METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR AUTHORING, EDITING AND TESTING INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS FOR USE IN SIMULATED TRAILING
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED
This invention contains material related to the copending patent application Ser. No. 995,569, filed Dec. 10 12, 1992, a file wrapper continuation of Ser. No. 07/605,621, now abandoned, entitled "Glass Trainer" which is assigned to the same assignee as the present application.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Technical Field
This invention relates to simulation and training systems and more particularly to an interactive system for authoring and editing such systems. 20
Many complex systems place great demands on their operators. As a result, operators of many such systems require many hours of training to reach a desired level of proficiency. Examples of such systems having high 25 training costs include sophisticated stationary process control systems, as well as ground and airborne vehicles.
Since it is not always practical to train operators of such systems on actual equipment, various kinds of 30 simulators have been developed. For example, for pilot training, hardware mockups are commonly used. When coupled with a computer generated simulated exterior view, these mockups can give students valuable experience with the myriad of controls and situations they 35 will encounter when operating the actual aircraft.
Unfortunately, hardware mockups are relatively expensive to construct and may quickly become obsolete when changes in hardware occur. To overcome this problem, a simulation and training system has been 40 developed which avoids the use of hardware mockups by simulating the hardware on video screens. This system is disclosed in co-pending patent application Ser. No. 995,569, filed Dec. 12,1992, a file wrapper continuation of Ser. No. 07/605,621, now abandoned, entitled 45 "Glass Trainer", which is hereby incorporated by reference. In the Glass Trainer system views of an operating environment such as an aircraft cockpit are stored on a video storage means and presented on a screen. Manipulable controls and changeable displays are presented as 50 computer generated graphics overlays on the video monitor. The user can manipulate these controls by means of a touch screen. This system eliminates the necessity of building a hardware mockup of the operating environment since all of the necessary views of the 55 environment and controls appear on one or more video monitors. The use of overlay images to simulate the appearance of the controls and displays in a plurality of states means that separate images are not required for each possible set of states of the system. In addition, the 60 appearance of the simulated environment can be easily changed by simply photographing a new image of the new revised operating environment and by changing the appearance of the overlay graphics.
While representing a significant advance over con- 65 ventional hardware mockup systems, the Glass Trainer system presents some complexities in the task of authoring and editing the simulation and training displays and
procedures. For example, the author must consider that one change in a sequence or graphic display in one particular training sequence may affect numerous other parts and aspects of a particular training program. In addition, the author of such training procedures needs to be able to test various portions of the simulation immediately after making the changes without going through the entire training course.
Thus, it would be desirable to provide an interactive tool for authoring and editing simulated training systems such as the Glass Trainer that simplifies the authoring and editing process. Further, it would be desirable to have such an authoring tool which reduces the time required to edit and test the training procedure. Also, it would be desirable to have such an authoring tool which provides immediate feedback to the author regarding changed procedures as they are being developed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Pursuant to the present invention an authoring tool is provided which simplifies the authoring and editing function of a simulated training system such as the Glass Trainer. The authoring tool utilizes a development tool which condenses authoring, editing and testing into one environment. This authoring tool, referred to as the Learn Mode Courseware Tool includes a user interface which permits the author to produce, edit and test procedural logic structure. In addition, the system permits the author to preview audio, video, and graphics displays, and also permits the author to interact with a representation of many trainer devices at a single trainer device.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention a method is provided for authoring training courseware for a system such as the Glass Trainer. The method includes the step of analyzing the authoring required, including establishing the extent of new authoring or changes required to previous authored portions, and the affect of authored changes on various portions of the training system, and developing a plan for implementation. The method also includes the step of implementing the changes specified in the step of analyzing, including implementing changes to the simulation, audio, video, and graphics. Next, the method includes a step of testing these simulation changes performed in the implementing step and changing the training system procedure by integrating the tested simulation, audio, video and graphics changes into the training system procedure.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The various advantages of the present invention will become apparent to one skilled in the art by reading the following specification and by reference to the following drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the hardware components of the Glass Trainer system adapted to operate the learn mode courseware tool in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a diagram of the various steps performed during use of the learn mode courseware tool in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a diagram of the hierarchy of menus in the user interface of the learn mode courseware tool in accordance with the present invention;