Simulation-based and Game-based Training Projects

Training to Enable/Achieve Culturally Sensitive Healthcare (TEACH)

TEACH (Training to Enable/Achieve Culturally Sensitive Healthcare) is a low-cost, easily-distributed training system for communication skills and cultural competency that is being funded by the National Institutes of Health. TEACH engages the user in encounters with specific patient populations, with the initial scenario focusing on African American breast cancer patients to enhance physician skills in delivering culturally sensitive care to this patient group. The technology and concept, however, are widely applicable to other subgroups and topics that would benefit from communication-based training scenarios.

TEACH training content is founded on a set of sub-cultural beliefs that were derived from subject matter interviews and literature reviews. Instructional objectives for the training system were mapped to the sub-cultural beliefs and to the communication skills necessary to accommodate patients with these beliefs in the context of four different stages of clinical progression. TEACH allows its users to interact in clinical oncology settings with virtual characters (avatars) that react on the basis of different combinations of African American sub-cultural beliefs regarding breast cancer. The exchanges allow health care providers to acquire, practice, and refine culturally appropriate communication skills and to achieve a high degree of cultural and individual personalization of healthcare in their clinical practices. TEACH was built using CHI Systems’ VECTOR® training development tools.

Virtual Interactive Pattern Environment and Radiocomms Simulator (VIPERS)

Created for the US Air Force, the Virtual Interactive Pattern Environment and Radiocomms Simulator (VIPERS) provides on-demand access to automated instruction in complex, interactive flight regimes for military student pilots. Deployable on a laptop computer, the software emphasizes situation awareness (SA) of pattern procedures and radio communications. It integrates intelligent tutor agents and synthetic characters capable of intelligent behavior and of interacting in spoken language.

Users interact directly with controllers and hear the calls made by other aircraft. The radio calls allow a user to build a mental picture of the pattern, visualizing aircraft positions as reported. To provide training in making radio calls, VIPERS offers advanced speech recognition and performance measures, so that controllers and instructor agents not only respond to, but also log assessments of the user’s communications for presentation during an automated debrief. 

Built using CHI Systems’ ASIST-AT® tools for creating speech-interactive virtual agents, VIPERS capability is readily extensible to other domains where SA and verbal communication are relevant training objectives.

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