Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2017

Document Type

Dissertation - Rollins Access Only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Craig McAllaster

Second Advisor

Ron Piccolo


The United States Navy, as an institution, has an incredibly complex training and learning system that services the approximately 400,000 members of that force on a daily basis. The learning system is based in concepts and theories that have been foundational in the fields of educational psychology and adult learning, specifically building on the work of Edward Thorndike and Malcolm Knowles. As the Navy enters the twenty-first century it has decided, through its Sailor 2025 Program, that it desires to re-engineer its learning systems to include the use of game-based virtual environment simulators to replace its legacy physical simulators. While the body of academic knowledge reveals that there is a large amount of research showing that this type of technology can work to transfer knowledge, there is a lack of research regarding a one-for-one substitution of a game-based virtual environment simulator for physical simulator and its impact on meeting the learning and readiness requirements of the Navy. This case study examines a specific case where the Navy has made that type of substitution. This case study helps to inform the Navy’s proposed $1.5 billion investment in re-engineering its learning system and provides avenues for future research to broaden the external validity of the use of game-based virtual environment simulation to support broader learning objectives.


By Frank W. Naylor, III, CAPT, USN (Ret)