E.C. Hillemann, A. Nussbaumer, M. Bedek, D. Albert

Graz University of Technology (AUSTRIA)
Criminal intelligence analysts are more and more confronted with a veritable explosion in data volume. They are required to make sense of these data in order to help to predict, to prevent and to monitor crime activities. Being able to handle this information volume, to identify relationships and to evaluate them and last but not least, to effectively assist law enforcement officers in their work, criminal intelligence analysts need to apply a wide range of competences. These competences relate to information, media, and technology literacy with including skills such as critical thinking, analytical thinking, communication and collaboration. In imparting, maintaining, and deepening those skills, professional development and training play a central and crucial role. Professional development primarily refers to the development of a person in his or her professional role by developing and promoting individual skills, knowledge and expertise. Learning of new skills and the development of new insights into new techniques and methodologies and resulting stimulation on on-going reflection into one’s own practice is a key part in professional development. In the area of technology-enhanced decision making systems, beyond simply learning to use a technology, one main aim is to support the user in this decision making process by strengthening the underlying skills needed for making appropriate decisions. This is especially relevant in the context of training criminal intelligence analysts, in order to improve their metacognitive skills (e.g. sense-making, gaining insight, avoiding cognitive biases).

In this paper a psycho-pedagogical model providing and describing the sound psychological and pedagogical basis for supporting criminal intelligence analysts in their professional development is presented. The model is based on concepts from self-directed, self-regulated learning and adult learning theories (i.e. andragogy). It constitutes the basis for realising instructional and learning workflows that are characterised by an active involvement of learners. The active participation of learners in the learning process supports deeper reasoning and thinking and thus more meaningful learning. Through planning exercises, discussion and collaboration, and formal briefing and presentation, practical exercises in which critical decisions have to be made, especially analytic and reasoning thinking can be developed. Thereby, learning is placed on a continuum ranging from guided or teacher-oriented learning at one end to completely free or self-directed learning at the other end. This approach aims at developing decision making as expertise through practice, repetition, coaching and mentoring.

Overall, the psycho-pedagogical model presented in this paper consists of the following parts:
i) WHAT – What to learn?,
ii) HOW – How to learn, and
iii) WHO – Who supports?.

Besides a detailed description of the psycho-pedagogical model itself, the relevant state of the art from a psychological as well as criminal intelligence perspective will be part of the paper.