This year’s I/ITSEC theme, Concepts and Technologies: Empowering the Agile Force, suggests the ongoing transformation across the Services is the new driving force behind innovation for more effective and affordable solutions for supporting the creating peacetime force. As one visualizes the bustling exhibit floor, it is often difficult to recognize that behind every technology is a requirement for improving human performance. This year as in the past, three of CPG’s talented researchers will present papers and describe innovative applied research for improving cognitive performance.
Jennifer Phillips will discuss her team’s research into the nature of problem solving skills used by leaders of small tactical units as part of the USMC Small Unit Decision Making initiative. She will describe the development and application of Mastery Models used to create training solutions and meaningful assessments of tactical thinking skills. Her research is at the core of training transformation within the Marine Corps.
Iris Rivera will present her development of Cognitive Competency modeling, an effort sponsored by Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSD-I). For this project, Dr. Rivera and her team applied cognitive task analysis tools to model the best practices and performance requirements for a population of highly specialized operational planners. The descriptive models were validated and then used to inform changes to training programs and identification of new techniques for accelerated skill development. Her research transforms how the OUSD-I selects candidates and train them for these sensitive positions.
Jennifer Vogel-Walcutt’s applied research team is tackling an assessment problem by designing, developing and implementing a cognitive battery for small unit leaders. Dr. Vogel-Walcutt’s research is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and will produce an immediate, research-supported assessment option that informs policy makers on the direction for assessment for outcomes based learning. The goal is to produce a more cognitively agile force by focusing on how to make leaders more efficiently adaptable.
In summary, IITSEC 2013 is more than a showcase for vendors to demonstrate advanced technologies. More importantly, it provides a platform for researchers to describe leading edge thinking and problem solving skills that are the foundation of requirements for Force transformation through training, leader development and assessment.