Background Training of medical professionals is important to improve care during mass-causality events. Therefore, it is essential to extend knowledge on how to design valid and usable simulation-based training environments.
Purpose This article investigates how distributed cognition and simulation theory concepts can guide design of simulation-based training environments. We present the design and user evaluation of DigEmergo, a simulator for training and assessing emergency medicine management.
Design approach A prior Distributed Cognition in Teamwork (DiCoT) analysis of the Emergo Train System (ETS) guided the design process. The design objective of DigEmergo was to be useful, usable, retain distributed cognition features of ETS, and strengthen validity and output reliability.
Evaluation Eight expert ETS instructors participated in a formative system evaluation. The Technology Assessment Model (TAM) questionnaire was used to measure usefulness and ease of use. Observations and post-test interviews were conducted to contextualize the measures.
Results The results showed that DigEmergo was perceived as somewhat to quite useful and somewhat easy to use. Overall, expert users considered DigEmergo promising and successful in retaining core ETS features.
Conclusions The study indicates that a design methodology based on distributed cognition and simulation theory can be successfully combined to guide simulator (re)design and strengthen simulator validity.
Sage Publications, 2016.