SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  AF071-037 (AirForce)
Title:  Accelerated Skill Acquisition for Intelligence Analysts
Research & Technical Areas:  Human Systems

  Objective:  Design and develop an innovative training system that will teach intelligence analysts to build critical thinking skills.
  Description:  Open-source intelligence (OSINT) analysts produce intelligence during peacetime and wartime by analyzing, evaluating, and packaging publicly available information for military planners, leaders, and commanders. Once information is collected, analysts pull together relevant information coming in from all available sources to assess what is happening, why it is happening, what might occur next, and what it means. OSINT analysts are unique in that they are responsible for analyzing vast amounts of information from different cultures and in languages other than their native language. They also commonly work with incomplete, ambiguous, duplicative, irrelevant, and often contradictory information (Heuer, 1999). These analysts need critical thinking skills to select, review, analyze, and evaluate large amounts of information to identify and link clues in an effort to formulate intent and design of hostile actions. New methods and technologies are needed for training critical thinking skills of OSINT analysts. Generally, computer-based instruction and computer-driven training simulations are separate training media. Integrating computer-based instruction and training simulations for training OSINT analysts is a science and technology challenge. Computer-based instruction includes text, graphics, and animations used to impart declarative and procedural knowledge. Text-based courseware to support knowledge acquisition exists in many venues but typically does not exploit computer-driven simulations to provide trainees with immediate opportunities to apply acquired knowledge. Training simulations for OSINT analysts consist of message traffic generation systems. However, training simulations are not employed with a structured training approach based on specifying learning objectives for knowledge acquisition and performance and evaluating learning objectives through integrated instructional courseware and simulation exercises. The technology challenge consists of integrating subsystems consisting of computer-based instruction and training simulations so as to provide proof of system interoperability and producibility. Applicable technologies include intelligent tutoring system technology, scenario-based training technology, and training simulation technology. Key technical parameters include affordability, system usability, and training effectiveness improvements resulting from integrated courseware and training simulations. This topic falls into DoD’s Human Systems key technology area. Although team training is an important performance goal, for economy of effort the intent of this innovation research project is to concentrate on individual training. Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) standards should be considered for development of computer-based instruction (Thropp, 2004). High Level Architecture (HLA) standards should be considered for development of distributed, computer-driven simulations (Defense Modeling and Simulation Office, 2005). Work-centered design (Eggleston, R.G., 2003) should be considered as a guide for developing a usable human-computer interface. Innovative and creative approaches to achieving the objective are encouraged.

  PHASE I: Generate a top-level design and proof-of-concept training environment exemplar that would optimally integrate courseware and simulations for open-source intelligence analyst training.
  
  PHASE II: After completing Phase I, develop, demonstrate, and evaluate integrated computer-driven simulations and computer-based instruction that support open-source intelligence analyst training.

  DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Military application: Military applications include initial-skills and advanced training for open-source intelligence analysts. Such technology could also support training for intelligence analysts at other government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, CIA and FBI. Commercial application: Commercial applications include training public law enforcement analysts and insurance investigators.

  References:  1. Eggleston, R.G. (2003). Work-Centered Design: A Cognitive Systems Engineering Approach to System Design. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 47th Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, Oct 13-18, 2003. 2. Halpern, D., (2001). “Thinking Critically About Critical Thinking: Lessons from Cognitive Psychology” contained within “Training Critical Thinking Skills for Battle Command: ARI Workshop Proceedings” available online at http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA400824. 3. Heuer, R., (1999). “Psychology of Intelligence Analysis”, Washington, DC: Center for the Study of Intelligence available online at http://www.cia.gov/csi/books/19104/art1.html. 4. Johnston, R., (2003). “Developing a Taxonomy of Intelligence Analysis Variables” available online at http://www.odci.gov/csi.studies.vol47no3/article05.html. 5. Thropp, S. E., Editor. (2004). Sharable Content Object Reference Model Conformance Requirements, Version 1.2; available at http://www.adlnet.org.

Keywords:  Intelligence analysis, open-source intelligence, critical thinking skills, message traffic simulation

Additional Information, Corrections, References, etc:
Ref #1: Available through online document delivery services.
Ref #1: Available through online document delivery services.
Ref #3: available at: https://www.cia.gov/csi/books/19104/index.html
Ref #3: available at: https://www.cia.gov/csi/books/19104/index.html
Ref #4: available at: https://www.cia.gov/csi/books/analytic_culture_public/chapter3_taxonomy.htm
Ref #4: available at: https://www.cia.gov/csi/books/analytic_culture_public/chapter3_taxonomy.htm
Ref #5: available at: http://www-keyport.kpt.nuwc.navy.mil/ADL/docs/SCORM_1%5B1%5D.2_ConformanceReq.doc
Ref #5: available at: http://www-keyport.kpt.nuwc.navy.mil/ADL/docs/SCORM_1%5B1%5D.2_ConformanceReq.doc

Questions and Answers:
Q: Do you have particular simulations and course materials that we should work with to demonstrate effective integration of simulation materials and text materials?
A: Proposers will not have access to the current training system, simulations or course materials.
Q: 1. Is the primary goal of this topic integrating HLA applications into a SCORM environment? Or is it creating new methods of training analysts in critical thinking skills?

