Standardised training simulations: a case study of the water industry in Australia

Lui, Sui Man, Lemmon, Colin, Hamilton, John, and Joy, Andrew (2012) Standardised training simulations: a case study of the water industry in Australia. In: Proceedings of the European Conference on Games-Based Learning. pp. 294-300. From: 6th European Conference on Games Based Learning, 4-5 October 2012, University College Cork and Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland.

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Abstract

This article is a case study which discusses how a realistic game-based simulation training platform may tackle the challenges raised by the requirements for a national competencies certification framework and the requirements of a new generation of trained water operators. The proposed platform aims to 1) enhance training experience with learn by doing and scenario- based learning experience, 2) increase training capacity for the water industry, 3) provide cost effective methods to deliver training in remote areas, and 4) attract young people to join the water industry workforce. The National Water Commission of Australia is currently developing a national competencies framework for certification of water treatment operators. This framework aims to ensure that the water operator role is carried out by qualified staff. In response to the introduction of this new competencies framework, there will be an increase in demand for skills training in the water industry to ensure that employees at water treatment facilities possess the required certifications. Currently, the water industry is facing several challenges to meet the future training demands required by the new competencies framework. The lack of standardised training manuals and assessment criteria make it very difficult to ensure that training is consistent between different water treatment facilities. Australia is an immense country with sparse distribution of population centres and large distances between towns, which create an insurmountable problem for delivery of training. In particular, for rural areas, there is a substantial lack of trainers available to deliver training. Travel expenses and loss of work days for travelling makes training a very expense exercise. Also, the water industry is facing an ageing workforce with an average age over 45. There are less than 5% of trained water operators under 25 years of age. With the ever increasing technological advancements being introduced into the water industry, a new generation of water operator who are technology savvy are required. In response to these problems, a realistic game-based simulation training platform is being developed for water operator training. The pilot training module focuses on the collection of water samples. This particular task was chosen as it is a statutory requirement for the industry to perform water testing at regular intervals and it is a critical factor in the quality assurance process. It is also important as thousands of dollars can be wasted on each contaminated water sample. During the development of this training application, several technical challenges were encountered. The challenges include rendering of realistic water, simulating physics for small objects, and using two handed controls for object manipulation. Future development of this training platform will also be discussed.

Item ID: 23265
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-1-908272-69-0
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Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2012 06:45
Downloads: Total: 101
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