Comparative study of three training methods for enhancing process control performance: Emphasis shift training, situation awareness training, and drill and practice.
Compared the effectiveness of 3 different methods for training attention management strategies in process control operators. 48 college students from technical fields of study (mean age 27.7 years) participated participated in a session of either emphasis shift training (EST), situation awareness (SA) training combined with EST, or drill and practice (D&P) training in a simulated process control environment. Directly after training, they rated their reaction to it in the 5 dimensions mental effort, anxiety, fatigue, motivation, and self-efficacy. Cognitive ability (Wonderlic Personnel Test, WPT), cognitive flexibility (Cognitive Flexibility Inventory, CFI), conscientiousness (Big-Five Mini-Markers), and pretraining motivation were assessed as control variables. In 3 subsequent testing sessions over a span of 6 weeks after the training, participants were presented with both familiar and unfamiliar fault types and their situation awareness, system control performance, and diagnostic performance were assessed. Moreover, they completed 2 knowledge tests. Results show that D&P improved diagnostic performance for familiar system faults and the combined EST/SA training led to improved diagnostic performance for unfamiliar faults. Overall, EST and EST/SA did not support system control performance as strongly as expected. Possible explanations are discussed. It is concluded that drill and practice is a promising method for training novices in successfully diagnosing familiar system fault types.
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