In 2021, we started an XR-project together with the Norwegian Defense Academy, where they wanted to design an education program consisting of three different parts for their students. The aim was to sharpen the students' skills when it comes to understanding threats to civilians during war and armed conflicts. The predictions of the project was that through technology, pedagogy and academic content, the project would provide a greater learning outcome and a new type of understanding.
The first part consisted of a 360-degree video where you experience sitting in the movie and experiencing the story about what it is like to be a victim of violence in a war, and you also got to see it from the other side about how the aggressor plans and thinks about the acts of violence themselves. In this sequence "embodiment" is used which allows you to take on someone else's digital body and you get the experience of being really present. This can be experienced as very effective and for some it also can be frightening as the experience is very close to reality.
In the second part a conversation was to be held with an avatar, and in this context an avatar representing a political rebel leader. Using dialogue simulation, one had to uncover what the avatar represented, and what type of violence this avatar could potentially carry out.
In the third and last part of the project the entire student group would stand together around a 3D map. The whole point of the map application is to generate systematic discussion around various hints about what is going on in the operational area, and which strategic plans should be made.
Our platform Fynd Core was the basis for all three parts and we adapted both the dialogue simulator with adding different scenarios and the map application for the project. Try Creative Tech was responsible for the 360 degree film.
The students who got to test all three parts gave feedback that this type of learning gave them a unique opportunity to see things from different perspectives, and that this type of tool gave them realistic training in assembling what could be a real threat image. Preliminary results suggest that they learn more, faster and more deeply than through regular lessons.
You don't get this type of experience by reading books or reports. Using this type of tool to be exposed to this type of episode and gain experiences I think can be sensible.
- Masterstudent at The National Defense Academy
Earlier this year, Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre talked about this unique educational program at the rostrum in the UN Security Council. His speech highlighted the importance of effective protection of civilian objects must be made a strategic priority in the planning and conduct of military operations in urban areas.
We recommend having a look at the video series about the project made by The Norwegian Defense Academy.