Distance learning: Systematic develops distributed training solution
The innovative eLearning programme assists customers in training their SitaWare Headquarters users.
Fiscal constraints and limited training opportunities are a common problem for many militaries and the difficulty in meeting demands has the potential to negatively impact operational effectiveness.
One solution comes in the form of so-called eLearning courses, these enable self-paced and distributed training to take place, permitting a soldier to learn in environments as varied as the comfort of their own home, on-base, or even when on operational deployment.
The German Army is the first SitaWare customer to embrace this approach to training and tasked Systematic to deliver a German-language version of the eLearning package that is now providing a foundation for its SitaWare Headquarters users.
The SitaWare Headquarters eLearning programme was developed in early 2018, notes Jørgen Metzdorff, Systematic’s project manager for the effort, explaining its design and aims, “The course is designed around a realistic scenario and is intended to provide training in the functionality of SitaWare Headquarters, rather than stressing the students in a simulated operating environment.”
“The programme is designed to provide flexible, on-demand training and combines passive learning – in the form of explanatory videos – with active learning in the form of multiple-choice assessments and periods for reflection,” Metzdorff explains, “The course can be delivered in a day and consists of seven 30-45 minute lessons, although it is recommended that the lessons are spaced out over a number of days to allow for more reflection on the learning points.”
The features of SitaWare Headquarters are introduced across the seven lessons:
- System overview
- User interface
- Pictures and layers
- Symbol toolbox
- Smart layers
- IRIS Forms.
“The course can be considered to be a SitaWare Headquarters ‘driver’s licence’, it provides the basic skills upon which users can build their expertise,” Metzdorff says, noting that rather than replacing instructor-based training, the course is intended to ensure a solid foundation for users and enable resources to be best targeted.
The eLearning approach could be especially useful for large training audiences or when a general awareness of the C2 software and its capabilities are required, Metzdorff says. “SitaWare Headquarters is in widespread use and often features significantly during multinational training and operations. Even non-users are likely to interact with the software or depend on its capabilities, so an awareness of what it can deliver and how it works could be beneficial to all involved. The course could enable personnel to be introduced to the software ahead of participation in exercises or operational deployments, so they won’t have to learn on-the-fly.”
It is planned that the generic training course – which is focused on a military response to a nuclear powerplant incident – will form the basis for future audiences, however, Metzdorff says that bespoke scenarios to meet the specific geographical and task requirements of customers could be developed.
The SitaWare Headquarters training package is now available as a commercial off-the-shelf solution and Metzdorff says that there is already interest in developing similar packages for SitaWare Frontline. There is also the potential to develop courses targeted at more technical audiences and the personnel tasked with establishing the SitaWare infrastructure.
The eLearning solution can be delivered in a number of ways. The default Systematic method is based on a multi-tenant software-as-a-service solution running in a secure private cloud server and utilises Microsoft’s Azure infrastructure, however, customers could also employ an on-premises capability.