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How Much Practice Is Required to Reduce Performance Variability in a Virtual Reality Mining Simulator?

School of Human Kinetics, Laurentian University, Sudbury ON P3E 2C6, Canada
School of Mathematics and Computer Science, Laurentian University, Sudbury ON P3E 2C6, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Safety 2019, 5(2), 18;
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 1 April 2019 / Published: 13 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mine Safety)
PDF [1857 KB, uploaded 13 April 2019]


Virtual reality allows researchers to explore training scenarios that are not feasible or are potentially risky to recreate in the real world. The aim of this research was to examine whether using a tutorial session prior to using the mining simulator could adequately reduce the performance variability and increase the consistency of participant performance metrics. Eighteen participants were randomly assigned to a tutorial or a non-tutorial group. The tutorial group completed a five-minute tutorial that introduced them to the basics of the machine and virtual reality environment. All participants then completed five sessions in the simulator lasting five minutes each. Personality scores were recorded and participants answered questions to test their situational awareness after each session. Performance metrics such as number of collisions and perception response time were recorded by the simulator. A Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to determine at what point a significant difference in performance metrics was apparent across the five sessions. A mixed effects multilevel regression was done to evaluate the change in variability across time. There were no significant correlations between the personality questionnaire scores and the number of collisions or the perception response time. Both groups demonstrated high standard deviation scores for collisions and perception response time, but the tutorial group had decreasing variability across time. Both groups began to exhibit more consistent scores in the simulator after 10 min of use. Situational awareness questions require some refinement prior to further testing. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual reality; mining; simulator; situational awareness; performance metrics virtual reality; mining; simulator; situational awareness; performance metrics

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Nickel, C.; Knight, C.; Langille, A.; Godwin, A. How Much Practice Is Required to Reduce Performance Variability in a Virtual Reality Mining Simulator? Safety 2019, 5, 18.

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