DI wins ONR contract to create computer based training to empower Marines against Sexual Assault

May 31, 2016

The decision-making involved in determining an appropriate course of action when encountering instances of sexual assault in the workplace can be stressful. Factors such as the gender or rank (e.g., superiors versus subordinates) of offenders may confound decision-making under stress and impact how victims and witnesses judge and report sexual assault incidents. Victims and witnesses may be anxious or worry about retribution or the effect on interpersonal relationships if they report an incident.

Frequently, sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) training focuses on knowledge content about how to identify and respond to sexual assault. Opportunities for application of training content are limited to in-classroom live role playing scenarios among instructors and trainees. While live role playing provides opportunities to demonstrate plausible scenarios and discuss appropriate response procedures, it can be difficult to authentically represent a stressful experience (e.g., anxiety, worry, etc.).

There is also a risk in live role playing exercises that trainees will simply respond as expected by instructors without thorough reflection of how they would actually feel and react if the incident was real. In other words, trainees may not feel immersed in the live role playing scenarios.

Virtual training in a 3D game-based environment with virtual human characters can provide an immersive experience for trainees to apply content knowledge. This presents an opportunity to develop compelling, high fidelity scenario content, including 3D character models and scenario scripts, which elicit an authentic level of stress during decision-making for SAPR training.

Design Interactive has been contracted through the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) to provide a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Curriculum. DI was creating compelling, realistic scenario scripts and high fidelity 3D virtual characters that will provide an authentic decision-making and stress experience during virtual Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) training.

DI desires to collaborate with leading institutions to bring value added products to market like this. If you have a current need for such a tool, or you see value in adding such a product to your portfolio, now is the time to contact DI about how you can get involved.

If you are interested in learning how you can collaborate or work with DI please contact matthew.johnston@designinteractive.net.


Design Interactive has been optimizing human performance since 1998. We leverage cutting edge technology to understand human behavior, deliver adaptive training systems and engaging UX experiences. As a niche provider of game based cognitive aptitude assessments, DI now offers services and products that help you hire the right people, accelerate them to competency and optimize their productivity.

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