An Integrated After Action Review (IAAR) Approach: Conducting AARs for Scenario-Based Training Across Multiple and Distinct Skill Areas

  • Lisa TownsendEmail author
  • Joan Johnston
  • William A. Ross
  • Laura Milham
  • Dawn Riddle
  • Henry Phillips
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10906)


Due to resource constraints, labor intensive scenario-based training solutions often include training on more than one skill area consisting of distinct multiple learning objectives. However, After Action Reviews (AARs) taking place after training have not adapted and have either become complex and drawn out to accommodate more skill areas or worse, critical objectives are simply left out because there is no time left to cover them. These AAR challenges should be addressed because each skill area and objective should be discussed for optimal learning and team performance improvements to occur. An Integrated AAR (IAAR) approach designed to cover multiple skill area objectives can enhance scenario based training opportunities without encumbering a team member’s ability to learn. During the Squad Overmatch (SOvM) training effectiveness evaluation different resources were developed to conduct an IAAR crossing multiple skill areas. Some of the resources developed worked well while others required revisions. The SOvM IAAR process and approach is described, lessons learned are discussed, and a new concept for an IAAR dashboard is presented.


Scenario-based training After action reviews (AARs) Team training 



The authors thank the Defense Medical Research and Development Program for sponsoring this effort. The authors also thank the Soldiers, Marines, Army Medics, and Navy Corpsmen for participating in SOvM.


  1. 1.
    Smith-Jentsch, K.A., Cannon-Bowers, J.A., Tannenbaum, S.I., Salas, E.: Guided team self-correction impacts on team mental models, processes, and effectiveness. Small Group Res. 39(3), 303–327 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Mayer, R.E.: Aids to text comprehension. Educ. Psychol. 19, 30–42 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brimstin, J., Higgs, A., Wolf, R.: Stress exposure training for the dismounted squad: the human dimension. In: The Proceedings of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference. NTSA, Orlando, Arlington (2015)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ross, W.A., Johnston, J.H., Riddle, D., Phillips, C.H., Townsend, L., Milham, L.: Making sense of cognitive performance in small unit training. In: Schmorrow, D.D., Fidopiastis, C.M. (eds.) AC 2016. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 9744, pp. 67–75. Springer, Cham (2016). Scholar
  5. 5.
    Johnston, J.H., Gamble, P., Patton, D., Fitzhugh, S., Townsend, L., Milham, L.: Squad overmatch for tactical combat casualty care: phase II initial findings report. In: Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, Orlando (2016)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa Townsend
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joan Johnston
    • 2
  • William A. Ross
    • 3
  • Laura Milham
    • 1
  • Dawn Riddle
    • 1
  • Henry Phillips
    • 1
  1. 1.Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD)OrlandoUSA
  2. 2.Army Research Laboratory Human Research and Engineering Directorate (ARL-HRED)OrlandoUSA
  3. 3.Cognitive Performance GroupOrlandoUSA

Personalised recommendations