Charles River Analytics
Cambridge, MA

Charles River Analytics Inc., a developer of intelligent systems solutions, has received a follow-on contract from the US Navy to develop more efficient training tools in virtual environments. Shiphandling Educator Assistant for Managing Assessments in Training Environments, or SEAMATE, supports experienced instructors as they monitor and interact with larger numbers of students in the classroom, increasing training efficiency while reducing costs and maintaining effectiveness. The contract is valued at just under $1 million with a contract extension option close to $500,000, if exercised.

While they significantly reduce the need for costly live training at sea, virtual shiphandling trainers such as the Navy’s Conning Officer Virtual Environment (COVE) depend heavily upon expert mariners, with individual instructors typically working with only a single active student at a time. With the limited number of available expert mariners, this one-on-one training requirement makes it difficult to realize the full benefit of virtual training systems. Emerging automation technologies, such as Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS), will offload many manual instructor tasks, but introduce new supervisory challenges for instructors monitoring multiple students simultaneously. Charles River is developing SEAMATE to more efficiently meet these new training demands, enhancing the overall efficacy and scalability of COVE training.

“In SEAMATE, we’re developing supervisory displays that help shiphandling instructors work with more students at once,” explained Dr. Ryan Kilgore, Vice President of Charles River’s Human Effectiveness division. “The Navy’s knowledgeable instructors are invaluable to the training process, and we’re developing tools that extend their training expertise to a larger number of students. We’re evaluating how instructors dynamically shift their attention and engagement across students and decide when and how to provide specific coaching and feedback. SEAMATE will let instructors monitor more students in parallel, and help them quickly pivot to one-on-one coaching as though they’ve been watching over a single student’s shoulder for the whole training exercise.”

SEAMATE includes a mobile technology dashboard through which a trainer can monitor multiple students’ performance at once. It notifies a trainer when a student may need assistance, improving awareness of individual progress.

Beyond the SEAMATE effort, Charles River is developing a number of tools to help improve training. MAGPIE helps provide a more powerful and personalized training experience through an adaptive, game-based environment. TMT provides training on tourniquet technology to aid warfighters treating injuries on the battlefield.

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