Exercises are the most immersive type of training and therefore require the longest preparation time. Two common type of Exercise are:
Table-top Exercise (TTX)
A TTX takes place in a conference room setting and involves a realistic, scripted scenario. Facilitators provide background on events and actions that have taken place until the time that participants have gathered. Facilitators then prompt participant discussion by asking a series of questions. These carefully-worded questions are specifically designed to be thought-provoking and generate often stressful dialogue. After a series of escalations and further dialogue, the TTX is concluded with a brief recap of the scenario and lessons learned.
Full-Scale Exercise (FSE)
A FSE is a hands-on, realistic scenario with multiple response elements. There is typically a mix of public safety agencies, University response teams and teams/departments involved. FSEs are rare given their complexity, but offer the best opportunity to develop muscle memory. Years later, participants are able to recall specific memories of their involvement and can readily apply those lessons to real-life situations.
Examples of Exercises on Campus
CyberSecurity TTX: The IT Cyber Emergency Response Team and the University's Incident Management Team conducted a TTX that simulated an intentional breach of IT systems and a subsequent release of protected data. This exercise presented a plausible scenario along with realistic what-if scenarios that participants worked through.
Active Shooter FSE: Illinois State University conducted a full-scale exercise with over 300 participants at Atkin-Colby residence halls. State Police SWAT team members served as the "bad guys" and offered an opportunity for public safety responders, University responders, students, faculty and staff a unique opportunity to manage the response to a tragedy.