01.06.2016 - 30.11.2019
Ulrike Pfeil, Maximilian Dürr, Harald Reiterer
This collaborative project ERTRAG is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (see project information, FMER). The project executing agency is the VDI/VDE Innovation + Technology GmbH.
Against the background of demographic change, there is already a great need in the area of nursing and care for the elderly, which will increase further according to relevant prognoses. This developement comes along with a continiously increasing demand for nursing staff. Additionally, staff in nursing professions have a higher risk of developing musculoskeletal complaints, especially in the area of the back. Back-friendly work is often taught in block seminars by external lecturers, i.e. once or twice during the entire three-year nursing training course. The trainees either carry out exercises on each other or apply the techniques to be learned in so-called skill labs, which only a few nursing schools in Germany have so far. In addition to the correct performance of nursing activities, the aim is to identify unfavourable ergonomic postures of the trainees. Feedback on the adequate execution of the techniques is usually based on the observations of the instructor. Occasionally an evaluation of the exercise unit is carried out using video analysis, which is relatively time-consuming and does not allow feedback to the trainee during the exercise situation.
This is where the collaborative project comes into play by developing and evaluating a virtual technology-supported ergonomics trainer in nursing training (ERTRAG), which is intended to address the shortcomings in nursing training described and enable technology-supported, individually experienced learning. The trainees can have the ERTRAG system display the reference execution of any nursing activities, for example, the re-bedding of a person in need of care. If the trainee carries out this activity, the ERTRAG sensor system records their performance and compares it with the reference standard. The comparison between the reference execution and the execution of the learner will be integrated as a data basis into an interaction concept. This enables an individually tailored learning process based on current learning theories for the learner. The learner will receive immediate feedback from the ERTRAG system about the quality of his movement execution. They will also get a comprehensible, easy to implement instruction on how to modify his movement if necessary to work in an ergonomically optimal way. Multimodal interaction devices are to be used both for instructions and for situational feedback to make the learning process perceptible to the learner on several levels and to enable kinaesthetic learning through whole-body feedback.
Based on the fact that it is possible to record and evaluate a course of action, the following questions arise: What kind of guidance and feedback supports the user in the best possible way? How can the whole-body experience of learning movement sequences be integrated into the interaction concept? What are adequate learning theoretical basics and how can they be implemented in the best possible way using the latest interaction techniques? How can situational learning (instruction and feedback during or shortly after the execution of the movement) be technically supported? Which interaction modalities come into question? How can individual learning be implemented over a longer period of time (individual goals and learning progress)?
The ERTRAG system also offers the possibility of obtaining feedback by aggregating several executions and exercises over a longer period of time. This enables the learner to design their learning process, in which they can set their own learning goals. They receive individual feedback on their progress as well as suggestions for addressing their shortcomings.
A comprehensive and user-centered requirements analysis at the beginning of the project ensures that both the needs of teachers and learners form the basis for the interactive learning concept. The analysis also ensures that the ERTRAG system is tailored to the characteristics and tasks of its users. Furthermore, the development of the demonstrator is iterative and therefore includes regular evaluations of partial aspects of the system. The overall goal is to incorporate the characteristics, tasks, and objectives of the user. This happens throughout the entire development of the system to provide the user with the best possible learning experience.