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Immersive learning

Recreating the reality of critical incident management using Hydra in the Cloud.

First published

About immersive learning

Immersive learning uses realistic environments to:

  • simulate major and critical incidents
  • create dilemma by adding ethical or practical considerations

This allows participants to make considered decisions in a safe learning environment, without real world consequences.

Immersive learning exercises run in live time, are interactive and can include audio, video, documents and role play. 

We design and deliver tailored immersive learning packages for our own courses and for forces across the UK. Our portfolio covers public order, sexual offences, cybercrime, safeguarding and multiagency collaboration. Activities can last between one and five days depending on the learning objectives.

Hydra in the Cloud

Immersive learning is delivered using Hydra in the Cloud (HITC). HITC is both a technology and a methodology that allows us to recreate realistic situations.

Our Hydra suites are based at our Harperley Hall and Ryton sites. We can also deliver HITC exercises nationally.

10kV debriefing tool

We also use a debriefing tool during immersive learning exercises, known as 10,000 Volts (10kV). This allows participants to anonymously:

  • record personal thoughts and feedback
  • comment on other other participants' feedback

The tool supports: 

  • honest participation – regardless of role, rank and grade
  • capture of evidence-based knowledge 
  • sharing of best practice for future learning

The tool can facilitate learning for up to 100 participants. We provide technical support to encourage participants to contribute. A report is created at the end of the event.

What to expect from immersive learning

Immersive learning exercises are scheduled at the end of most courses. This allows you to apply your new knowledge in a safe learning environment, before facing dilemmas in the real world.

You will:

  • be presented with a simulated critical incident
  • be given the chance to make decisions about how to manage the situation
  • work together with your peers to reach the best solution
  • be supported by experienced officers and subject matter experts

HITC exercises are not assessed – so while events unfold, you can consider behaviours and attitudes during decision-making.

Our courses

Immersive learning activities are included in:

We also offer a Hydra facilitators course (HyFaC). This equips facilitators and developers with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage HITC exercises.

Learning outcomes

All immersive learning activities develop leadership skills, including:

  • strategic and tactical management
  • making accountable decisions with supporting rationale
  • understanding models and processes
  • understanding attitudes, behaviours, and perceptions (own and others)
  • applying risk principles

Contact us

Contact the Immersive Learning Team at [email protected] for further information.


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