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Dropping them in the deep end: Introducing undergraduates to intelligence analysis through an immersive learning process. Jeff Corkill International Association for Intelligence Education, 8th Annual Conference, 21-24May, 2012, Officers Club, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.

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Dropping them in the deep end: Introducing undergraduates to intelligence analysis through an immersive learning process

Jeff Corkill

International Association for Intelligence Education, 8th Annual Conference, 21-24May, 2012, Officers Club, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.

background
Background
  • ECU, located in Perth Western Australia
  • Security Science offered since 1994
  • Bachelor of Counterterrorism, Security & Intelligence first offered in 2007
  • Discrete Intelligence minor set first offered in 2010
the intelligence minor
The Intelligence Minor
  • Consists of four units:
    • SCY1117 Intelligence Foundations
    • SCY2120 Applied Intelligence
    • SCY3107 Intelligence Analysis
    • SCY3506 Counterintelligence
scy2120 applied intelligence
SCY2120 Applied Intelligence
  • Second year unit
  • Introduces analytical methodology
  • Emphasis on producing tactical & operational level products
  • Focused on current local real world problems
teaching philosophy
Teaching Philosophy
  • Founded on:
    • Inductive learning theories
    • Problem-based learning theories
  • Also influenced by Donald Schon’s concept of “professional artistry”
slide6

…. outstanding practitioners are not said to have more professional knowledge than others but more “wisdom,” “talent,” “intuition,” or “artistry.” (Donald A. Schon, 1987 p. 13 )

unit structure
Unit Structure
  • 13 weeks duration
  • 10 taught modules (2 hours)
  • 12 tutorials (1 hour)
  • Directed study (10 hours week)
  • Proscribed text:
  • Heuer, R. J., Jr., & Pherson, R. H. (2010). Structured analytic techniques for intelligence analysis. Washington: CQ Press.
taught modules
Taught Modules
  • The intelligence analyst.
  • Evaluation.
  • Information structuring for analysis.
  • Data interpretation.
  • The intelligence inference.
  • Operational versus strategic assessment.
  • Intelligence failure.
  • The intelligence product.
  • The analyst decision maker relationship.
  • Ethics and intelligence.
assessment tasks
Assessment tasks

Today Thursday 22 March 2012 a large contingent of police has marched into the site of a long-running protest by Aboriginal people in Perth. About sixty officers, including mounted police, have arrived at Herrisson Island where the protestors opposed to a billion dollar Noongar native title deal have been camping for six weeks.

Task

Prepare an assessment of the likely Noongar response to this action over the next six to eight weeks.

This assessment/paper is to be written as an intelligence report all reference information is to be evaluated and cited. The use of footnotes for all citations is preferred. You are limited to using open source information only.

(3000 words minimum / 6000 words maximum)

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Over the course of the last six months there has been a number of violent incidents in the Perth region involving members of the Rebels and Rock Machine bikie gangs.

Task

Prepare an assessment of the capability, influence and possible intent of the Rebels in the Perth metropolitan region. Intent is to be limited to a time frame of six months from the present.

This paper is to be written as an intelligence report all reference information is to be evaluated and cited. The use of footnotes for all citations is preferred. You are limited to using open source information only.

(3000 words minimum / 6000 words maximum)

comments best aspects
Comments: Best Aspects

This was the hardest Unit I ever done but very rewarding in the end (2010)

Completing real-life tasks (2010)

The Assignments were hard but interesting (2011)

The practical side in terms of assessments it related to the title of the unit, “applied intelligence” (2011)

comments possible changes
Comments: Possible Changes

To make this unit more in line with a students course difficulty and analysis skills, especially since this is only a second year unit and students are really only beginning to experience analysis at the lower levels (2010)

Have more than one point of view on intelligence, thus there should be more than one person teaching this unit (2010)

None (2010, 2011)

some observations
Some Observations
  • Students will respond to the challenge
  • Not all students cope with the PBL approach
  • Weaker students may in fact be disadvantaged
  • More guidance is required on basics such as developing collection strategies
  • Mastery of method is limited
conclusion
Conclusion

Analysts deal with speculation, supposition, facts and a high level of uncertainty which requires adaption and modification of methodology on the run. This reflexivity and capacity to adapt is a feature of both the outstanding analysts and the concept of professional artistry.

therefore
Therefore

Our system of education and training should ensure students are exposed to the complexity of real world problems. They should be guided, mentored and coached rather than taught didactically. They should be encouraged to dive in the deep end, experience success and failure and develop a capacity for self reflection.