Friday, July 9, 2010

I Am Off To The Global Intelligence Forum... (Liveblogging Dungarvan)

I am very much looking forward to this, not only becasue it is in Ireland but also because it represents a kind of re-start on one of my favorite conferences of all times -- the annual Mercyhurst Colloquium.  

Anyone who ever went to one of the old Colloquia knows they were great conferences.  With much less focus on presentation after mind-numbing presentation and much more emphasis on educated discussion and networking over...ahem..."libations" of one sort or another, it was the perfect conference to not only relax but also to think and talk about intelligence in new ways with interesting people.  

Mercyhurst put the colloquium on hiatus for a few years to help IAFIE get up and running but with that organization moving forward on its own with a healthy head of steam, and with Mercyhurst starting to hold classes in Dungarvan, it seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up (By the way, the very generous sponsors who helped make it all happen seemed to think so too...)

So, I am pretty pumped!  I am told by everyone who had an hand in the preparation that the Irish have pulled out all the stops and some of our students, who spent the last term studying over there, say the absolute best things about the people of Dungarvan.  

While I am sure the hospitality will be great, the company I'll be keeping will be even better.  If you have not had the chance, check out the speaker list.  I will try to blog some of the events from over there but a more complete report may have to wait until I get back.

If you are not going to be able to go, besides this blog, you can also follow some of the action on Facebook or on the Mercyhurst website (where they are posting the news coverage of the event).

And if you are one of the lucky ones that get to go?  Look for me at Downey's on Main St.  I'll be the big Yank in the back enjoying Dungarvan Brewing Company's exceptionally fine red ale!

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Help Us Evaluate An Intelligence Method! (Original Research)

One of my graduate students, Derek Mulder, is in the process of completing his thesis research on a particular intelligence methodology (to find out which one, you have to take the survey below...sorry!).  

In order to do so, he has set up an online exercise to test the methodology in several specific ways.  Obviously, he now needs as many people as possible to complete his exercise by going here:

The way Derek has put together this exercise, it will take a little bit longer than normal to complete but we hope that the results will be able to be more robustly analyzed as a result.  Frankly, we are not sure exactly what this approach will reveal (we just have hypotheses...) but, as always, we will publish the results online for all to see.

Many thanks to all who take the time to participate!
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Monday, July 5, 2010

Teaching Strategic Intelligence Through Games (Final Version With Abstract)


Strategic intelligence is considered by intelligence professionals to be the highest form of the analytic art.   There is a tremendous demand for this type of intelligence product and a lack of trained professionals capable of producing it.  Developing effective teaching methods for this challenging subject, therefore, is an area of ongoing concern for the business, law enforcement and national security intelligence communities.

Previous research suggests that a game-based approach to teaching can be successful but no report so far has examined game-based learning in intelligence analysis.  I hypothesized that a game-based approach to teaching strategic intelligence analysis would increase learning and improve performance while also increasing student satisfaction with the course.

This paper reports the initial results and lessons learned from teaching three full courses (2 undergraduate and one graduate) in strategic intelligence using games as a teaching tool.  The paper will begin by examining the unique challenges in teaching about strategy, strategic decisionmaking and the types of intelligence that supports those efforts.  This will be followed by a short discussion concerning games based learning generally before examining in detail the specific approaches used in these three courses.   

This paper will also examine both the learning outcomes and student satisfaction with the courses.  Finally, this paper will discuss appropriate course modifications for undergraduate and graduate students when teaching advanced subjects with games based on the evidence from this study.

Teaching Strategic Intelligence Through Games
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