Bennell, C., Jones, N.J., & Corey, S. (2007). Does use-of-force simulation training in Canadian police agencies incorporate principles of effective training? Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 13, 35-58.
| Link to article in Psychology, Public Policy and Law |
Abstract Numerous police agencies in Canada incorporate use-of-force simulation training into their overall instructional regime. A prominent theory of learning, known as cognitive load theory, suggests that in order for this training to be effective, instructional methods must facilitate the acquisition and automation of task-relevant schemas without overwhelming the limited processing capacity of the learner. In this article, several instructional effects, proposed and supported by the cognitive load literature, are discussed. These training effects operate by minimizing unnecessary cognitive demands, by drawing on instructional methods that enhance schema acquisition, and/or by carefully managing the inherent complexity of the to-be-learned material. The argument is advanced that although use-of-force simulation training may be able to capitalize on many of these effects, at present there is little evidence to suggest that it currently does. The authors conclude by discussing the urgent need to assess how the knowledge gained from cognitive load theory might serve to enhance the effectiveness of use-of-force simulation training.