Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

Ryan G. Anderson


The purpose of this research was to enhance the welding training programs in technical colleges, post-secondary institutions, and industry to prepare certified welders. This dissertation contains three papers: (1) a study describing the ability of dexterity to predict future performance in beginning welders, (2) a study identifying the ability of virtual reality welding simulation to reduce the amount of anxiety experienced by beginning welders when completing test welds, and (3) a descriptive study assessing the ability of virtual reality welding simulations to evaluate seasoned welders.

With a high demand for certified welders, training programs need efficient methods of preparing certified welders. It was concluded that all welding training participants experienced anxiety during test welds. In addition, the more a participant used the virtual reality welding simulator, the more the participant experienced anxiety during completion of test welds. This implies that a virtual reality integrated welding training program will reduce anxiety better than a 100% virtual reality training program.

The use of virtual reality welding simulations may lead to heightened interest in welding among members of the gaming generation, which could lead to influx of individuals wanting to become welders. With increased numbers of potential welding trainees also comes an increase in cost of training (Mavrikios, Karabatsou, Fragos, & Chryssolouris, 2006). This increase in training cost has led welding training programs to look for criteria by which to select trainees. Dexterity has been documented as a needed skill among certified welders (Giachino & Weeks, 1985). Using the Complete Minnesota Dexterity Test, dexterity could predict future performance for simple welds (2F - horizontal fillet weld and 1G - flat groove weld). This implies that training programs that prepare trainees to become certified in the 2F and 1G weld types can use dexterity as a criterion for selecting potential trainees.

Industry must also create a more efficient method of evaluating seasoned welders. The third article of the dissertation concluded that virtual reality welding simulations can distinguish between novice and seasoned welders. The conclusions from the three articles can be used to modify and improve welding training programs in technical colleges, four-year institutions, and industry to prepare certified welders.


Copyright Owner

Alex Preston Byrd



File Format


File Size

134 pages