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Release Notes 2021-2

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Full Release (April 2021)

New Features

New Conditions

The following new Domain module real time assessment conditions where created. These include new DKF authoring UIs in the course creator. All of these are accessible through the VBS training application course object.

Muzzle Flagging

This condition allows you to assess whether an actor such as a learner is pointing their weapon at another actor. In most situations this is a violation of safety protocols.

Fire Team Rate of Fire

This condition monitors the rate of fire for a team and makes sure it maintains a certain ratio of a time window. It can be useful to determine whether a team maintains rate of fire while another team member clears a weapon jam or reloads.

Detect Objects

This condition assesses when a learner detects an object that comes within their field of view. Detect occurs simply if the learner orients toward the target actor or location.

Engage Targets

This condition assess when a learner engages a target by checking if the learner fires their weapon toward a pre-defined actor or location when that object enters a weapon cone field of view.

Request External Attribute

This condition allows you to query for values of different variables in a currently running scenario in the external training application. This can be useful for capturing this information in the GIFT domain session message log for playback and analysis in the future as well as for real time assessment of those values. An example use case is retrieving the target up/down state for Gunnery table training scenarios in VBS. This information is not provided over VBS DIS messages. The following is a list of variable types that can be requested as of this release.

  • weapon state
    • used to get weapon safety enabled and weapon orientation values
  • animationPhase
    • used for target 'down' state
  • variable
    • custom variable to allow for more ease of use for things we haven't thought of yet.

Adaptive Learning Service API - Real-time assessment (RTA) configuration ("Headless GIFT")

This new configuration of GIFT turns GIFT into an ITS service. The Tutor module is no longer used, meaning there is no learner webpage experience (tutor user interface or TUI). Instead the Gateway module exposes a new API using protobof messages that allow an external system to manage GIFT. The API provides the following functionality:

  • query for existing real-time assessments in the GIFT instance to start (i.e. one course object courses)
  • start a real-time assessment (i.e. one course object course)
  • receive lesson started messages
  • receive learner state messages as changes happen
  • receive lesson ended messages
  • receive authorize strategy request messages
  • send apply strategy messages

The GIFT Dashboard is still usable in this configuration for managing courses and accessing the course creator.

More information at Adaptive Learning Service API.

Unity Desktop integration

In one of the previous releases of GIFT we introduced the capability of bidirectional communication to Unity WebGL player running in the GIFT learner's browser (TUI). This included a GIFT Unity SDK that can be downloaded on gifttutoring.org and placed in your Unity project. That logic has now been extended to work with a Desktop Unity build. This includes a new Unity course object in the course creator and new Gateway module interop plugin (UnityInterface.java) used to communicate over a java.net.Socket.

New courses

A new GIFT course is available called 'Cyber Security - Phishing and HTTPS' provided by our friends at the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT). The course guides learners through a series of lesson material and quizzes, culminating in a final test.

New Remediation activity support

GIFT now supports running Interactive activities for remediation. An interactive activity is a training application (e.g. VBS, PowerPoint, Unity). In this instance a real time assessment can be used but the overall assessment scoring is not taken into account for updating learner state, influence future course adaptations/flow or LMS records. This new interactive remediation is available as an option in both training application and adaptive course flow course objects. GIFT now has all of the ICAP activity types supported for remediation - interactive, constructive, active and passive.

Conversation trees have been added as the second type of active remediation type. This is available where ever remediation activities are supported.

GIFT now has a Machine Learning ICAP policy thanks to our friends at North Carolina State University. The policy file is located at GIFT\config\ped\configurations\Default.icap.policy.xml. It uses the pretest score and remediation count as features to determine the best ICAP remediation activity to recommend next.

New scenario adaptations

A few new scenario adaptations were added in this GIFT release.

Breadcrumbs

A breadcrumb can be added/removed in the external training application. The breadcrumb can be assigned to one or more team members. In VBS this shows up on the horizon in the 3D view with a distance in meters to that location. This can be useful for helping a learner move towards a specific destination. The author can create a strategy for removing breadcrumbs as well.

Highlight Object

Authors can create markers around specific locations or actors in the external training application environment. In VBS this appears as an upside down tear drop VBS 3D model. If assigned to an actor in VBS, the marker will travel with that actor through the environment.

Changes

Game Master User Interface Refactor

The GIFT Game Master OC/T tool has been refactored and improved.

  • new layout that lets the user control what is on the left and right panels
  • new left hand side panel provides mission details, teams and roles filter, and objectives filter.
  • new video panel provides synchronized video playback and video upload capabilities.
  • added support for nested concepts under a task in a DKF
  • ability to edit the timeline to override assessments captured during action
  • added global bookmarks/notes feature that saves text or audio
    • can initiate these bookmarks using gestures on a touch screen w/o having to look at the screen.

Domain Session output folders

In previous releases of GIFT all of the GIFT domain session message log files were written to the same directory (GIFT/output/logger/message/). But now GIFT is starting to produce additional output beyond just a message log file and also requires additional artifacts for playback and AAR purposes. Therefore GIFT now creates a folder per domain session execution in GIFT/output/domainSessions/.

Competency and Skill System (CaSS) Integration

GIFT has a first pass at integrating with CaSS (https://adlnet.gov/projects/cass/). You can configure your GIFT instance to connect to a single CaSS server. In the course creator you can browse the competency frameworks in that CaSS instance and either link to GIFT course concepts or create course concepts by importing from existing frameworks. Eventually CaSS will provide additional attributes to help GIFT course authors such as a checklist of what should be assessed, real time assessment (DKF) templates and configuration parameters for DKF conditions. We also plan on using CaSS to initialize GIFT learner states when starting a GIFT course.

xAPI improvements

Thanks to our friends at Yet Analytics, GIFT now produces more xAPI statements for both learner state changes as they happen during a GIFT course and the overall assessment scoring (Published Score message) that can happen at the end of a real-time assessment (DKF) during a GIFT course. Both learner states and overall assessment scoring can contain individual and team based information.

See xAPI Statements for more information.

Misc.

  • Search ability on the Dashboard take a course page
  • Combined Dashboard and Course Creator (GAT) into single context for better file lock management and other improvements.
  • Learner actions in the TUI can execute instructional strategies
  • DKF editor place of interest import logic now supports GCC coordinate types
  • Ability to author weights of child concepts and conditions in a DKF to influence the roll up assessment calculation
  • Added 'can take' permissions to shared course permissions that only allows a learner to take the course, not open it in the course creator and potentially see the test question answers.