Looking for quantitive data on the effectiveness of immersive learning / training methods vs traditional classroom/CBT methods.

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Looking for quantitive data on the effectiveness of immersive learning / training methods vs traditional classroom/CBT methods.

Hi there! Thank you for your request to look for quantitative data on the effectiveness of immersive learning and virtual training methods compared to traditional classroom-based methods. The short version is that I have found a range of statistics on the effectiveness of immersive learning and virtual reality training. See a deep dive of my findings below.

To complete this request, I first searched through industry reports, white papers, academic literature and trusted media sites for quantitative data from research studies. I found that there is much literature researching virtual reality but studies evaluating its impact or effectiveness are more limited. This is particularly relevant for the mining industry. When I broadened my search to include other industries such as military, aviation, medical and health, I found that the majority of studies that evaluated the effectiveness of immersive learning and virtual reality training were qualitative. There is also a tendency in the literature to evidence the effectiveness of immersive learning by providing theoretical underpinnings rather than measurable quantitative data.

It does seem, though, that the current state of research is focused on developing measuring tools to investigate training effectiveness and address this gap in the research. For example, the Department of Defense's recent solicitation for a proposal to develop a methodology and tools to investigate the training effectiveness, comparable utility, and return on investment of an augmented reality solution for aviation training, implies that this data may be a focus of current research efforts.

Nevertheless, I have still been able to compile a list of statements and statistics that can be used to reflect the effectiveness of immersive learning and virtual reality in training. The data that I found comes from a range of industries including mining, manufacturing, surgical, aviation, and higher education.

I have organized my findings into a short introduction paragraph followed by ten bullet points, one for each study found. Each bullet point heading summarizes the most relevant key takeaway statistic from the research study.

Before we dive in, I wanted to draw attention to one article that highlighted the effectiveness of virtual reality in mining, noting that its value flowed from its ability to re-create an immersive and authentic experience for training that ordinarily could not be re-created in a classroom setting. Virtual reality can "slow down a blast sequence to one-millionth of the real-time speed, which is almost impossible in real-time blasts, as there is too much dust and debris to see clearly what happens during and after the blast.” But now let's look at the hard data.

1. Training in virtual reality environments can increase competencies 17%-21%.

One study involving 60 people measured the effectiveness of using virtual environments to train employees in car service maintenance procedures. The study found that participants who trained in a 3D environment remembered the correct order of procedural steps significantly better than trainees who watched video explanation twice. When testing for acquired competencies the groups that completed immersive virtual reality training scored 17%-21% higher than the group that received only video instruction.

2. 84% of participants in a mining industry study preferred virtual reality training compared to traditional training.

This study in the mining industry involved the use of semi-immersive desktop virtual reality, not immersive technologies such as cyber gloves or head-mounted displays. However, the study was valuable for evaluating user satisfaction of 221 participants after completion of desktop virtual reality training. A post-training survey found that:
-84% of participants agreed that they preferred virtual reality training to other types of training.
-93% found the system easy to use and understand.
-95% indicated that using the prototype was enjoyable .

Three months later, follow-up interviews with 23 randomly selected employees were also conducted, finding that 100% of interviewees agreed that the training assisted them in working more safely in the real world.

3. Physically engaging in a learning process can increase performance by 7%.

Another study conducted by the University of Chicago with college physics students showed that physically engaging in a learning process can help to improve performance. One group of participants, the 'action group,' who participated in an immersive training exercise that mimicked the real-world environment outperformed the observation group that didn't receive the same training. In a follow-up quiz, the action group scored grades about 7% higher than the observation group. Demonstrating that reading about a concept in a textbook or seeing an in-class demonstration was not as effective as physically experiencing what you are learning.

4. Virtual reality training can increase learning effectiveness by 76%.

Psychologists did a study with 160 students from Stanford University and Technical University in Denmark on gamified education in immersive 3D virtual environments. Students were broken into two groups, one group completed virtual simulations, and the other group completed traditional methods of learning. The learning impact was measured through pre and post-training tests which discovered a 76% increase in the learning effectiveness when using virtual training over traditional teaching methods. The study also explored the impact of the teacher and found that combining teachers and virtual methods resulted in a 101% increase in learning effectiveness, which doubled the teacher's impact for the same investment of time. Please note: this study is affiliated with the founder of Labster, the immersive 3D virtual laboratory investigated in this study.

5. 71% of Neurosurgeons agreed that virtual reality systems could help determine the safest approach in operations.

An immersive touch augmented virtual reality system learning tool for training neurosurgeons was evaluated to assess learning retention. No quantitative statistics were available for learning retention but from the seventeen neurosurgeons that participated, 64 % perceived it as a useful learning tool, and 71 % thought the simulator could help to determine the safest approach in a surgery.

6. Snowplow virtual reality training simulations improved fuel efficiency by 6.2%.
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) conducted a study to test the effectiveness of snowplow simulator training for operators. The simulator was motion-based with a fully operational truck cab and LCD projection imaging on three screens to create a 180-degree field of vision. Audio and vibration systems helped to create a real-world driving experience. Fuel and maintenance costs were compared for the control and experimental groups. The group that completed simulation training showed a 6.2% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the control group.

7. Workers receiving virtual reality training can produce over 4 times as fast.

A study exploring the effectiveness of virtual and augmented reality training for manual assembly tasks, such as assembling water pumps, used 25 students with engineering backgrounds. Participants that received training in a virtual environment averaged a completion time of approximately 45 seconds. In contrast, participants that received conventional training averaged a completion time of approximately 4 minutes (3min and 15sec more).

8. Assembly workers training with Augmented Reality systems scored almost 10% higher for task comprehension than workers receiving manual training.

A study involving 64 participants assembling turbine engine vane-type oil pumps included a group that received Augmented Reality (AR) training and a control group that was provided freeze frame photos. After training, they were assessed for their comprehension of the device on a scale of 0-100. The group receiving AR training scored on average about 80, and the control group 71. Workers who received AR system training were able to absorb more information initially than the control group. A follow-up test administered a week later showed they were also able to retain more information. This supported the study hypothesis that multi-sensory interaction while training helps information retention compared to conventional training with video or paper manuals.

9. Slow assembly workers receiving virtual reality training showed a 70% improvement in performance compared to co-workers that received real-world, face-to-face training.

Another study on manual assembly tasks evaluated the training efficiency of two virtual reality environments, (head-mounted display and desktop personal computer) against real-world training. Results indicated that slow builders using the head-mounted display demonstrated a 50% improvement on average, compared to their co-workers that trained with the desktop PC. This improvement increased to 70% when compared to co-workers that received real-world training.

10. Trainees participating in a computer-based simulation have shown up to 20% higher levels of self-belief in their ability to perform compared to non-participants.

An inquiry into the effectiveness of computer-based simulation games to instruct trainees found that compared to a control group:
-participant self-efficacy was 20% higher
-self-declared knowledge was 11% higher
-procedural knowledge was 14% higher
-retention was 9% higher


To wrap it up, I have provided some quantitative data on the effectiveness of immersive learning and virtual reality training in several industries including, mining, manufacturing, aviation, surgical, and higher education.

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