Wider Horizons

The two new Judgment Training Simulators at Lethbridge College will give students an exciting opportunityPractice makes perfect simulator to improve their skills using real-world, real-time scenarios. The college is the only post-secondary institution in western Canada with this type of simulator technology.

The new simulators were recently installed at the college and were incorporated into courses in March with full implementation into programs by fall 2015. Students within the Schools of Justice Studies, Human Services, and Environmental Sciences, including the Justice Studies, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, Child and Youth Care, and Conservation Enforcement programs, will use the new simulators to develop judgment, decision-making, communication, and observation skills in their prospective career fields.

The real-life training scenarios will emphasize the importance for students to improve their current knowledge and skills to prepare them for their chosen fields of employment. The simulators use video game-like technology to give students experience in nearly 700 different scenarios that range from verbal compliance situations to lethal action outcomes. Students will get to practice scenarios including traffic stops and one-on-one interaction scenarios where verbal tactics are required to de-escalate and control a situation.

The technology is dynamic and allows instructors to build their own scenarios in the system to meet their individual needs. For example, Justice Studies students could face a situation where they are sent to deal with a subject they identify as being an emotionally disturbed person. Commercial Vehicle Enforcement students could face an unruly driver of a tractor trailer unit who is complaining about being stopped. Child and Youth Care students may encounter a youth in a residential treatment centre who is highly agitated and threatening self-harm and harm to a peer who upset him or her. And Conservation Enforcement students may encounter a poacher as a result of a vehicle stop where the officer observed a deceased animal in the back of a pickup truck.

“The new Judgment Training Systems will develop and enhance students’ cognitive thinking skills and decision-making abilities in a realistic environment,” says School of Justice Studies instructor Craig Deimuth. “The students receive immediate feedback that will give them the opportunity to acknowledge which of their skills need to be further developed or enhanced.”

Wider Horizons
Lisa Kozleski
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