Empirical evidence, evaluation criteria and challenges for the effectiveness of virtual and mixed reality tools for training operators of car service maintenance
Borsci, Simone and Lawson, Glyn and Broome, Simon (2015) Empirical evidence, evaluation criteria and challenges for the effectiveness of virtual and mixed reality tools for training operators of car service maintenance. Computers in Industry, 67 . pp. 17-26. ISSN 0166-3615
The debate on effectiveness of virtual and mixed reality (VR/MR) tools for training professionals and operators is long-running with prominent contributions arguing that there are several shortfalls of experimental approaches and assessment criteria reported within the literature. In the automotive context, although car-makers were pioneers in the use of VR/MR tools for supporting designers, researchers started only recently to explore the effectiveness of VR/MR systems as mean for driving external operators of service centres to acquire the procedural skills necessary for car maintenance processes. In fact, from 463 journal articles on VR/MR tools for training published in the last thirty years, we identified only eight articles in which researchers experimentally tested the effectiveness of VR/MR tools for training service operators’ skills. To survey the current findings and the deficiencies of these eight studies, we use two main drivers: i) a well-known framework of organizational training programmes, and ii) a list of eleven evaluation criteria widely applied by researchers of different fields for assessing the effectiveness of training carried out with VR/MR systems. The analysis that we present allows us to: i) identify a trend among automotive researchers of focusing their analysis only on car service operators’ performance in terms of time and errors, by leaving unexplored important pre- and post-training aspects that could affect the effectiveness of VR/MR tools to deliver training contents – e.g., people skills, previous experience, cibersickness, presence and engagement, usability and satisfaction and ii) outline the future challenges for designing and assessing VR/MR tools for training car service operators.
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