Immersive Naval Officer Training System (INOTS)
Project Leader: Matthew Trimmer
The Immersive Naval Officer Training System (INOTS) targets leadership and basic counseling for junior leaders in the U.S. Navy. The INOTS experience incorporates a virtual human, classroom response technology and real-time data tracking tools to support the instruction, practice and assessment of interpersonal communication skills.
While the Navy recognizes that communication skills are important, junior leaders often receive little or no opportunity to practice important interpersonal skills prior to deployment. If they do receive practice, live role-play sessions may be used. In an effort to provide a structured framework for teaching and practicing communication skills, INOTS replaces one human role-player with a life-sized virtual human. The virtual human component addresses the issues inherent to live role-play practice sessions that cannot be easily standardized, tracked and assessed following the interaction.
After receiving up-front instruction and demonstrations on basic strategies for helping a subordinate with a performance problem or a personal issue, one student from a class of 50 is selected to speak to the virtual human, and the rest of the students participate by selecting the option they would choose using remote-controlled clickers. INOTS’ instructional framework, interactive response system and visual data tracking are engaging tools to facilitate practice and class discussion, including an instructor-led after action review, before junior leaders reach their first assignments. Ultimately, the INOTS experience provides several interactive case studies and a framework for learning how to employ interpersonal skills related to basic counseling.
INOTS is a partnership with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) and the Officer Training Command Newport (OTCN). INOTS was installed at OTCN in August 2011 with its current focus to supplement the Division Officer Leadership Course (DOLC) in support of the Officer Candidate School (OCS) and Officer Development School (ODS). ICT developed a similar Army prototype, the Emergent Leader Immersive Training Environment (ELITE), which is in use at the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Facts and Figures
- INOTS trained over 2,500 Sailors at OTCN in 2012.