theory, and helps to ensure that the trainee has a beneficial and appropriate training experience when instructor guidance is limited.”

Charles River has developed game-based training through a number of recent efforts:

  • Simulation for Ubiquitous Red Flag Instruction and Readying (SUREFIRE) – a training simulation that prepares pilots to take part in the US Air Force’s Red Flag program, an aerial training exercise to practice intense combat simulations.
  • Helping Amputees through Virtual Environments (HAVEN) – a 3D virtual multiplayer environment to aid Veterans recovering from traumatic amputation.
  • Microgames for Acquiring and Rehearsing Cognitive Schemas for Perception (MARCS) – a suite of lightweight games to enhance Marines’ threat perception so they are better able to perceive threats.
  • Multifaceted Intervention for Robust, ARP-Focused Customized Learning and Enhancement (MIRACLE) – part of the Strengthening Human Adaptive Reasoning and Problem-solving (SHARP) program, which aims to develop, demonstrate, and validate methods to augment intelligence analysts’ adaptive reasoning and problem-solving capabilities, and to enhance their ability to reason through complex problems common to the intelligence community.
  • Pictorial Representations of Medical Procedures to Train for Effective Recall (PROMPTER) – a training tool to improve Soldiers’ critical first-aid skills and reduce death on the battlefield.
  • Trains of Thought – a novel game-based learning curriculum module to teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) and entrepreneurship skills.

The project is sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) under contract FA8650-14-C-6506.

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