The Effects of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality as Training Enhancement Methods: A Meta-Analysis

by | Dec 15, 2020

Objective: The objective of this meta-analysis is to explore the presently available, empirical findings on transfer of training from virtual (VR), augmented (AR), and mixed reality (MR) and determine whether such extended reality (XR)-based training is as effective as traditional training methods.

Background: MR, VR, and AR have already been used as training tools in a variety of domains. However, the question of whether or not these manipulations are effective for training has not been quantitatively and conclusively answered. Evidence shows that, while extended realities can often be time-saving and cost-saving training mechanisms, their efficacy as training tools has been debated.

Method: The current body of literature was examined and all qualifying articles pertaining to transfer of training from MR, VR, and AR were included in the meta-analysis. Effect sizes were calculated to determine the effects that XR-based factors, trainee-based factors, and task-based factors had on performance measures after XR-based training.

Results: Results showed that training in XR does not express a different outcome than training in a nonsimulated, control environment. It is equally effective at enhancing performance.

Conclusion: Across numerous studies in multiple fields, extended realities are as effective of a training mechanism as the commonly accepted methods. The value of XR then lies in providing training in circumstances, which exclude traditional methods, such as situations when danger or cost may make traditional training impossible.


●   Performance after training in VR/AR is generally comparable to performance after training in a traditional setting.

●    The population being trained, and task being trained upon, can affect whether VR/AR is an effective medium for training.

●    The field of research is too disparate to determine precisely which factors contribute to better training transfer from VR/AR.

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