Reducing Beginning Welders’ Anxiety by Integrating Virtual Reality Simulations

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Date
2014-09-01
Authors
Byrd, A. Preston
Stone, Richard
Anderson, Ryan
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Abstract

This study examined the use of virtual reality to reduce the anxiety of individuals in a welding training program. Byrd and Anderson (2012) posited that with the need for welders finding a more efficient way of training has become a necessity. With the multiple safety concerns related to the welding profession numerous triggers of anxiety are present. This study utilized the VRTEX® 360 virtual reality welding simulator to examine if virtual reality could reduce anxiety in welders. Several training programs were utilized that integrated the virtual reality welding simulator. Researchers recorded anxiety related measures by utilizing a BioHarness® data logger system. Live readings were recorded via the BioHarness® and a laptop. The measures that were collected related to anxiety included heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature, and pulse. Participants were also video recorded during the completion of test welds to help aid in identifying triggers of anxiety during the welding process. It can be concluded that all participants experienced anxiety during the completion of test welds and it affected the ability to produce a passing weldment. This implies that if industry can reduce the amount of anxiety trainees would experience it may lead to a higher percentage of welding certifications.

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This is a conference proceeding from the Western Region American Association for Agricultural Education Conference (2014): 163. Posted with permission.

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