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The Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

Krista Ratwani iFest Presentation

Harnessing Machine Learning and Analytics to Create 21 st Century Training Models

Krista Ratwani

Our approach divides the challenge of adaptive training into several steps. First, the relevant Knowledges, Skills, and Experiences (KSE’s) are identified. Groups of these KSE’s are identified as Training Objectives (TO’s). Second, each module of training content is associated with meta-data that describes it, and a methodology is created that relates meta-data to KSE’s and TO’s. Third, measures are related to assessments: each measurement is associated with the skill(s) that it measures, as well as with the fidelity of the measurement. These pieces can be generated by either a human curriculum designer, or by automated learning analytics. If a human is in the loop, a Scenario Authoring Tool (SAT) elicits information through manual entry of KSE’s, TO’s, and measures. If the process is automated, then machine learning algorithms facilitate the data mining analysis. We report on work to perform data analysis, thus generating adaptive training software. Our recent work includes novel developments, including (1) Expanded use of multi-skill Item Response Theory (IRT) to characterize the measures. (2) More intricate sequences of skills, so that some skills are prerequisite to others. (3) Potential extensions of the analysis to team training domains. Regarding team training, we model task relationships between team members as well as the extent to which each training exercise trains each team member. The adaptive framework updates team assessments and selects the exercise which trains the most team members in the most areas, given environments where one exercise at a time can be selected for the whole team.


Dr. Krista Tatwani is Principal Scientist and the Director for the Learning and Training Systems Division at Aptima, Inc. Current and past work includes exploring and understanding how learning and development happens over time; assessing and facilitating the development of leader attributes and competencies, including charracter, in Army Soldiers; and developing assessment and training tools to help military leaders assess the inclusiveness of their units. Dr. Ratwani has led the development of training tool sspanning from classroom-based approaches, to hip pocket training guides, to multi-media computer based instruction. Prior to joining Aptima, she was a Research Fellow at the Army Research Institute (ARI) where her work included making assessments regarding retention among Army officers and developing interventions to improve force strength. Dr. Ratwani holds Ph.D. and M.A. in Pyschology from Monmouth University.


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