In response to the industrial world becoming more complex and the recent social distancing caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, emerging technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) are gaining importance for industrial training. The novelty, however, does not lie in the sole use of VR-based technology but rather in its adaptive and flexible nature. This paper explores the synergy between VR environments and adaptive-based learning and tests the proposed approach in the railway sector. An iterative co-design approach is adopted to develop a VR-based training system for educating train conductors. The developed system is validated with ten conductors, where their learning preference, learning outcome, and learning performance were assessed. The results show an increase in individual motivation and perceived usefulness for the developed VR-based training system, demonstrating a higher learning preference, in comparison to the currently used physical simulator. Similarly, the results outline a knowledge gain in two out of six key knowledge subjects for conductor education and indicate that time improvements per exercise are needed to meet organizational performance goals. Consequently, this research presents an attractive alternative to costly and product-specific physical simulators and offers three strategic managerial implications opening new opportunities for using VR in developing learning training programmes.
- Adaptive learning
- Virtual reality