Design support for constructing pilot training programmes

2016-10-17T11:30:34Z (GMT) by Luminita Ciocoiu
Deciding how to construct a training programme or a training exercise, and especially what and how training media and methods should be selected to deliver effective and efficient training is an ongoing endeavour that preoccupies training analysts and designers alike. There are many interactions and dependencies that one has to take into consideration when making decisions, about cost, safety, or interactions between various components of a training system (e.g. between various types of media; between media and methods; between media, methods and trainees) to produce the desired outcome. The focus of this PhD research is to develop an understanding of the challenges faced by decision-makers within the military fast-jet training domain in constructing the training and, further, to develop solutions that support the decision-making effort. A significant challenge faced by decision-makers in constructing training programmes, identified through this research, is the ever increasing amount of information that they need to have at their disposal to enable fully informed decision-making and the lack of methods and tools to facilitate the management and analysis of this information. This research specifically investigated the problem of media selection to construct the training and developed a series of concept solutions to support differentiation between training media, assessment of trainees previous experiences, management of TNA outputs, selection of instructional methods and understanding of the cognitive relationship between media, method and trainee. The thesis firstly introduces the problem to be addressed; the research context and research questions set to be answered. This research, sponsored by Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSERC) and BAE Systems, is preceded by another BAE Systems funded research project (the Training Optimisation Case Study), which provided the background for the work presented in this thesis. Secondly, it reviews the literature relevant to the subject matter to understand the current state of knowledge in the area of: UK RAF training programmes construction and training media selection; assessment of competencies; impact of media and method on learning; development of decision making support systems; and construction and management of knowledge. The main part of the work presented in this thesis is the development of a series of support solutions to aid the decision-making process of construction of UK fast-jet pilot training. These include: TNA output Analysis (ToA) tool; Trainee Contextual Proficiency Profile (TCPP) tool; Training Media Classification Framework; models that map the cognitive relationship between media, method and trainee, and a unified Framework of Selection of Instructional Process alongside a novel approach towards training media selection. This research work was initially scoped through an exploratory study (a case study) into the domain area, followed by requirements elicitation. This part of research helped at identifying the issues within the problem area and in defining the research questions. The TCPP and ToA were verified through two case studies and presented alongside the rest of the research to the customer (BAE Systems) that gave positive feedback on the research outcomes.