SAIC Accelerates the Digital Learning Experience

11-10-2020

 

Suite of experiential software enables true future-facing, point-of-need training

Providing adequate training today for tomorrow’s warfighters is of critical importance. We can’t expect the modern soldier, airmen, sailor, or Marine to go into the field before mastering the mission.

As the need for rapid integration of training has never been higher, so too is the demand for ways to support learning experiences with modular, digital environments that deliver replicable results to live training exercises.

This is why, for years, SAIC has supported the virtual training and instruction of our nation’s warfighters with our synthetic experiential training platform. Underpinning this platform is our cutting-edge suite of software applications that greatly augment and accelerate the learner’s experience.

Past performance

Our learner’s experience suite of software was born out of our work with a previous customer years ago. We were helping train pilots on commercial gaming software, but it was rife with constraints and limitations, particularly around data availability and application interfaces.

“By pivoting away from that platform and building a new system, we added a lot of new features that differentiated us from the pack,” said John Williamson, SAIC game development team manager. “The students gained a lot more insight into their performance because of this new system.”

The software suite delivers natively-developed training features like role-based user management, data collection, student and instructor dashboards, debrief rooms, automatic grading, and scheduling functions. Our suite of software is usable on any device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, PC, or even a gaming console or VR system.

“You can take a version of this software and run it on a PC, port it to your iPad, and then run it on your game console, all with seamless user integration,” said Angel Gonzalez, SAIC principal game development engineer.

While this software is best known for its application to pilot and airmen training, its application to vehicles, cyber, and other tactical domains is in ongoing research. The invaluable training experiences gained through our software suite shouldn’t be limited to just defending the skies, so we hope to integrate it into other training scenarios.

 

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SAIC gained valuable past performance experience with our experiential training software suite during its application in the U.S. Air Force.

Data-driven insights

Unlike the custom solutions our competitors provide, our solution leverages the latest commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology and has processes put in place to evaluate and enhance it, thus reducing the risk of obsolescence.

In addition to its extensibility, our software collects troves of data during instruction — everything from basic statistics during mission execution to heart rate, pupil dilation, eye tracking, and other biometrics. This data goes back to the instructor, aiding in understanding how ahead, behind, or on track each student is with respect to their curriculum.

“All of this data helps us better target what each student needs,” Williamson said. “You can better analyze how mistakes are happening. If they are landing their T6 aircraft too hot, maybe their approach is off. And the instructor can then extrapolate a lot from that. This is a tremendously data-rich environment that is curating valuable insights for both the student and the instructor that they couldn’t have otherwise.”

Sustainability and resiliency

Virtual training delivery also reduces the number of instructors that programs need. Remote content delivery will be a key focus in the near future as more and more government agencies evaluate which instructional tasks can be completed out of the classroom.

“We’ve learned during the pandemic that remote solutions are the way of the future,” Gonzalez said. “This applies to training pilots just as much as it does to any of the other tasks we now are doing from home. But because we’d already been doing remote instruction for years, this solution was so much more resilient when the pandemic hit.”

 

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Pilots, in particular, are in high demand right now. Our experiential software enables our customers to increase how many students there are per instructor, which expedites the rate at which they complete the program and become mission ready.

Full mission delivery and future development

It’s easy to mistake this software for a simulator. But the large, multimillion-dollar simulators lack all of the various components packaged in our learner’s experience suite of software that make them a true training asset.

“The simulator is honestly the least important part; it’s all the training parts that come with it that enhance its value,” Williamson said. “Our software has full mission visibility with data and analytics, virtual reality, and true extensibility and modularity.”

SAIC’s suite of learner’s experience software is already integrated with other SAIC training solution components like the Virtual Pocket Reference to deliver trainee success.

“We want trainees and students to learn from their mistakes in a low-risk environment,” Gonzalez said. “If they’re not tightening their oil cap, we want that to happen in the simulator, not in real life, and that risk mitigation coupled with accelerated learning is the entire purpose behind our experiential software.”