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Title: Sandbox Contracting: An Evaluation of Gamified Vs. Traditional Contracting Training Methods at the USAF Enlisted Contracting Technical School
Authors: Ian Larsson
Matthew Marshall
Lee Whitworth
Keywords: gamification
Issue Date: 7-Feb-2022
Publisher: Acquisition Research Program
Citation: Published--Unlimited Distribution
Series/Report no.: Contract Management;NPS-CM-22-014
Abstract: This thesis involved an evaluation of gamified versus current (traditional) training methods employed by the instructors and faculty at the Air Force’s 344th Training Squadron (344 TRS) at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and by the professors at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California. For our project, we designed and developed a first-person shooter (FPS) video game, titled Sandbox Contracting, that teaches the player basic contracting skills. Over the course of six weeks, we utilized this FPS video game to conduct an experiment in which a control group received the current (traditional) training methods employed by 344 TRS and NPS and a treatment group received the gamified version of the training. We assessed each student’s learning as well as their reaction to the assigned learning modality (traditional versus gaming) using post-training evaluation surveys. Traditional training methods outperformed gamified methods in most cases, but not all. We found that game design and mechanics impacted the student’s reactions and ultimately, the success of using gamified methods for learning. Additionally, the results demonstrated a genuine interest in using games for learning among the Air Force contracting students, given the right game design and mechanics. Lastly, we offer suggestions for areas in which further research should be conducted in the gamified versus traditional training arena.
Description: Contract Management / Defense Acquisition Community Contributor
Appears in Collections:NPS Graduate Student Theses & Reports

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