Turku University of Applied Sciences develops a certification platform for virtual training – "VR training is safe and efficient"
The Covid-19 -pandemic taught us that there is a strong demand for digital education now and in the future. Turku University of Applied Sciences project develops a certification platform for virtual training.
In the Virtual Training Certification (VTC) project , Turku University of Applied Sciences is investigating how virtual training environments can be integrated into traditional safety and qualification training. The aim is to create a certification platform where the professional's competence is verified based on both artificial intelligence and trainer feedback. The platform would guarantee that qualification training built with VR or AR technology, for example, would be as good as training done using the traditional method.
"Now we are testing what is the most effective or practical way to provide training in the first place. For example, we test the best ways and platforms for teaching theory and practical things, after which we combine the most functional entities into a single entity", explains Werner Ravyse, a senior effectiveness researcher at Turku University of Applied Sciences.
For example, there are plans to convert the current safety card and qualification training so that they could be carried out partly or even fully using virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR). Safety card and qualification training in Finland is provided by one of the partners of the VTC project, Kiwa Inspecta Oy. Currently, for example, approximately 200,000 people attend general occupational safety training in Finland every year.
"In our project, we want to show that VR training is safe and effective, and that it has good transfer effects on activities in a real environment. For example, things related to occupational safety could easily be learned with AR", says Timo Haavisto, Senior Specialist and Project Manager at Turku University of Applied Sciences.
Another long-term goal is to develop a new virtual training method to facilitate the harmonisation of safety training for port personnel internationally.
Long experience in utilizing the metaverse
Turku University of Applied Sciences has been developing virtual training applications for a long time. The VTC project will also test the possibilities offered by a multi-user environment, such as training for several users simultaneously and training independent of the physical location of the trainer and trainee: this would allow participants to practice the necessary work skills together in a safe environment that reflects reality. Also the trainer could participate.
"With VR technology, it is already possible to virtually complete a forklift driving licence. All you need to take the exam is a computer, an app, VR glasses and controllers", explains Mika Luimula, Principal Lecturer and Research Officer at Turku University of Applied Sciences.
In addition, the project studies the effectiveness of the certification platform. The aim is to show that virtual training improves skills and is more effective.
The VTC project involves the University of Turku, ADE Oy, TTS Työtehoseura ry, Kiwa Inspecta Oy, Omnia Education Partnerships Oy , Desigence Oy and Meyer Turku Oy. The total funding of the project is almost three million euros. The project will end in May 2024.