VESSEL Damage Control Trainer

The VESSEL Damage Control Trainer is an immersive, game-based training environment that teaches damage control skills, shipboard communication and shipboard navigation to Navy recruits without the costs and risks involved with live training.

Engaging, Effective Game-based Training

Funded by the Office of Naval Research and adopted by the Navy's Recruit Training Command, BBN's Damage Control Trainer (DCT) offers trainees an engaging first-person perspective and a supportive, instructionally rich environment in which they can practice damage control skills, shipboard communication, and shipboard navigation without the costs and risks involved with live training. DCT is being developed under the Virtual Environments for Ship and Shore Experiential Learning (VESSEL) project. DCT currently includes training on flooding control and fire fighting.

  • Lightweight-DCT runs on classroom computers currently in use by Navy recruits.
  • Engaging and Effective-Validation studies show that errors in situational awareness, decision-making and communication are reduced by 50% for recruits who spent only one hour with the trainer.
  • Actively Embraced-Deployed at the U.S. Navy's only boot camp: Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, IL to augment the classroom and hands-on instruction currently provided to over 40,000 recruits per year.

Focus on Blended Instruction and Gaming

Computer games offer a rich technology for delivering engaging training experiences, but care and expertise are required to ensure that the training is effective. DCT has been designed and developed by an interdisciplinary team of experts drawn from fields of instructional design, story development, software development, game design and educational science. DCT provides a guided discovery experience that allows students to explore a virtual ship environment and perform damage control missions while receiving instructionally supportive guidance and feedback within the game. Critical errors have consequences, while correct actions lead to progress in achieving mission goals.

Development Team

Raytheon BBN Technologies led the VESSEL development team under Office of Naval Research sponsorship, with contributions from Alion Science and Technology; Intelligent Decision Systems, Inc.; the University of Central Florida; IDEAS; and the UCLA National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing.

More Information

More information can be found at the VESSEL Damage Control Trainer Website.


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