May 6, 2019

Mixed Reality training method: performance benefits for routine vehicle maintenance tasks

Mixed Reality (MR), as a training medium, has been trialled as a method to train New Zealand Army automotive technician apprentices in routine vehicle maintenance tasks. It is important to understand how this might impact the task performance of apprentices. This paper investigates the topic and addresses the research question: How does a MR training method influence productivity and quality of a routine vehicle maintenance task conducted on military vehicles? To address this topic, a pilot study was conducted that compares the performance of eight automotive technician apprentices who were tasked with conducting a routine vehicle maintenance task using the extant or current training method, and MR training method. Apprentices completed pre-training and post-training surveys to provide their perceptions of the experience. The results showed that there is no significant difference between the extant and MR training methods with regards to apprentice’s task performance times. However, the MR training method led to fewer errors during the training task. Additionally, participants agreed that MR is easy to use, but would not replace the need to have a qualified instructor on hand.  While the small sample size limits the extent to which these finding can be generalised, the contribution of this work is in demonstrating, as a proof of concept, that MR training methods can be a viable option for training routine vehicle maintenance tasks and that it can offer advantages that are not currently observed through the use of the extant training method.

Read this report [PDF: 637 KB, 27 pgs]