Westat to Develop Automated Assessment Program to Enhance Critical Thinking Skills of U.S. Army Company Grade Officers


As operating environments grow more complex, dynamic, and uncertain, Army leaders need advanced cognitive skills (e.g., critical thinking, systems thinking, perspective-taking, creative thinking) that will transfer to unfamiliar performance contexts. A team led by Westat will help the U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (ARI) identify and develop automated assessments of cognitive skills to support assessing and training company-grade officers within the U.S. Army.

To identify necessary skills, the Westat team will perform a literature review, observe the Army Maneuver Captains Career Course (MCCC), and interview instructors and company commanders.

Once a core set of skills has been defined, the team will help ARI select skills for which computer-based assessments can be developed and then develop those assessments for use on Government computers.

The team will assess the relationship between cognitive skill assessments and course performance data and then develop an automated feedback mechanism to provide assessment results to trainees.

Westat’s team includes TiER1 Performance Solutions, LLC, and Abrams Learning and Information Systems, Inc.