CRAM It! A Comparison of Virtual, Live-Action and Written Training Systems for Preparing Personnel to Work in Hazardous Environments
In this paper we investigate the utility of an interactive, desktop-based virtual reality (VR) system for training personnel in hazardous working environments. Employing a novel software model, CRAM (Course Resource with Active Materials), we asked participants to learn a specific aircraft maintenance task. The evaluation sought to identify the type of familiarization training that would be most useful prior to hands on training, as well as after, as skill maintenance. We found that participants develop an increased awareness of hazards when training with stimulating technology - in particular (1) interactive, virtual simulations and (2) videos of an instructor demonstrating a task - versus simply studying (3) a set of written instructions. The results also indicate participants desire to train with these technologies over the standard written instructions. Finally, demographic data collected during the evaluation elucidates future directions for VR systems to develop a more robust and stimulating hazard training environment.