Image courtesy of Chris Stacey
Image courtesy of Chris Stacey

EXPERTise 2.0

What does a doctor learn from someone’s skin colour, oxygen saturation and breathing? If a cricket bowler grips the ball in a certain way, what kind of delivery will they bowl? These questions require expert answers and Macquarie’s Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise and Training investigates how that expertise is formed and whether it can be assessed.

Expertise is more than the simple accumulation of experience. The quality of that experience is also important. Researchers at Macquarie have shown differences in performance correspond to differences in how cues are perceived, and their research has shown that improved performance relies upon the use of task-related cues.

Over the past six years, a team of researchers have developed a diagnostic tool to assess cue utilisation across a number of areas. The system is called EXPTERise 2.0 and has been successfully trialled and implemented in Paediatrics, Aneasthetics, Transmission Network Service Power control, Software Engineering, Aviation,  and Train Control. The software tool assesses the user’s ability to interact with task-related cues and form diagnoses.

There are five key elements that comprise the EXPERTise 2.0 assessment: cue identification, cue recognition, cue association, cue discrimination, and cue prioritisation. EXPERTise 2.0 can benchmark someone’s performance against these elements. This allows targeted interventions to improve performance.

“Our goal with EXPERTise 2.0 is to give skilled practitioners an understanding of how their diagnostic expertise compares to others with similar backgrounds and experience. Ultimately, it will mean that we can focus on the individual needs of practitioners, thereby improving diagnostic performance across a wide range of environments from medicine to power system control” said Professor Mark Wiggins.

With EXPERTise 2.0 it, also becomes possible to forecast the impact of changes on diagnostic skills due to advances in technology, and then to design targeted training and decision-support interventions where necessary to ensure that the risks to the public are minimised to the greatest extent possible.