Call: Crisis management training: Design and use of online worlds (NordiCHI2010 workshop)

Invitation to a full day workshop at NordiCHI2010, Reykjavik, Iceland on

Crisis management training: design and use of online worlds

Jointly organised by IFIP 13.6 HWID and the FP7 CRISIS project.

Rikke Orngreen (rior at or Chris Rooney (c.rooney at

Workshop theme and goals

In this workshop, we will analyse and discuss empirical studies of interaction design methods for training crisis management in safety critical, emergency and disaster situations. The workshop theme is thus narrow in a contextual way (by dealing with unusual situations); but broad in the sense that we wish to discuss various experiences to form an understanding of current practice, and how people adapt and learn to act in new (often extreme) situations. Online worlds (which include simulations, virtual environments, augmented reality and massive multiplayer games) have potential to aid in training staff to deal with crisis situations. We wish to investigate possibilities for designing, using and evaluating interactive online worlds for learning key skills and enhancing current training methods.

This workshop is co-organised by two different entities, who share a mutual interest in studying human activities for understanding system design and use. The IFIP13.6 Human Work Interaction Design working group focus on combing empirical studies of human work with interaction design (see The FP7-funded CRISIS (CRitical Incident management training System using an Interactive Simulation Environment) project aims to develop a crisis management train-on-demand and simulation platform for improving the training methods for both on-site emergency services, and control centre decision makers.

During the workshop current research within the above outlined field will be discussed, and we call for positions papers investigating, but not limited to topics and questions as:

In which ways can online worlds, as customised simulations, serious games, virtual and augmented reality and commercial virtual worlds be used for training in and for emergency situations, using emerging characteristics of presence and believability, enabling decision making, knowledge transfer and agency? Which theories and techniques can be applied from the domains of human computer interaction / interaction design; crisis management / safety critical systems and theories of learning and competence training? Which methodological and process considerations come into play in analysis and design (for example, the use of distributed cognition, action theory, grounded theory, activity theory, etc)? What is the wanted and obtained user experience when performing emergency training through online worlds, how can usability and user experience be evaluated, and are there contextual, organisational and cultural differences to consider? Outcomes of the workshop Through the workshop’s discussions and analytical frames, we will develop a specification based on relevant methods and case studies of empirical work. The hope is that this will bring us closer to understanding how such emergency / disaster training systems could work and be designed.

Relevance to the field

Emergencies of various scales happen everywhere and every day, and are vital to be trained for. A vast variety of professions (such as police, fire and medical personnel) often need to work together in emergency situations, especially in domains with a high density of people and traffic (such as airports or train stations). Compared to traditional full-scale simulations, there is potential for interactive online worlds to offer a realistic sense of presence, and produce an economically viable and effective multi-player training solution.

Description of activities planned

The workshop uses a mix of position paper presentations and a case-based discussion approach, giving the participants a mutual frame for discussing opportunities and barriers in the empirical studies, methods and analytical work presented in the position papers.

In the morning session, after a round table presentation of all participants, a number of selected papers will be presented and analysed by the discussant and in plenary, providing a common ground. Prior to or just after lunch a case-study will be presented in plenum; thereafter three-four break-out groups are created. Here, the remaining position papers are discussed, and the workshop organisers facilitate the group discussion, so as to find ‘suitable ways’ and ‘problematic areas’ for the case-study at hand. At the afternoon session, the participants meet for an exchange of experiences, where the participants are asked to provide an overview and commentary on what their group found intriguing and sum up the case-discussions.

Intended audience

The participants will primarily be people attending NordiChi2008. In particular we expect participants coming from IFIP WG 13.6 HWID and the FP7 CRISIS project, as well as people with an academic interest in connecting empirical work analysis and interaction design in the domain of training for crisis management.

Expected number, balance and selection of participants Approximately 20 participants, primarily with a research background or methodological design interest in the field of training for crisis management. The requirement for participation will be the submission and acceptance of a 4 to 8 page position paper (formatted according to the Nordichi2010 publications format). The papers will be peer reviewed by the organizers and future participants of the workshop. The review will assess appropriateness of the paper according to topic of the workshop, as well as provide feedback to the authors. Participants will be asked to read at least two other papers, and are expected to act as discussants at the workshop (to the papers that they have reviewed).


To accommodate both those with the need for early notification to organise travel arrangements and those who need a bit longer for writing, we offer two deadlines:

  • First deadline for early submission of position papers 1/7 with an early notification by 16/7 2010
  • Second deadline for late submissions 16/8 with a late notification by 30/8 2010

Please submit your paper to Rikke Orngreen:  as a word and a pdf file, according to the length and specification described above.

You have to register for the workshop through the NordiChi website: and early bird closes at 17/9 2010

Organisers’ names and backgrounds

Prof. William Wong, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction and Head of Centre
Mr. Chris Rooney, Post Doctoral Researcher
Dr. Janey Barnett, Post Doctoral Researcher
Interaction Design Centre, Middlesex University, England

Dr. Rikke Orngreen
Assoc. Prof at the research program: Media and ICT in a Learning Perspective, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark

Dr. Torkil Clemmensen
Assoc. Prof., Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Prof. Ebba Hvannberg
Professor of Computer Science, University of Iceland, Iceland

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