Purdue University Graduate School
Levi_Erickson_Masters_Thesis.pdf (62.16 MB)

Applied Virtual Reality Training for Scalable Skill Acquisition in Hand Tool Focused Trades

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posted on 2023-04-22, 05:01 authored by Levi Andrew EricksonLevi Andrew Erickson

 Skilled trades are in demand across many industries and many countries. Skilled trades refer to occupations that require training and proficiency in a specialized field, such as weld?ing, carpentry, or mechanics. The challenge is upskilling workers to become suited for these positions. One way training might be made more accessible is through low cost VR applica?tions as they can provide a ’learn by doing’ modality that is effective for learning motor skills, and also engaging for providing a holistic training experience. In this thesis, design guide?lines and a methodology for creating training programs that target hand tool based skills are laid out, tested, and refined for future usage. Working with content experts, a learning plan was developed via the backward design methodology, evaluated in a user study, and then applied to a second use case. The results of the user study showed that those who trained with VR were able to perform the prescribed task more quickly and with less mistakes. The implication of the second use case is that the established guidelines are versatile enough to be applied to other industries and simple enough to adapt industry specific knowledge to. The hope is that this work can help bridge the gap between the theoretical possibilities of VR training, effective training methodology, and real world application. 


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Karthik Ramani

Additional Committee Member 2

Jitesh H. Panchal

Additional Committee Member 3

Tom Redick