Abstract

Targeted school attacks are an ongoing threat to campus safety in the 21st Century. While case studies of previous incidents have demonstrated the impact educators can have on the outcome of school shootings, how to effectively prepare school-based personnel to respond to such a crisis remains largely unknown. This research aimed to assess educators' response to utilizing virtual simulation as a potential tool in emergency preparedness. Specifically, educators' perception of preparedness, reaction, and perception of learning were evaluated based on their experience with the Department of Homeland Security's Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE) First-Responder Sandbox 2.0. A sample-size of 52 participants grouped in teams of six to eight received instruction on how to navigate the virtual environment before completing three simulated emergency scenarios and debriefs. An online survey was then completed to gather educator characteristics and to ascertain perceptions of preparedness, reaction, and perceptions of learning. Total preparedness, reaction, and learning scores were evaluated using descriptive statistics. Educator characteristics were then analyzed to determine if professional experiences or specific traits influenced scores. Overall, total mean scores indicated that, on average, participants agreed or strongly agreed with all survey items relating to preparedness, reaction, and learning. Thus, EDGE was an effective tool in exercising emergency preparedness. Educator characteristics and experiences were not statistically significant in the outcomes of scores. The quantitative data were evaluated using thematic analysis. The results and the additional feedback provided by participants demonstrated that EDGE may be a valuable tool for exercising emergency preparedness among all school-based personnel.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2021

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Gordon, William

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College

College of Community Innovation and Education

Department

Educational Leadership and Higher Education

Degree Program

Educational Leadership; Executive Track

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008925

Language

English

Release Date

November 2026

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

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