During the academic year of 2018/19 86, 17-21 year old Students on assorted Travel and Tourism courses at three different FE Colleges in the South-East of England, underwent a SiyonaTech VR Cabin Fire-fighting training day. The majority of these Students intended to pursue careers as Flight Attendants and had little or no prior experience of VR programs.

The VR Cabin Fire-fighting program requires Students to:

  • Follow exactly a strict Immediate Action (IA) drill
  • Operate virtual equipment correctly and efficiently
  • Communicate clearly and precisely with virtual characters (passenger, crew, pilot)
  • Make the correct or least worst decisions as the situation develops (program is performance dependent – quick responders experience a different scenario to slow responders)
  • Work quickly, safely and calmly.

The training day consisted of up to 16 Students (normally split into 8 in the morning, 8 in the afternoon) learning the process and techniques required to fight an aircraft cabin fire in flight using the ‘Training’ phase of the VR Program. This phase features a guiding voiceover within the program and assistance from the Trainer. It is followed by a debrief performed by the Trainer and the Students’ peers.

When considered able Students were selected to attempt the Assessment phase. This time Students had to perform the drill faultlessly with no voiceover or assistance from the Trainer, although a post attempt debrief was performed. Additionally, subtle changes were made to this phase to test on-the-spot decision making. All Students successfully completed the Assessment phase and were awarded a certificate.

A 30 day duration was then meant to elapse before SiyonaTech staff were to revisit the same Students and ask them to take the Assessment phase alone. This time attempts were to be performed in isolation with no classmates present. They would then be assessed by the Trainer using a 21 point marking sheet.

Unfortunately, this ideal proved impossible as the colleges could not make Students available when required. The average duration figure was 105 days (shortest duration: 48 days, longest: 133 days), between successful completion of Assessment and the Reassessment.

This unintended extension of the elapsed period obviously affected the Students’ individual results of the Assessment phase, but also makes the final figures even more impressive. When reassessed the 71 Students who participated returned an average percentage mark of 67% (highest: 97%, lowest: 18%). The result has to be considered within the context for this trial. Emergency procedures make up only a small part of the various Travel and Tourism Diploma courses. In between visits Students had been studying and revising for exams on topics totally unrelated to Emergency Procedures.

The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve identifies a typical memory loss of below 20% after only 7 days, but that is for one learning input. This trial used an intensive half-day session where Students would witness a demonstration and then participate in, on average, 4-5 attempts of the Training phase and then 3-4 attempts of the Assessment phase. As already mentioned this participation was supported by Trainer and peer debriefings.

Even so to deliver results of a 67% retention after a 105 day average duration is a truly remarkable and a reliable indicator of the value of VR training for these types of critical safety training.

As a tribute to the acknowledged suitability of this delivery method for this type of topic, 2 of the 3 colleges that participated have acquired the program to become part of their course curriculum and are currently expanding the program at other colleges within their organisation.

If you would like more detailed information about this trial and the results, then let’s talk! Contact us on letstalk@siyonatech.com


SiyonaTech and NATS were presented with the ‘External Learning Solution of the Year’ Gold Award at the glitzy Learning Awards gala ceremony held at the London Hilton, Park Lane. A second SiyonaTech project was also shortlisted for a Learning Technologies Award.

The gold-winning Oceanic e-learning suite was developed to support the transformation of airspace over the Atlantic, with the award criteria setting out the standards:

The External Learning Solution of the Year Award is presented to a learning provider that has undertaken a major learning and development project or projects for a client that are innovative in concept and have produced demonstrable performance improvement and business impact for the client as well as evidence of value for money.

With the advent of real-time monitoring over the oceans, NATS had to undergo a large transformation in its technology and people practices responsible for supporting air traffic over the Atlantic. The mission critical operation had to be implemented with high precision within tight deadlines.

SiyonaTech worked closely with NATS to deliver a game changing e-learning solution that transformed how Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs) were trained to deal with the changes.

Delivered in phases to support the various rollouts, the programme met its goals while it also led to a change in culture towards learning within the organisation.

With this win, SiyonaTech’s award tally for 2019-20 totalled 14.

Multi-award winning company SiyonaTech opened its new central Brighton office in Tower Point, North Road, in January.

This builds on SiyonaTech’s existing presence in the city, well known for the high number of prestigious learning technologies and creative companies that make the most of Brighton’s proximity to London along as well as the inspiration and beauty of the south coast.

With a cache of recent awards behind the company, SiyonaTech aims to keep up the momentum through 2020-21, expanding the team in the south to increase capacity and the ability to deliver more world class independent and distinctive content.

SiyonaTech’s Director Sambit Mohapatra said: “Setting up a base in Brighton allows us to tap into the creativity of this vibrant city as well as providing a choice for talented people to come on board this exciting company’

SiyonaTech is pleased to win 4 awards at The Learning Technology Awards 2019 held yesterday evening:

  • Gold in the Excellence in the design of learning content – public & non-profit sector category
  • Silver in the Best learning technologies project – public & non-profit sector category
  • Silver in the Best use of social and collaborative learning technologies category
  • Bronze in the Best learning technologies project – international commercial sector category

This was the highest number of wins at the awards for any single company. With the 9 Brandon Hall award wins earlier, this brings SiyonaTech’s tally of awards to 13.

The Learning Technologies Awards celebrate excellence in learning technology and e-learning and have been running for ten years. Independently judged to the highest and most rigorous of standards, winning one of these awards is no greater recognition of your hard work and commitment

SiyonaTech had been shortlisted a record 9 entries which itself had been proud moment for SiyonaTech and its clients, but, winning 4 awards at the evening has been a game changing moment. It validated SiyonaTech’s commitment to going above and beyond for its clients to deliver truly special experiences that make a big difference.

