Training Novice Observers to Monitor Simulation Exercises


Johan Jenvald,Mona J. Crissey,Magnus Morin,Mirko Thorstensson


Properly trained and instructed observers have an important role in training. They can provide information about key events, critical decisions and the consequences of actions taken by participants during a training event. Their contributions are invaluable for evaluating operational performance in relation to the training goals. However, economic restrictions in training budgets limit the number of professional observers affordable. Instead training organizations increasingly have to rely on outside and untrained personnel to perform observation tasks. In this paper we address the problem of training novice observers to carry out observation tasks in team and taskforce training in both live and virtual settings. We examine the skills required for various tasks and explore ways of designing corresponding training programs. As a minimum such a program has to cover the purpose of the activity to be observed, the process and required focus of the observations, the tools and procedures to be used, and the expected results. We illustrate our approach with examples of how we trained novice observers in taskforce exercises in response to simulated mass-casualty incidents.