New Virtual Training Aims to Support Victims and Prevent Sexual Misconduct on College Campuses
NEW YORK, February 25, 2020 — Health simulation company Kognito announced today the release of a new product to help foster a safe campus climate around sexual misconduct. The simulation, Sexual Misconduct Prevention for Students, uses virtual humans and role-play scenarios to equip students with the skills to be an active bystander, respond effectively to a friend who has experienced trauma, and determine if consent has been given.
Nearly one in eight students have experienced nonconsensual sexual contact by physical force or inability to consent since enrolling at their school, according to an Association of American Universities (AAU) survey, and 50% of students believe there is at least some likelihood that they will experience sexual assault or other sexual misconduct at their university. As colleges across the country take action to address this problem, Kognito’s new simulation takes a research-based approach to assist in schools’ proactive efforts.
Under federal laws like Title IX and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE Act), institutions are mandated to provide programming that shares certain information with all students. This information includes the definitions of dating/domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking; the definition of consent; safe and positive options for bystander intervention; and recognizing signs of abusive behavior.
Sexual Misconduct Prevention for Students contains interactive modules that cover all topic areas required by law: bystander intervention, checking for consent, helping a friend, and staying safe. It also helps students differentiate between on- and off-campus confidential and non-confidential resource services, and when and how to refer peers.
In the simulation, students are presented with real-life scenarios and must choose how to respond, as well as identify the best resource. Virtual student coaches provide feedback based on the user’s selections. Through this practice, the learning experience is designed to boost student preparedness and confidence to navigate difficult situations on campus. In addition, the scenarios include diverse examples of sexual orientation and gender identity, an important inclusion given that LGBTQ students experience higher rates of sexual assault.
“This virtual simulation is powerful. It gives students an interactive learning experience with the ability to actually practice having important conversations. This innovative learning module can help reach all students and strengthen our campus community. I’m excited to introduce this training to students and provide them with the information they need for personal use and to help others,” said Kathryn T. Hutchinson, Ph.D., Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs at St. John’s University.
Hutchinson is one of the subject matter experts who contributed to the training content. Other subject matter experts consulted include Dr. Genny Beemyn, a leading expert and author on the experiences of trans students, Tiffany Gaffney, Associate Dean of Students and Assistant Title IX Coordinator at Providence College, and Glen Kraemer, founding partner and co-manager of employment and higher education law firm Hirschfeld Kraemer.
Sexual Misconduct Prevention for Students joins Kognito’s suite of higher education simulations used to engage students, faculty, and staff to improve student mental health, retention, and academic performance. The company’s behavior change model integrates several evidence-based models and techniques, game mechanics, and learning principles.
“We’ve provided many thousands of college students with training that supports their overall health and wellbeing,” said Ron Goldman, Co-Founder of Kognito. “This new simulation meets a need that our higher education clients have been voicing to us for a long time. We know through research and feedback from our clients that students learn better through participation. It was time to apply the power of simulation to sexual misconduct prevention education, and we believe it can have a tremendous impact on the future health and livelihood of students.”
Kognito is a health simulation company whose evidence-based simulations harness the power of role-play conversations with virtual humans to improve social, emotional, and physical health. Learn more at kognito.com.