2. Could you provide a typical scenario for a simulation that would need to be integrated into the computer-based training environment?
A: 1. From an instructional perspective, the goal is to develop a training environment for acquiring declarative and procedural knowledge that also provides an opportunity to apply that knowledge to enhance learning.

2. Scenario follows: You are an intelligence analyst assigned to the EUCOM/JAC Region X Assessment Team. You are working current Intel reporting for the region, as well as tracking Indications and Warning-related issues. This is your first day on the job and you have no previous knowledge in the area of interest. You arrive on shift at 1600 hours on June 1, 2011. Upon entering on duty, your supervisor tells you that the team has received a message from an analytical organization located in City X reporting suspected terrorist-related activity by the Active X Youth Organization. Fragmentary information suggests the Jabip area of City X may be at the center of the reported terrorist activity. You will research available simulated information and provide an oral report on the situation for the watch commander in the allotted time, including information about who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Q: Do you have particular simulations and course materials that we should work with to demonstrate effective integration of simulation materials and text materials?
A: Proposers will not have access to the current training system, simulations or course materials.
Q: 1. Could you characterize the typical educational level and cognitive ability of the trainees? For example, would it be comparable to a third year undergraduate or a first year graduate student?

2. Assuming that we will not have access to actual open-source intelligence analyst trainees for evaluating our approach, is there a good substitute group in academia?
A: 1. There is no comparable college level that I can give you as intelligence acquisition is a different domain. However, the system could be developed for novice analysts or more experienced analysts as you see fit. For the purposes of this effort, suggest you assume initial skills training for critical thinking.

2. I am not aware of any academic substitutes to direct you to. Besides academia and military/gov't agencies identified in commercialization section of topic, applications could be applied to training of public law enforcement analysts and insurance investigators.
Q: 1. What is the projected Learning Management System (LMS)to be used for this topic?
2. What version of SCORM will this require?
3. Would we have access to the current Training System under phase I?
A: 1. This is to be determined by proposers.

2. The most recent version.

3. No.
Q: Do we need to make our effort conformant to Sec 508 of the Disability Act?
A: We can help clarify the topic problem only. We cannot comment on approach or the SBIR program.
Q: 1. Is the primary goal of this topic integrating HLA applications into a SCORM environment? Or is it creating new methods of training analysts in critical thinking skills?

2. Could you provide a typical scenario for a simulation that would need to be integrated into the computer-based training environment?
A: 1. From an instructional perspective, the goal is to develop a training environment for acquiring declarative and procedural knowledge that also provides an opportunity to apply that knowledge to enhance learning.

2. Scenario follows: You are an intelligence analyst assigned to the EUCOM/JAC Region X Assessment Team. You are working current Intel reporting for the region, as well as tracking Indications and Warning-related issues. This is your first day on the job and you have no previous knowledge in the area of interest. You arrive on shift at 1600 hours on June 1, 2011. Upon entering on duty, your supervisor tells you that the team has received a message from an analytical organization located in City X reporting suspected terrorist-related activity by the Active X Youth Organization. Fragmentary information suggests the Jabip area of City X may be at the center of the reported terrorist activity. You will research available simulated information and provide an oral report on the situation for the watch commander in the allotted time, including information about who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Q: 1. Could you characterize the typical educational level and cognitive ability of the trainees? For example, would it be comparable to a third year undergraduate or a first year graduate student?

2. Assuming that we will not have access to actual open-source intelligence analyst trainees for evaluating our approach, is there a good substitute group in academia?
A: 1. There is no comparable college level that I can give you as intelligence acquisition is a different domain. However, the system could be developed for novice analysts or more experienced analysts as you see fit. For the purposes of this effort, suggest you assume initial skills training for critical thinking.

2. I am not aware of any academic substitutes to direct you to. Besides academia and military/gov't agencies identified in commercialization section of topic, applications could be applied to training of public law enforcement analysts and insurance investigators.
Q: 1. What is the projected Learning Management System (LMS)to be used for this topic?
2. What version of SCORM will this require?
3. Would we have access to the current Training System under phase I?
A: 1. This is to be determined by proposers.

2. The most recent version.

3. No.
Q: Do we need to make our effort conformant to Sec 508 of the Disability Act?
A: We can help clarify the topic problem only. We cannot comment on approach or the SBIR program.

Record: of