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The Effect of Task Fidelity on Learning Curves

Frank E Ritter
Penn State
Ashley McDermott
Charles River Analytics

What is the effect of level of simulation fidelity on learning and then on performance in the target task? We consider an example of a maintenance training system with two levels of fidelity: a high fidelity (HiFi) simulation that basically takes as much time as the real world task and a low fidelity (LoFi) system with minimal delays and many actions removed or reduced in fidelity and time. The LoFi simulation initially takes about one quarter of the time, and thus starts out getting about four times more practice trials in a given time period. The time to perform the task modifies the learning curves for each system. The LoFi curve has a lower intercept and a steeper slope. For a small number of practice trials, this makes a significant difference. For longer time periods, the differences between low and high fidelity get smaller. Learners that move from low to high appear to not be adversely affected. We note factors, such as subtasks included, that could influence this transfer, and how this approach could be extended.


we will be available in a zoom room (below) from 1-2 pm on Friday, 24 July to discuss the paper. you can also call or email us. If we don't pick up the phone, leave a message and we will call back. we can call internationally! cheers, Frank and Ashley

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