Real-Time Assessment of Student State

Period of Performance: 03/17/2003 - 12/15/2003

$99K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Micro Analysis and Design, Inc.
4949 Pearl East Circle, Suite 300
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator

Abstract

A new revolution in training is possible by taking advantage of technologies that will allow us to understand the state of the trainee as they are engaged in a lesson or practice and then combine this knowledge of student state with advanced training techniques to provide just-in-time training of the right type on the right tasks in meaningful scenarios. Micro Analysis and Design and Lockheed Martin have teamed to create a student state assessment system technology with three components. First, there will be student sensor measurements collected automatically and unobtrusively using low cost sensors. These measurements will then be run through the action observer models that will establish the task context of the state measures as they are being observed, since the measurements will be far more valuable and useful if seen in the context of the what the student was doing as they were being collected. Finally, the data from the action observer models will be fed to the student state assessment software that will evaluate student states with respect to three aspects of student state; 1) ongoing tasks and activity, 2) workload-induced stress level, and 3) level of student engagement in the activity. The technologies we develop through this effort will allow us to maximize the value of one of the scarcest commodities of all - the time that our military personnel have to devote to training and practice. We will develop methods and technology that allow us to understand the state of the trainee as they are engaged in a lesson or practice and then combine this knowledge of student state with advanced training techniques to provide just-in-time training of the right type on the right tasks in meaningful scenarios. In other words, by matching student state, in terms of their current abilities, stress level, and other affective aspects of student state, with the type of training they need to bring up their skill level in areas of importance to their next combat assignment, we can continue to optimize the use of student training time and resources. We also believe that the development of automated ways to assess student state would offer enormous potential to supporting other aspects of military and commercial operations. Information on what tasks a human is performing, how stressed they are, and how engaged they are in their work are all of value to being able to assess operator-state on a real-time basis to determine how to optimally adapt the operator's work environment. In that way, too, we see this program as offering outstanding potential to helping the U.S. Military maintain superiority in future conflicts.