University of Twente Student Theses


The Influence of Virtual Reality Maintenance Training on Spatial Awareness and Learning Comprehension

Belter, M. (2019) The Influence of Virtual Reality Maintenance Training on Spatial Awareness and Learning Comprehension.

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Abstract:This research took a closer look at the effectiveness of Virtual Reality in technical maintenance training on radar systems. For technical training of this kind good spatial awareness and system comprehension are essential key learning goals. This report investigated the effect of Virtual Reality on spatial awareness and system comprehension in defence maintenance training in comparison with traditional 2D classroom training using Power Point presentations and 2D computer programmes. An experiment was used to compare both conditions upon spatial awareness and system comprehension using performance, awareness state and confidence level measurements.The experiment was of exploratory nature generating quantitative, observational and qualitative data. Further, 17 participants were trained in Virtual Reality to remember 10 different system hardware item locations inside a radar system plus basic functionalities. As control, 15 participants were trained using traditional training means training the exact same 10 item locations. One week later all 32 participants were asked to take a memory-recall test on the actual system. Both trainings were created based on the concept of memory palaces. A memory palace is a technique making use of an environment as memory stimulator. Information are mapped spatially stressing the exposed individual to create a mental map of the obtained information in a certain environment. That map can later be recalled cognitively and can be highly efficient in spatial awareness training. Performance measures were used to determine the measurable and observable difference in test groups while the awareness state of the participants and the confidence Running Head: VR-spatial awareness and learning !3 level of recalled test objects were cognitive support measures to performance and of self- indicating nature. This study found an increased performance with reference to spatial awareness of the test group using Virtual Reality for training as well as an increased system comprehension ability of the same group in comparison with the group that was exposed to traditional training means. Ambiguous findings concerning confidence levels and awareness states in relation to recall performance could be identified in this research. In other words, the relation between ones confidence level or mental awareness state did not always show an actual effect on the ability to recall hardware items correctly, nor did it show an effect of the latter on system comprehension. However, overall Virtual Reality training led to higher awareness states and confidence levels across all individuals under the scope of this experiment. It can be concluded that Virtual Reality can be of help when training tasks require spatial awareness and system comprehension however what must be considered with that statement is the fact that the way Virtual Reality is used to train must be optimised and remains subject to further investigation. This research report is able to provide practical implications providing new insights in the usage of Virtual Reality in training and theoretical implications, adding to the existing literature about spatial awareness, confidence level and awareness state measures in relation to Virtual Reality. Moreover, this research provides additional information to literature about the effectiveness of virtually designed learning environments for spatial awareness training in the defence industry.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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