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Learning through Shared Procedures -A Case of Using Technology to Bridge the Gap between Theory and Practice in Officer Education

Authors: O. Boe, S-T. Kristiansen, R. Wold


In this article we explore how computer assisted exercises may allow for bridging the traditional gap between theory and practice in professional education. To educate officers able to master the complexity of the battlefield the Norwegian Military Academy needs to develop a learning environment that allows for creating viable connections between the educational environment and the field of practice. In response to this challenge we explore the conditions necessary to make computer assisted training systems (CATS) a useful tool to create structural similarities between an educational context and the field of military practice. Although, CATS may facilitate work procedures close to real life situations, this case do demonstrate how professional competence also must build on viable learning theories and environments. This paper explores the conditions that allow for using simulators to facilitate professional competence from within an educational setting. We develop a generic didactic model that ascribes learning to participation in iterative cycles of action and reflection. The development of this model is motivated by the need to develop an interdisciplinary professional education rooted in the pattern of military practice.

Keywords: Simulation, Professional Education, Development in higher education, experiential learning

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