Human Factors in Aviation and Artificial Systems: The Purdue Aviation Virtual Reality case study
Authors: Dimitrios Ziakkas, Abner Del Cid Flores, Michael W Suckow
Abstract: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, video conferencing has dramatically expanded as an alternative to traditional face-to-face classroom instruction. It is particularly challenging to replace practical classes with video education since they require theoretical and empirical competence. This research presents a method that uses virtual reality and metaverse techniques in the classroom as well as simulators to solve the limitations present in the current models of practical education delivered at a distance. There is a chance to use emerging hardware and software and integrate them to establish a new paradigm of training platforms and pedagogical methods. This can be accomplished through the utilization of existing resources and the creation of new ones. Traditional flight simulators are very different in their operational aspects from virtual reality (VR) due to VR's more reasonable cost, more accessibility, fewer space requirements, and sustainability. In addition, training with VR can improve a learner's cognition as well as their ability to acquire new skills, as well as their technical and psychomotor abilities, and their willingness to study (Fussel & Hight, 2021). The use of virtual reality (VR) in training could potentially improve the soft skills of aviation workers, according to empirical evidence (Haritos & Fussel, 2018; Oberhauser & Dreyer, 2017). For instance, the findings of Thomas et al. (2021) suggested that real-world aviation illusion VR scenarios might increase pilots' ability to prevent accidents originating from visual illusions when flight operations were being carried out. In undergraduate aviation education programs, innovative teaching methods that leverage VR technologies can increase student engagement and reduce the cost of traditional simulator training for each student. Although VR will not replace the use of traditional simulators in the near future, this does not mean that VR will never replace traditional simulators.We developed a simulated aircraft flight and maintenance environment at the Purdue Artificial Intelligence Lab (Purdue University - SATT) to verify the suggested strategy's efficacy. We then compared this environment to the video-based training system that was already in place. Assessments of the student's ability to acquire and retain information and attendance were carried out to determine whether or not the educational efforts were successful. The experiment findings show that the group that followed the advised technique fared significantly better on both knowledge tests than the group that watched the video training. The results of the presence questionnaire, which validated the participants' perception of physical presence, were used to establish how user-friendly the proposed system would be.
Keywords: virtual reality, presence, metaverse, education, remote education, technical training, artificial intelligence laboratory
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