Professional trainers who use simulations need to be able to exchange their different experiences with a common language.
That’s the view of professional development leaders at Simulation Australia, a national group focused on the productivity potentials of simulating situations and scenarios.
They have begun a project to improve crossflows between simulation professionals across different industries and disciplines.
Called Babel Fish (formerly Rosetta Stone), the project is being developed by Dr Elyssebeth Leigh, a teaching and learning specialist from the University of Technology, Sydney, with other members of the Sim AU professional development committee. The initial milestone is to publish an online ‘concept thesaurus’ with wordings from many disciplines, allowing searching and comparisons of relevant terms and concepts.
Babel fish is the name given by comedy writer Douglas Adams for a fictitious ‘yellow leech’ which could absorb energy waves across the universe and, when inserted in a human ear, could provide instant translations from any language to any other. The creature became famous via Adams’ scripts for a British comedy series of the mid 1970s, then in his book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. His term has been adapted for the BabelFish online multi-translation service.
Simulation Australia’s long range goals are to:
—Create agreement among simulation users from different contexts that key aspects of simulation are the same, regardless of variations in context specifics,
—Expand international agreement on the value of simulation in all its guises,
—Establish a framework for inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research about simulation as a discipline in its own right,
—Provide information to help both experts and novices expand their understandings of simulation’s core concepts and applications,
—Develop a comprehensive body of knowledge for simulation across all relevant disciplines, and
—Celebrate the diversity, complexity and sophistication of simulation as a discipline growing in research, education and experimentation.
Said Dr Leigh: ‘We aim to demonstrate how core concepts of simulation are applied in all professions, even if they are described differently in their respective literatures.’
Simulation Australia (formed in 1996 as the Simulation Industry Association of Australia) has around 500 corporate and individual members – involved mainly with health, defence, emergency management, transport, resources and infrastructure organisations.