ATS is part of The University of Newcastle. Our team consists of academic researchers, educators and training experts with a broad range of industry, academic and healthcare backgrounds. ATS connects content experts and technology developers with internal research expertise, to support the development of custom training solutions that meet your project’s needs.
Is virtual reality (VR) better than 2D training? Four evidence-backed value areas supporting the use of VR as a training modality
Within my role I am involved in creating and validating novel Virtual Reality (VR) training applications and often find myself discussing the use of the technology, including its benefits and value as a training modality. A frequent topic that comes up when speaking...
Fusing technology with tradition – developing new educational resources to increase awareness of cultural burning
Local Land Services NSW has long been passionate about supporting Aboriginal people to care for Country through Aboriginal Elders sharing their traditional land management and ecological knowledge with the younger members of their community. Recently, Hunter Local...
Playing with radiation – a new virtual reality training application rolls out to University of Newcastle physics labs
The Centre for Advanced Training Systems (ATS) has worked closely with A/Prof. Vicki Keast, Prof. Thomas Nann and a team from the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences along with the University of Newcastle IT Innovation Team, led by Chief Information Officer...
Over the past two decades, digital transformation has swept across all industry sectors and is fundamentally changing businesses, institutions and organisations. Both the volume of communication within the workplace and the diversity of professions that work together have dramatically increased. Amplifying these changes has been the speed at which new technologies emerge. The ever-increasing rate with which new technologies are appearing has led to the concept of ‘exponential technology emergence’. Collectively, these conditions are a challenge for all workplaces, which must now find a way to adapt.
A major question that many organisations are now being forced to ask is:
How do we take on new approaches to remain up-to-date, without fundamentally disrupting or compromising our existing practises?
We believe that the answer to this question is relatively simple; it relates to training.
The main challenge now lies in determining what type of training is required in new and highly dynamic environments.
Historically, training was based around three main aspects:
- Pre-existing knowledge imparted via vocational or college-based education
- Static workplace knowledge transfer approaches (e.g. digital presentations, policy documents and manuals)
- Presenter-driven updates (e.g. workshops, conferences)
It is increasingly clear that these training approaches are no longer sufficient to seamlessly respond to ever-changing and evolving conditions. Even a superficial analysis of training approaches indicates that the general model has evolved very little in the last two decades. Current training approaches have limited scalability, are difficult to quality-control and are often poorly suited to training practical workplace skills.
We focus on harnessing new technologies to support training, within the context of the broader training environment. This includes integration of new technology (e.g. mixed-reality) with detailed analytics reporting frameworks. Organisation requirements, logistics and training practices are considered to ensure the solution supports the existing training ecosystem.
One aspect of our approach is the application of new technology. A range of “mixed-reality” (XR) technologies have emerged, which address some limitations of existing teaching approaches.
XR-based technology encompasses several new platforms, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and 360-degree video. These technologies incorporate immersive 3D simulated environments, which provide realistic and interactive experiences.
Virtual Reality (VR)
VR is the most commonly used form of digital simulation technology. It provides the most immersive experience and supports interaction within a 3D-simulated environment. VR requires the use of a headset and often incorporates a hand-held device to support interaction.
Augmented Reality (AR)
AR integrates simulation onto a real-world space. It generally uses a tablet, PC, phone or headset to superimpose digital 3D objects onto a screen overlaid over a live video of the real world.
360-Degree Video & Images
360-degree videos, also known as immersive videos or spherical videos, are video recordings where a view in every direction is recorded at the same time. 360-degree video allows users to freely move their head and view a real-world space, creating a highly immersive experience.
Historically, these technologies have been used mostly for gaming applications. Research trials of XR-based training technologies indicate that they increase user engagement and improve knowledge transfer, particularly for procedural skills development. This supports the suitability and value of these technologies in education and training.
For new technologies to be effective, they must be seamlessly integrated into the local training ecosystem. To support this, we also develop detailed data capture, analytics and reporting frameworks.
Our Team & Our Role
At the Centre for Advanced Training Systems (ATS), we recognised the need to modernise training approaches. Our focus is on working with organisations to develop, implement and evaluate new training approaches that take advantage of digital platforms, particularly digital simulation platforms.
Importantly, we do not build these platforms in isolation. We work with partners to identify and develop solutions that are aligned with their needs. We integrate established concepts and ideas from research on physiology, psychology and neuroscience to enhance the teaching programs we develop. We also actively engage in research to optimise the development of training tools, document their efficacy and inform implementation strategies. We then engage with organisations to facilitate implementation of training solutions to ensure these resources get into the hands of users to deliver training outcomes. In doing so, we use a scientific approach with structured evaluations and assessment processes to ensure training platforms achieve the desired objectives.
End-to-end Project Management
We deliver trusted, independent and expert advice and end-to-end project management to develop training applications that are sustainable, effective and personalised to your needs.
ATS connects content experts and technology developers with internal research expertise, to support the development of custom training solutions that meet your project’s needs.
- We apply scientifically-established concepts and research findings from the fields of physiology, neuroscience and psychology into real world training systems to bridge the evidence-practice gap
- We focus on training objectives and outcomes to ensure the final product is suitable and addresses identified needs
- We provide or source content expertise, to ensure training content is up-to-date and evidence-based
- We coordinate technology experts to ensure the most appropriate approach is used
- We provide end-to-end project management to support training programme implementation, assessment and report outcomes
- We coordinate research to validate the final training program
The Centre for Advanced Training Systems (ATS) partners with stakeholder organisations to develop customised workforce training solutions to address identified training needs.
Our projects are funded on a project-specific basis and focus on improving workplace training in three main areas; Defence, Health, and Education.
We have partnered with numerous organisations, including the Australian Department of Defence (Army and Air Force) and Hunter New England Area Health, to design, implement and deliver tailored training solutions that address their specific organisational needs.
Designing, Developing and Implementing Next Generation Training
The Centre for Advanced Training Systems (ATS) activities are funded on a project-specific basis and focus on improving workplace training in three main areas: Defence, Health and Education.
Our focus is on working with organisations to develop, implement and evaluate new training approaches that take advantage of digital platforms, particularly digital simulation platforms.
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