New study: Immersive solutions the most effective, enabling better knowledge acquisition and retention

Press & ResearchMay 26th, 2024

A new study has found immersive solutions in virtual reality (VR) safety training are the most effective, with new digital technologies enabling better knowledge acquisition and retention.

The study, “Virtual reality for safety training: A systematic literature review and meta-analysis” by D. Scorgie et al (2023), aimed to evaluate the application and effectiveness of VR in safety training. It conducted a systemic literature review of over 50 articles published between 2013 and 2021 on 14 domains where VR safety training has been applied, with construction and fire safety training being the most prevalent since 2018.

The most common learning outcomes:

  • Hazard recognition, safety actions, and equipment usage, were often combined with immediate feedback to enhance knowledge acquisition and self-efficacy.
  • Retention measurements were limited, meaning there needs to be a more comprehensive investigation of long-term training effects.
  • VR safety training outperformed traditional methods in terms of knowledge acquisition and knowledge retention, aligning with previous research findings in different domains.
  • Immersive solutions were shown to be more effective.

The study noted that traditionally, safety training has been disseminated through different methods, ranging from static safety manuals to passive videos and conventional lectures. However, these conventional approaches are marred by inherent pedagogical limitations as they are unable to effectively illustrate what a hazardous event looks like for trainees. They quote Pedram et al., 2017) who state: “In most cases, replicating extreme scenarios in the physical world would be impossible, given time, cost, and safety constraints”.

The authors believe their work brings new insights into how VR has been adopted for safety training and the extent to which it is more effective than traditional training methods.

The study also noted that the effectiveness of using immediate feedback has been investigated by Feng et al., (2023) and Burigat and Chittaro (2016) and “these studies suggest that providing immediate feedback is an effective way to deliver knowledge and improve self-efficacy in safety training” (D Scorgie et al., 2023).

It’s worth noting that the authors stated that less than half of the studies they assessed have conducted retention tests which were applied within less than four weeks after training, and future studies might consider assessing retention at multiple intervals over longer periods.

FLAIM continues to lead the way in fire safety training, offering immersive VR training and immediate feedback with its FLAIM Trainer and FLAIM Extinguisher solutions. If you’re looking at implementing a virtual immersive training solution in your organisation, organise a demonstration by contacting FLAIM: