Instructional Methods For Optimal Learning For An Aerospace Assembly Task: digital animation v pictogram-based instructions

Miriam Dorrian, Joseph Butterfield, Kezia Stewart, Caroline Whyatt, Jonathan Cole, Caroline Brown, Brian Welch, Robert Burke

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Previous studies on work instruction delivery for complex assembly tasks have shown that the mode and delivery method for the instructions in an engineering context can influence both build time and product quality. The benefits of digital, animated instructional formats when compared to static pictures and text only formats have already been demonstrated. Although pictograms have found applications for relatively straight forward operations and activities, their applicability to relatively complex assembly tasks has yet to be demonstrated. This study compares animated instructions and pictograms for the assembly of an aircraft panel. Based around a series of build experiments, the work records build time as well as the number of media references to measure and compare build efficiency. The number of build errors and the time required to correct them is also recorded. The experiments included five participants completing five builds over five consecutive days for each media type. Results showed that on average the total build time was 13.1% lower for the group using animated instructions. The benefit of animated instructions on build time was most prominent in the first three builds, by build four this benefit had disappeared. There were a similar number of instructional references for the two groups over the five builds but the pictogram users required a lot more references during build 1. There were more errors among the group using pictograms requiring more time for corrections during the build.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2014


  • Assembly instructions, Aerospace, Animation


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