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An Assessment of Individuals’ Systems Thinking Skills via Immersive Virtual Reality Complex System Scenarios

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Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 39762, USA
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Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University, 1601 E. Market Street, 402 McNair Hall Room 405, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
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Institute for Systems Engineering Research, Mississippi State University, ISER, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180, USA
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Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension, Mississippi State University, 1 Research Blvd. Suite 200, Starkville, MS 39759, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Derek Cabrera and Ricardo Valerdi
Received: 17 March 2021 / Revised: 28 May 2021 / Accepted: 31 May 2021 / Published: 7 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Complex Systems)
This study utilized the application of authentic Virtual Reality (VR) to replicate the real-world complex system scenarios of a large retail supply chain. The proposed VR scenarios were developed based on an established systems thinking instrument that consists of seven dimensions: level of complexity, independence, interaction, change, uncertainty, systems’ worldview, and flexibility. However, in this study, we only developed the VR scenarios for the first dimension, level of complexity, to assess an individual’s Systems Thinking Skills (STS) when he or she engages in a turbulent virtual environment. The main objective of this study was to compare a student’s STS when using traditional ST instruments versus VR scenarios for the complexity dimension. The secondary aim was to investigate the efficacy of VR scenarios utilizing three measurements: Simulation Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ), System Usability Scale (SUS), and Presence Questionnaire (PQ). In addition to the three measures, NASA TLX assessment was also performed to assess the perceived workload with regards to performing the tasks in VR scenarios. The results show students’ preferences in the VR scenarios are not significantly different from their responses obtained using the traditional systems skills instrument. The efficacy measures confirmed that the developed VR scenarios are user friendly and lie in an acceptable region for users. Finally, the overall NASA TLX score suggests that users require 36% perceived work effort to perform the activities in VR scenarios. View Full-Text
Keywords: systems thinking skills; complex system problems; level of complexity; virtual reality; supply chain systems thinking skills; complex system problems; level of complexity; virtual reality; supply chain
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dayarathna, V.L.; Karam, S.; Jaradat, R.; Hamilton, M.A.; Jones, P.; Wall, E.S.; El Amrani, S.; Ibne Hossain, N.U.; Elakramine, F. An Assessment of Individuals’ Systems Thinking Skills via Immersive Virtual Reality Complex System Scenarios. Systems 2021, 9, 40. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems9020040

AMA Style

Dayarathna VL, Karam S, Jaradat R, Hamilton MA, Jones P, Wall ES, El Amrani S, Ibne Hossain NU, Elakramine F. An Assessment of Individuals’ Systems Thinking Skills via Immersive Virtual Reality Complex System Scenarios. Systems. 2021; 9(2):40. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems9020040

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dayarathna, Vidanelage L., Sofia Karam, Raed Jaradat, Michael A. Hamilton, Parker Jones, Emily S. Wall, Safae El Amrani, Niamat U. Ibne Hossain, and Fatine Elakramine. 2021. "An Assessment of Individuals’ Systems Thinking Skills via Immersive Virtual Reality Complex System Scenarios" Systems 9, no. 2: 40. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems9020040

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