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Technology to power learning programmes – by Clive Battisby, Drilling Systems

Clive Battisby, director of simulator operations for Drilling Systems’ parent company, 3T Energy Group, talks about learning through technology like simulators.

Clive Battisby: “After seven days we forget up to 90% of what we’ve learnt if it’s not reinforced – that’s according to the famous ‘Forgetting Curve’ scientific study by Herman Ebbinghaus.

“For the oil and gas industry where safety skills are critical, this is problematic. It’s crucial that workers absorb information and retain it over time. Skills should always be fresh and current. However, knowledge fade is a very real challenge for the sector.

“There are numerous learning tactics which can counter knowledge fade. As well as making information highly relevant to the individual’s own experience, repetition can help the brain to recognise that the repeated information is important. Micro-learning in short bursts when you have a spare ten minutes is a great example of this and something the developers at 3T Energy Group took into account when they created our powerful R3 learning app. Accessed via a mobile phone, the app reinforces learning and knowledge through short quiz-based ‘work-outs’.

“But one of the most effective tactics is active learning. Allowing students to actively carry out activities, which mirror the operational tasks they will face in the field, can embed knowledge and improve memory retention.

“Working with our clients, we have always believed that more “hands on” training time is required to get the very best out of people.  Advanced simulators enable people to have this ‘hands on’ time before even setting foot on a rig.

“There are numerous rig and drilling operations available on the simulator today, ranging from drilling and tripping operations   to BOP & riser running and pulling, BOP function & pressure testing to more advanced subsea BOP operations such as LMPR and emergency disconnect with BOP POD and RAM troubleshooting techniques also available. Operators can learn from simulations in casing running operations, HPHT operations as well as managed pressure drilling. Simulators also offer true digital twins of the drilling rigs to aid rig start-ups and focus operator training.

“The latest generation simulators are not dissimilar to video games. Ultra-realistic graphics, simulation fidelity, highly immersive scenarios and with avatars with the ability to influence events on the screen.

“As well as being extremely engaging, this technology is highly effective. In high-risk sectors, like oil and gas, the consequences of human error or equipment malfunction can be catastrophic.

“Simulators allow students to experience all the movement, sounds and operations of a real onshore & offshore rigs but in a safe setting. They learn how to operate the equipment and practise everyday operations without worrying about making mistakes. In fact, learning through your own mistakes is a well-known and useful tool in training. By actively involving the user in making mistakes you ensure better memory retention. Essentially you learn more from your own mistakes so a delegate seeing the consequences of their actions will remember the experience.

“You have to put people in these uncomfortable situations – it’s the best way to learn!

“Learning through technology like simulation is fast paced, highly visual and auditory. The environment sucks you in and transports you straight on the job. Technology like simulation can complement and elevate traditional learning programmes. And with new technology developments such as our cloud-hosted simulator – the iDrillSIM – remote learning is now possible from anywhere in the world. But the key benefit is the development of well-prepared, fully competent crew members who retain knowledge and are able to start drilling activities in the field as and when needed.”