Online Scenario-based Training for Law Enforcement Training Application

Chief of Police finds online training scenarios highly effective for police officer training.

Online Scenario-based Training for Law Enforcement Training Application

January 03 2020

Updated: 2/7/2021

Chief of Police Emeritus, Richard Beary reviewed new highly effective police officer training methods in the Nov ‘18 issue of Police Chief Magazine.

Chief Beary shared a new method: bite-sized on-demand web-based “training-to-practice” methods were 17 percent more effective1 than traditional classroom trainings.

The Chief identified 4 key factors:

  • Short videos: Much more information can be transferred more quickly and applied to real-life situations in less time.
  • Online and on-demand: Training studies show a 40 to 60% savings in employee time compared to classroom-style training.
  • Practice decision-making: Interactive life-like scenarios allow officers to practice decision-making skills.
  • Realistic: Include captured real-world video into scenarios, e.g., an active shooter crisis, can make training engaging and effective.

Mazetec training platform was built on theses premises. It allows you scale the impact of your police force trainers, free classroom space, and connect skills training to real-world practice with a complete audit trail.

Brief (2 to 5 minute) training scenarios keep officers in a high state of “readiness-to-react”. Mazetec™ delivers low-dose, high-frequency booster sessions and practice challenges assure up-to-the-minute training fitness via mobile device.

Drive skill and knowledge mastery on real-world field tasks, including domestic violence, shoplifting, and traffic stop calls, and a host of other procedural and policy-driven interventions based on required training expectations.

Try it for yourself

Keep reading for a deeper look into the challenges with police force training.

Mazetec Background

We have built an entirely different e-learning platform in which students enter an online maze-like learning environment where engagement with the content is required. There is no course speeding, fast forwarding the video to challenge the quiz, or using two screens to Google the answers to test questions. Cheating is curbed while learner competence is enhanced.

Content must be mastered (either knowledge or skills or both) for the student to complete the assignment. Our analytics package allows course authors to observe every decision the student makes, the time it takes to make the decision (down to the second), captures errors made, and can include a requirement to complete a post-training survey – the results of which are instantly available to the instructor.

As any medium can be embedded into our e-learning platform, key information can be presented in short video, PowerPoint, audio, text, or text with images prior to plunging the student into a life-like scenario where the information you just taught must be correctly applied to a problem to achieve the proper solution.

It is the application of “just gained” knowledge to a problem that demonstrates skills acquired. Correct decisions can be instantly rewarded and incorrect decisions punished, using our instant feedback mechanisms.

Using Constructivism Learning Theory, students “construct” their knowledge and meaning from the “experience” of solving problems by applying knowledge and skills to find the correct solution. For example, students can simply be “thrown into the deep end of the pool” and learn their way to the correct conclusion through trial-and-error decision-making.

Educators, managers, and trainers know how important it is to have learners gain first-hand experience with the problems they are expected to solve on the job. Flight simulators do this work in pilot training. Research supports knowledge is best retained through active learning, which is exactly what is required to complete Mazetec ™ learning experiences.

Welcome to Mazetec™

Mazetec™ allows any subject matter expert to create scenario-based learning programs that match the real-world problems their students will face, and successfully teach them the knowledge required to make the most desired decisions. The software is designed for both online and classroom presentation training. In the latter case, students “vote” their scenario-based decisions on their smartphones and the results appear on the screen, where the instructor can “reveal” decisions made by the students and interact with teaching points. Discussions, and lessons learned.

In the online environment we’ve built a training platform that teaches correct decision making through customized feedback loops. Together with sidebar evidence-based decision aids (tips), students don’t get an answer right or wrong, but are provided the course author’s explanatory answer as to why and how their decision can be improved (think personal mentoring or coaching in an online environment).

Because many employees must make difficult decisions under time constraints and uncertain conditions, we have engineered a countdown clock which tasks students to learn, practice, and make decisions under the same time pressures they may experience in real-life on-the-job challenges. Police, firefighters, EMTs, military leaders, and pilots all have to make decisions under pressure. Mazetec™ software allows you to create opportunities to learn under pressure so students can perform under pressure.

Finally, Mazetec™ can be employed to keep officers in a high state of “readiness-to-react” with competence and confidence. By creating brief (2 to 5 minute) scenario-based training modules officers, can be delivered low-dose, high frequency booster sessions and practice challenges via their mobile devices to assure up-to-the-minute training fitness. Research shows that training impacts decay over time.

To combat this training decay effect, and using a CPR comparison in readiness-to-respond training, studies conducted on the effectiveness of Resuscitation Quality Improvement training using the LDHF training model showed almost full course completion by participants (98%), large cost savings from less time used for off- site training, and a 21% increase in survival rates from cardiac arrest (Texas Health Resources hospital, Dallas, Texas).

The following graphs shows the impact of low-dose, high-frequency training effects.

Standard training:

Low-dose, high-frequency training:

Low-dose high-frequency training (LDHF) is a competence-building approach that promotes maximum retention of knowledge, skills, and attitudes from an initial training. LDHF training is a short, targeted, simulation-based learning activity spaced over time and reinforced with structured, ongoing practice sessions. These LDHF training tools can be built and delivered to employees without significant costs in time and trouble, depending on the topic.

A New Training Tool for SMEs

As a subject matter expert, you can give your students essential and relevant learning experiences though content delivery, scenario-based challenges, decision support, repetition, and unlimited practice and testing in a safe learning environment. Students may retake learning sequences until they master the knowledge and skills your field requires for competent performance on the job.

Better still, you can observe their every decision (key stroke) your students make, how long it takes them to make that decision, and analyze their performance for quality and speed. You can establish performance benchmarks with expert panels and test students against your own standards.

Compared to other similar teaching methods, Mazetec™ is a low-cost solution to what is often a high cost problem if poor decisions are made. Students can be required to actually demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills you know to be essential to perform well in your field. As an instructor, you can acquire individual and/or group performance data, design tests, and require error-free performance from your students while you collect research and other needed metrics for analysis and program evaluation.


  1. Chief Beary’s article and additional references can be found at:
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