Transfer of training—Virtual reality training with augmented multisensory cues improves user experience during training and task performance in the real world

Natalia Cooper, Ferdinando Millela, Iain Cant, Mark D. White, Georg Meyer, Christopher R. Fetsch
2021 PLoS ONE  
Virtual reality (VR) can create safe, cost-effective, and engaging learning environments. It is commonly assumed that improvements in simulation fidelity lead to better learning outcomes. Some aspects of real environments, for example vestibular or haptic cues, are difficult to recreate in VR, but VR offers a wealth of opportunities to provide additional sensory cues in arbitrary modalities that provide task relevant information. The aim of this study was to investigate whether these cues
more » ... e user experience and learning outcomes, and, specifically, whether learning using augmented sensory cues translates into performance improvements in real environments. Participants were randomly allocated into three matched groups: Group 1 (control) was asked to perform a real tyre change only. The remaining two groups were trained in VR before performance was evaluated on the same, real tyre change task. Group 2 was trained using a conventional VR system, while Group 3 was trained in VR with augmented, task relevant, multisensory cues. Objective performance, time to completion and error number, subjective ratings of presence, perceived workload, and discomfort were recorded. The results show that both VR training paradigms improved performance for the real task. Providing additional, task-relevant cues during VR training resulted in higher objective performance during the real task. We propose a novel method to quantify the relative performance gains between training paradigms that estimates the relative gain in terms of training time. Systematic differences in subjective ratings that show comparable workload ratings, higher presence ratings and lower discomfort ratings, mirroring objective performance measures, were also observed. These findings further support the use of augmented multisensory cues in VR environments as an efficient method to enhance performance, user experience and, critically, the transfer of training from virtual to real environment scenarios.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0248225 pmid:33760859 fatcat:qe6anoxihfekfb2bjfm6xrwm24