Fall Newsletter 2020

Another newsletter means more busy months have come and gone for us at ShadowBox LLC. We continue to enjoy steady growth as we work hard to expand our client base, applying the core tenets of our training to additional domains. As our long-time clients already know, our training is designed to accelerate expertise by addressing the Cognitive Dimension. Read on for information about the latest applications of ShadowBox, and our vision for the future.

Welcome Reza!

We are excited to announce a new member of our team, Mohammadreza Jalaeian (Reza for short), who will be officially joining us as a post-doctoral research associate in January, 2021. Reza is finishing his Ph.D. in Learning Systems Design & Technology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His dissertation is titled: Applying Video-Occlusion Technique to Test Law Enforcement Officers’ Attack Recognition Skill. We are looking forward to applying his expertise with police officer training and designing learning systems. He will be a great addition to our team.

UTA College of Nursing

In collaboration with the University of Texas Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation, we have developed a video-based training exercise for a cardiac care situation. With the final number of nursing students over 200, this project grew to be our largest single training group yet.


Gary Klein, our CEO, has led multiple Masterclasses in his PreMortem Method of Risk Assessment in partnership with Bryce Hoffman and Red Team Thinking. His classes are designed to benefit decision makers and planners who want to make better business decisions. These virtual courses have been very popular, with waitlists for both sessions. The next scheduled session is January 26-27, 2021. If you are interested, please contact Bryce Hoffman or the ShadowBox team to register for the course.


We are excited to announce an extension of our work with DARPA’s Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) program. Gary is leading a team in developing a set of tools designed to boost the collaboration between humans and AI systems called Artificial Intelligence Quotient (AIQ). The project strives to develop tools that will improve users’ mental models, increasing user satisfaction, and create tools for developers to increase explainability of systems. The AIQ tools include a Cognitive Tutorial, Explainability Scales, Self-Explaining Scorecard, and Discovery Platform.

Guardian Mindset Course

We are gearing up to begin our law enforcement training workshop called The Guardian Mindset: De-escalation and Decision Making for Patrol Officers. We teamed with California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to develop a course comprised of 16 scenario-based training exercises. The course is designed to improve the tactical decision-making skills of novice police officers, within the framework of a Guardian Mindset. Through our course, officers will learn tactics associated with a Guardian Mindset and when and how to appropriately employ them. Our scenarios focus on real world situations officers face daily – which are often filled with ambiguity, uncertainty, unpredictability, changeability, time-pressure, competing/changing goals, and potential danger. Our first course will be offered through the South Bay Regional Training Center with an anticipated start date in November 2020.

Child Welfare

This September, ShadowBox presented at the Public Children’s Services Association of Ohio annual conference. We presented virtually about how ShadowBox addresses critical thinking in child welfare and gave an interactive demonstration of a ShadowBox scenario. We also featured lessons learned from practitioners who have implemented ShadowBox in their counties. Separately, we continued our work to implement ShadowBox training in the Northwest Ohio district. By the end of the year, approximately 250 child welfare practitioners will be regularly participating in small groups centered around ShadowBox training. We plan to expand to additional counties in Ohio in the coming months.

Cognitive Support for Assessing XAI Systems

ShadowBox is leading an effort to develop tools to increase the usability and explainability of a high-fidelity Covid-19 dashboard. The dashboard uses forecasting models for helping federal, state and local decision makers make decisions regarding re-opening during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our team’s goal is to build a cognitive tutorial for end users based on the cognitive requirements of using this dashboard. Though we are developing tools for the Covid-19 dashboard, the tools will be widely applicable to other tools that are based on artificial intelligence and machine learning systems.

COP Workshop on Diagnostic Errors

Gary Klein and Joseph Borders (Research Associate and Project Manager) have developed a workshop in their continuing collaboration with the Center for Operator Performance (COP). The virtual workshop will present causal factors that lead to fixation and diagnostic errors. The workshop will train participants to recognize fixation as well as to employ tactics and suggestions for prevention and correction.

Next NDM Conference

Gary and other team members are helping plan and prepare for the next NDM conference, hosted in collaboration with Resilience Engineering (RE) this upcoming June 21-25, 2021. We are exploring ways that these two communities can intersect, exchange ideas, and further each other’s pursuits. This upcoming November, Gary will co-lead a webinar about NDM and RE tools in workplaces to get jobs done, as well as where these two communities tools converge and diverge.

Upgrading the ShadowBox Software

We have begun working with Magnetic Mobile, the Midwest’s premier app development company, to upgrade our existing ShadowBox software. We are very excited about this collaboration and future prospects for our software. Some of the coming features we’re looking forward to include:

  • Scenario of the month: This feature will allow visitors to our website to access a free ShadowBox scenario exercise each month.

  • Cue Detect improvements: Our patented Cue Detect feature allows a user to identify visual and auditory cues during video training. After watching and identifying cues, users get to see what the experts’ noticed, and the rationale behind the experts’ choices. We are working to further expand this feature by improving the instructions for new users and improving the user interface.

  • Dual perspective decision points: A ShadowBox exercise typically has someone responding to different questions, such as, “What are your priorities in this moment?” We are creating a new question feature that allows one to respond in two ways: 1) from their own perspective, and 2) from the expert perspective. The idea is to let someone attempt to predict how the experts would respond and reflect on whether these responses are different from their own.

  • Site-wide user interface enhancements: We are working to increase the usability of various features on the application to make navigating the site easier for both administrators and test-takers.

New Website

We are partnering with Tony Leone Design LLC to develop a brand-new ShadowBox website. We are excited to reflect our company’s innovative strategies with a new, modern design. We plan to implement the new website before the end of the year!

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