Virtual reality (VR) has modernized the way that training has been done across multiple domains. Combining the benefits of using VR with the ability to measure workload levels from eye tracking data is a promising area of opportunity for all disciplines and jobs that require hands-on training. With VR becoming of increasing interest for optimizing training simulations and protocols for work around the world, this study aims to determine differential workload levels in virtual reality by using objective performance data in a simulation and subjectively assessing workload through the NASA-TLX survey. For this study, a 3x1 repeated measures ANOVA was conducted with one control, primary task only, and two experimental conditions, dual tasking with secondary auditory and visual tasks. 49 particpants were recruited from the local UCF area to study how varying task objectives impacted performance on target identifications, eye fixation counts, and their NASA-TLX survey scores. By doing so, we were able to compare primary task performances that were done concurrently with secondary tasks and measured task interference as a result of workload. Overall, we found that if a secondary task pulls from the same sensory modality (e.g.. visual, auditory) as the primary task, then primary task performance is not significantly impacted. This finding can help future training programs be designed in such a way so that the user is not overburdened and can adequately complete the required tasks. Another key takeaway from the study was that fixation counts may not be a reliable measure of workload as in the dual visual condition, the fixation counts were at the highest but that was not reflected in the workload assessment for the NASA TLX score.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Wisniewski, Pamela


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences





Access Status

Open Access

Release Date


Included in

Psychology Commons