Training in the welding industry is a critical and often costly endeavor; this study examines the training potential, team learning, material consumption, and cost implications of using integrated virtual reality technology as a major part of welder training. In this study, 22 participants were trained using one of two separate methods (traditional training (TT) and virtual reality integrated training (VRI)). The results demonstrated that students trained using 50% virtual reality had training outcomes that surpassed those of traditionally trained students across four distinctive weld qualifications (2F, 1G, 3F, 3G). In addition, the VRI group demonstrated significantly higher levels of team interaction, which led to increased team-based learning. Lastly, the material cost impact of the VRI group was significantly less than that of the TT group even though both schools operated over a full two-week period.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/richard_stone/6/