Department of Management

Effectiveness of Virtual vs. Physical Training: The Case of Assembly Tasks, Trainer's Verbal Assistance and Task Complexity

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Virtual Immersive Training (VIT) systems based on gamification of tasks are increasingly employed to train assembly workers. In this paper, we present a study that compares the effectiveness of virtual and physical training for teaching a bimanual assembly task and in a novel approach, we introduce Task Complexity (TCXB) as an indicator of assembly errors during final assembly. In a between-subjects experiment, 100 participants were trained to assemble a 3D cube in one of four conditions (physical, virtual and with trainer's verbal assistance or not). The results demonstrate that the best-performing conditions, both in terms of successful assemblies and time performance, are the ones that the physical objects are included in the training, while no significant difference is found when the trainer's verbal assistance is present or absent during training. Additionally, we address the validity of a practical TCXB list as a tool for supporting the design of VIT systems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Computer Graphics and Applications
Pages (from-to)41-56
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • assembly, learning transfer, task complexity, training, virtual reality

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