How well do skills learned in a simulator transfer to operation of a real lifeboat?

This paper reports a behavioral experiment that was conducted to assess transfer of training from a lifeboat simulator to the control of a real lifeboat. It is part of an on-going investigation of emergency skills training for lifeboat operations in the harsh environments representative of offshore work sites. We found evidence of positive transfer.  In our experiment, we evaluate a range of competencies fundamental to the proficient control of a lifeboat using a test course that presented a sequence of challenging tasks as they might be encountered in natural circumstances. We found evidence of positive transfer. We report learning in the simulator, and we compare initial transfer of training and improvement with practice to criterion by each treatment group.  A transfer effectiveness ratio (TER) is calculated. In addition, we report the effect of practicing to criterion within the simulator on training transfer. We discuss the implications of the results for lifeboat training regulators, as well as their relevance to the broader training community.

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