Leveraging Stress and Intrinsic Motivation to Assess Scaffolding During Simulation-Based Training

  • Julie Nanette Salcedo
  • Stephanie J. Lackey
  • Karla A. Badillo-Urquiola
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9179)


Instructional designers in the Simulation-Based Training (SBT) community are becoming increasingly interested in incorporating scaffolding strategies into the SBT pedagogical paradigm. Scaffolding models of instruction involve the adaptation of instructional delivery methods or content so that the learner may gradually acquire the knowledge or skill until mastery and independence are achieved [1, 2]. One goal for incorporating scaffolding models into SBT is to bridge the gap between trainees’ immediate knowledge and skill with their potential level of understanding when provided with scaffolded support. This gap represents an optimal level of learning often referred to as the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). ZPD may be maintained dynamically through the adjustment of instructional support and challenge levels [3]. Theoretically, for ZPD to be achieved, the training experience should be neither too easy nor too difficult. A challenge in implementing scaffolding in SBT and assessing its effectiveness is the lack of metrics to measure a trainee’s ZPD. Therefore, this study investigates the use of stress and intrinsic motivation metrics using the Dundee Stress State Questionnaire (DSSQ) and the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) to assess the level of challenge elicited by selected instructional strategies in SBT for behavior cue analysis. Participants completed pre-test, training, practice, and post-test scenarios in one of three conditions including a Control and two instructional strategy conditions, Massed Exposure and Highlighting. Participants reported their stress using the DSSQ after each training and practice scenario and overall intrinsic motivation using the IMI at the end of all scenarios. Results compared stress and intrinsic motivation levels between conditions. Ultimately, the results indicate that Massed Exposure strategy may be preferable to maintain ZPD during SBT for behavior cue analysis.


Simulation-based training Instructional strategies Instructional design Scaffolding Stress Motivation 



This research was sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory–Human Research Engineering Directorate Simulation and Training Center (ARL HRED STTC), in collaboration with the Institute for Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida. This work is supported in part by ARL HRED STTC contract W91CRB08D0015. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of ARL HRED STTC or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation hereon.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Nanette Salcedo
    • 1
  • Stephanie J. Lackey
    • 1
  • Karla A. Badillo-Urquiola
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Simulation and Training, University of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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