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SIU Researchers Explore Virtual Training to Foster Faster, Better Decisions in Sports and More

This article was originally published by Southern Illinois University.

Split-second decisions frequently determine the outcome of a game, a medical procedure, a military battle, or a law enforcement situation. Scott Boatright, a doctoral candidate at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is conducting research to see if people can train with simulation and extended reality to make judgments more quickly and effectively. His work has already garnered national recognition along with a $10,000 scholarship from the National Training and Simulation Association (NTSA).

Boatright, of Tampa, Florida, has been working on the project in the School of Education’s Organizational Learning, Innovation and Development (OLID) program with Peter Fadde, OLID professor of learning systems design and technology.

“The goal is to systemize and speed up the training and learning experience,” Fadde said. “We asked ourselves, how we could take the seemingly intuitive decision-making process used by experts and capture their methodology and expertise and train others to use it faster and faster.”

Boatright said getting to work on this innovative research using video-occlusion technology, a form of virtual reality, with Fadde and other SIU faculty is what drew him to SIU.

“I developed a keen interest in applying my classroom knowledge to the real world. Specifically, the application of innovative training methods and technologies, such as extended reality, to improve human performance in dynamic, high-pressure environments,” Boatright said.