Wells, T., & Miller, G. (2020). The Effect of Virtual Reality Technology on Welding Skill Performance. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(1), 152-171. doi: 10.5032/jae.2020.01152
Simulator technologies such as virtual reality (VR) can serve as practical tools in the educational process. VR technology applications can be effectively used for weld process training. Weld process training can often be found in university-level agricultural education settings. We sought to determine if using a VR technology application within the context of a one-hour-long gas metal arc welding (GMAW) process training impacted welding skill performance as determined by certified welding inspectors (CWIs) who used a weld evaluation rubric based on American Welding Society (AWS) standards. One-hundred-and-one students from Iowa State University participated in our study. Participants were randomly placed into one of four protocol groups: (1) 100% live welding, (2) 100% VR welding, (3) 50% live welding / 50% VR welding, or (4) 50% VR welding / 50% live welding. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated there were no statistically significant differences (p > .05) in total weld scores between participants in the four training protocol groups. We recommend this study be replicated.