Inside the Hydra Simulation Centre
About the Hydra Simulation Centre
The Hydra Simulation Centre provides a unique learning and teaching environment and is used to conduct immersive, simulated scenarios for a variety of students from our Police Sciences, Nursing, Global Governance and Social Work to Public Health, Business and Marketing courses.
Developed by Professor Jonathan Crego, Hydra is a training tool that enables the monitoring of group dynamics, real-time leadership and naturalistic decision making in critical incidents.
Hydra has assisted in the training and decision making of police officers, emergency personnel, health care professionals and the military and private sectors in the United Kingdom and internationally.
A typical Hydra exercise
At the start of a Hydra exercise, our students would typically gather in the plenary room for an initial briefing. Here, the students receive information about the exercise and their roles for the day.
Following this briefing, students enter the syndicate rooms where they are engaged with a simulated scenario.
Information in the form of audio clips, video clips, electronic and/ or printed documents are used to progress the scenario, and students use the Hydra software to record their decisions throughout.
During this time, subject-matter experts monitor student interaction and progress from the control room. Additionally, staff and students would periodically return to the plenary room to discuss the decisions made by our students and the impact these decisions had on the progression of the exercise.
The majority of scenarios run for three to six hours but some have been designed to run for three consecutive days.
Benefits of using Hydra
- Scenarios are immersive and often replicate real-life conditions, allowing students to deal with real-life situations in a safe learning environment.
- Helps students to experience working as a team in a high-pressure environment.
- It offers a student-centred activity which is fun and engaging compared with traditional learning methods.
- It allows staff to conduct formative assessment of their students’ knowledge and decision-making skills in a simulated environment.
- It allows staff to incorporate new technologies and applications into their teaching, providing a richer learning experience for our students.
- High definition virtual reality headsets enhance immersion, allowing our students to experience what it is like to be in the centre of a real-life scenario.
- Hydra in the Cloud software allows simulations to be conducted throughout different suites at the same time, providing real-time team collaboration and decision making among key organisations such as the Police Forces, Fire Service, Home Office, Border Control and Higher Education Institutions.