Project Leader: Matthew Trimmer
The Emergent Leader Immersive Training Environment (ELITE) Counseling is a laptop training application used to teach interpersonal skills to United States (US) Army junior leaders by presenting real-world instructional scenarios in an engaging, self-reinforcing manner. The purpose of the training experience is to provide junior leaders with an opportunity to learn, practice and assess interpersonal communication skills for use in basic counseling. The ELITE Counseling content incorporates Army-approved leadership doctrine (ATP 6-22.1), evidence-based instructional design methodologies, and USC ICT research technologies, such as virtual humans and intelligent tutoring, to create a challenging yet engaging training experience.
The ELITE Counseling software has five scenarios. Users may choose the role of an Officer or NCO when playing through each scenario. All of the scenarios are based on real-world counseling issues such as financial troubles, post-deployment readjustment, and alcohol-related performance issues as well as scenarios dealing pre- Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) encounters. These scenarios offer users a chance to practice the interpersonal communication skills they learn during the ELITE Counseling instruction. The package includes three phases: Up-front Instruction, Practice Environment, and an After Action Review (AAR).
The total training time for ELITE Counseling is anywhere from one to two hours depending on a user’s proficiency. Time will vary depending on user experience level, performance, and engagement. Some users may take time to review missed concepts based on how well they respond to quiz questions. Some users may choose to watch all suggested training vignettes and comparisons. Some users may thoroughly engage in the AAR after an interaction in the practice environment. Some users may choose to practice all five scenarios for their given rank.
In the contemporary US Army, leaders must not only be prepared for the tactical side of leadership, but also the personal and soft side of leadership as well. Effective communication between leaders and their subordinates is paramount towards maintaining the combat effectiveness of the force, and ELITE Counseling offers young US Army leaders a unique opportunity to learn and practice interpersonal skills so they are better prepared for the interactions they will encounter.
ELITE Counseling is available for download on the MilGaming web portal: https://milgaming.army.mil/