The GAO and a case study in learning through animations
Government Accountability Office (GAO) Assistant Directors (ADs) are often tasked with managing multiple engagements at the same time. This requires a strong ability to prioritize, delegate, organize, and manage teams, often in a short period of time. In order to help prepare ADs for this task, the GAO wanted to develop a computer-based exercise to function as part of a classroom-based course on managing multiple engagements.
The GP Strategies Solution
GP Strategies developed a timed, scenario-based activity designed to simulate a typical high-stress weekday morning for an AD at GAO. The activity, Managing Multiple Engagements, uses realistic animations to create an office environment. Using a first-person perspective, the learner interacts with voice mail, e-mail, a calendar, and coworkers, helping to simulate a realistic job situation. Learners must determine how to handle nearly three dozen problems relating to four different engagements, all within a 35-minute time limit. An animated interface allows the learner to quickly obtain a refresher on details of each of the four scenarios at a glance. In order to be successful, learners must establish priorities and delegate appropriately. The scenario features branching outcomes that vary depending upon the decisions the learner makes within the activity. Additionally, GP Strategies developed an Instructor Tool to allow the instructor to immediately gather data on the performance of learners. Using the reports produced by the tool, the instructor can quickly recognize the elements that were most difficult for the class and identify areas of focus for debriefing and more detailed classroom instruction.