USMA Research Unit Affiliation
Army Cyber Institute
Authoring adaptive training can present challenges because instructors, unit leaders, and other non-technical users need to understand and control adaptation in order to accept and make use of a training system such as GIFT. Therefore, adaptation should be presented in a manner that parallels the way these end users think about instruction (Wray, Folsom-Kovarik, Woods, & Jones, 2015). This work enabled future improvements in authoring for adaptation by adding several constructs inside GIFT. First, patterns added a new construct for defining learner behaviors and analytics that can drive adaptation. Second, misconceptions added information to GIFT concepts in the Learner Module about reasons that individuals might be performing Below Expectation. Third, mid-lesson reports tested a specific type of adaptive intervention that prompts learner reflection during training, with reduced authoring via reusable prompts.A randomized controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the training effectiveness of GIFT when driving adaptive feedback in a newly integrated tool for perceptual and cognitive skills relevant to cross-cultural communication. The combination of GIFT plus the skill training was evaluated by a population of 74 West Point Cadets. A preliminary analysis supported the value of the patterns to identify different classes of learner experience and, in future, to let non-technical personnel define what high-level behaviors and groups of observations would help GIFT respond to these. The analysis also suggested new domain-general misconceptions that might be able to inform adaptation. The evaluation showed an improvement between pre-test and post-test scores across all users. The discovery of new patterns and misconceptions highlights opportunities for instructors or unit leaders to gather evidence about how training is progressing in GIFT and, with future incorporation into the GIFT authoring suite, to quickly add new adaptive interventions that make training more effective.