We look forward to doing the very best for our clients and producing outstanding products in ongoing manner.


The second phase of SiyonaTech’s Virtual Reality trial is well under way with a second visit, on the 10 May to the City of Oxford College to assess the programme retention of students who underwent the initial training and assessment on the 12 December last year.

The class performance average of 70% is the highest so far. This is an incredible level of recall after an elapsed period 137 days! This is further evidence that VR training, with its realistic environments, performance dependant outcomes and most importantly the opportunity it presents to practice and rehearse over and over again, is the best training tool available for Immediate Action (IA) drills and procedures.

On the 7th Nov 2018, 14 City of Oxford College Travel and Tourism Students were put through the Learning and Assessment phases of a Virtual Reality Aircraft Cabin Fire-Fighting programme; all passed and were awarded their certificates.

On the 27th Feb 2019 (111 days later) we asked those same Students to attempt just the Assessment phase in order to measure retention and ability. There was no retraining apart from a short tutorial on VR controls.

The Students produced an average mark of 59%, a pleasing result considering their age and experience, the gap between exposures, plus the fact they are in full-time education and will have had to study other innumerable un-related subjects during the intervening period.

The SiyonaTech trial team are hoping to maintain and even improve on this result when revisiting the other qualified Students at the 3 participating Colleges.

Join us at Learning Technologies Exhibition for a great seminar titled: “Virtual Reality versus the Flight or Freeze response”

When: 13th February 2019 – 3.30pm

Where: Theatre 9 – Learning Technologies at the Excel London

Who: Colin Metcalfe, Performance Design, SiyonaTech

A famous national football manager once commented: “You can never recreate on the training ground the circumstances of the penalty shootout.” Was he right and does that rule apply for other environments where non-specialised personnel might be called upon to step up and perform a critical function during an uncommon and stressful event?

Sometimes these individuals confront the challenge chance has chosen to impart upon them, but sometimes they don’t.

This session considers:

  • What makes an individual: Fight, Flight or Freeze?
  • Why have these options developed for our species, and are they always as good or as bad as they first seem?
  • What personalities are prone to choosing what responses?
  • Can conditioning / training do anything to manage responses and steer employees towards a specific behaviour?

In particular can Virtual Reality (VR), with its ability to create stressful environments overcome the psychological reaction of individuals when confronted with obstacles they have never encountered before, and will probably never encounter again for the rest of their working life?

About Colin

Colin is originally an aircraft engineer who went on to teach at military academies, FE Colleges, and Comprehensive schools. In 1995 he graduated from Oxford Brookes College with a BA in Professional Studies in Education.

In 2000 he left the classroom to move into Learning Design and eLearning. He worked for several new media companies until 2009 when he set up his own Learning Design company.

At SiyonaTech he works in Performance Design and is spearheading their Virtual Reality trial for Aircraft Fire-Fighting programmes.


Whilst you’re at Learning Technologies, drop by our stand and say ‘hi’ to find out more about our solutions and try out some of our immersive training experiences for yourself! You’ll find us on stand N25, we look forward to seeing you there!


Join us at Learning Technologies Exhibition for a great seminar titled: “Harnessing the power of emerging technologies to bridge the ‘Learning – Doing’ Gap – AR, VR and more!

When: 14th February 2019 – 12.30pm

Where: Theatre 10 – Learning Technologies at the Excel London

Who: Sambit Mohapatra, Founder & Director, SiyonaTech

Bridging the ‘Learning-Doing’ gap has always been a challenge for organisations – often there is a time gap between training initiatives and the application, or a disconnect between the training environment and the real world. Traditional methods to overcome this gap have been through printed job-aids or manuals. With technology/devices becoming ubiquitous and less expensive, it’s become much easier to design performance support and refresher learning at the point-of-performance.

In this session SiyonaTech will showcase a few award-winning examples of effective point-of-performance solutions:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) based support on the operation, repair maintenance of Dell laptops
  • Augmented Reality (AR) based SmartGlasses support for Food Safety inspections
  • SmartPhone based intelligent support for Air Traffic Operators Cabin Fire refresher in Virtual Reality (VR)
  • ChatBots for Diabetes awareness.

About Sambit

Sambit is a technology-based learning pioneer, with experience from the early days of floppy-delivered CBTs to the current era of immersive technologies including Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), wearables and SmartGlasses.

His previous leadership roles include UK & European Head for Tata Interactive Systems and NIIT Element K, where he successfully supported a wide range of global organizations to implement learning technology.

Sambit’s passion is in enabling high performance through the creative use of technology and design.

With a multi-dimensional approach to solving business challenges, Sambit has always focussed on how to bridge and minimise the learning-doing gap effectively. His company SiyonaTech combines this passion with the organisational values of ‘happiness and grace’ to deliver award-winning, cutting-edge solutions with a great customer experience.


Whilst you’re at Learning Technologies, drop by our stand and say ‘hi’ to find out more about our solutions and try out some of our immersive training experiences for yourself! You’ll find us on stand N25, we look forward to seeing you there!


On the 23rd January 14 Diploma in Travel and Tourism, Level 3 students became the first Reading College class to successfully complete the Siyona Tech VR Cabin Fire-Fighting programme and earn their Achievement Certificates.

College Lecturer, Christina Elkins, described the day as a: ‘fantastic learning experience’!

Big thanks to Cheri Ashby, Group Executive Director at Activate Learning & Head of City of Oxford Campus, for presenting the Virtual Reality Aircraft Cabin Fire-Fighting Programme achievement certificates to successful students last month.