Task type matters: The impact of virtual reality training on training performance

Meehyun Yoon, Koun Choi, Seonghye Yoon, Il Hyun Jo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Virtual reality (VR) is becoming increasingly accessible and being utilized in various organizations to meet education and training needs. Despite its potential, research regarding VR applications has focused on measuring the effectiveness of VR programs relative to non-VR programs; consequently, the ways in which VR programs are effective remain unclear. Objectives: Recognizing this research gap, this study examined whether task type-dependent differences in training outcomes exist between VR training and non-VR training groups. Methods: To examine the effects of VR technology for training purposes in a military setting, we conducted a quasi-experiment focusing on how the effects vary based on task characteristics. A total of 90 military personnel were randomly assigned to either an experimental group (VR) or a control group (non-VR). After completing their respective training, the two groups participated in four tasks simulating real battle scenarios and designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the VR-based training. We analysed primary data collected through survey instruments and performance evaluation using a one-way between-group analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and supplementary interview data using thematic analysis. Results and Conclusions: The quantitative analysis showed that the VR group performed better than the control group on three tasks in which communication, interaction and immediate situational judgements were critical. No difference was found between the two groups in the other task, which involved the routine operation of physical objects. Additional interview data revealed the extent to which trainees perceived the VR training as effective in understanding in-situ conditions, preparing and practising their own and their team's reactions to emergent situations and in manipulating virtual objects. Implications: Our findings provide insight into VR technology's potential to enhance human performance in various training contexts. VR is specifically effective in training that aim to improve immediate judgement and group coordination. Our findings provide useful information for those seeking to design and develop training environments that maximize the effects of VR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-218
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024

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© 2023 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • quasi-experiment
  • task interdependence
  • task uncertainty
  • virtual reality
  • virtual training


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