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Evaluation of Digital Checklists for Command and Control Operations

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Technical Report

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Air Force Research Laboratory Wright-Patterson AFB United States

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Checklists are a critical component of most any military operation and both the construction of and presentation of checklists can affect the performance and efficiency of these operations. The purpose of this research project is to compare methods for displaying and executing checklists in a command and control operation to increase both performance and efficiency. The NORADNORTHCOM Command Center N2C2 uses a paper checklist system to facilitate responding to any number of disasters, to include aircatastrophes. This project investigated the potential effectiveness of a digital system that could take the place of the paper system that is currently being used. A between groups experimental design was used to analyze the relative effectiveness of each method. Each group of subjects was introduced to a timed task on different checklist systems and asked to complete an Air Force Academy Command Center checklist as accurately and as quickly as possible. Performance and subjective assessments of each system were analyzed and compared. The data showed that a linear digital checklist takes a longer amount of time than both a paper checklist and hierarchical digital checklist. In addition, the subjective data showed that the hierarchical system and paper system were easier to use and navigate than the linear system.

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