Development, use and usability of TRACEr-RAV (Technique for Retrospective Analysis of Cognitive Errors for Rail, Australian Version

Carlo Caponecchia*, Melissa T. Baysari, Andrew S. McIntosh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The current study is part of a wider project examining the development of a version of TRACER-Rail (developed by the RSSB) for theAustralian rail context.As part of a wider project examining the reliability of error classification tools in rail, the current study examined the usability of the newly developedTRACER-RAV (Technique for the Retrospective Analysis of Cognitive Errors- for Rail, Australian Version). An earlier workshop study with railexperienced personnel found that despite changes to the tool that were intended to makeTRACER-RAV more user-friendly, and more comprehensive than TRACEr-Rail, it was rated as no more useable and proved to be no more reliable than the previous version of the tool. The lack of improvement in usability of TRACEr-RAV may have been observed because of the between subjects design adopted. Participants were given either TRACER-RAV or TRACER-Rail, and so were unable to reflect differences in usability of the tools because they only saw one version. Following further improvements to TRACER-RAV, the current study aimed to assess the usability of TRACER-RAV using a within subjects design. A sample of postgraduate students each completed two sessions of error classification - one with TRACER-Rail and the other with TRACER-RAV. Sessions were conducted in counterbalanced order. Following training with a tool, participants identified and classified errors from the executive summaries of 3 Australian rail incident reports. In the second session, they were trained to use the other tool, and classified errors from 3 new incident reports. Participants rated the usability of each tool at the end of the session by completing a questionnaire. Overall, TRACEr-RAV resulted in better usability ratings than TRACEr-rail, specifically in relation to the ease of understanding of instructions, ease of use of the recording form, and perceived independence of classification categories. TRACEr-RAV thus appears to be a more usable version of the tool, which should in turn reflect on the quality of classifications made.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRail human factors around the world
Subtitle of host publicationimpacts on and of people for successful rail operations
EditorsJohn R. Wilson, Ann Mills, Theresa Clarke, Jane Rajan, Nastaran Dadashi
Place of PublicationBoca Raton, Fl
PublisherCRC Press/Balkema
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978020307921
ISBN (Print)9780415644754
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd International Conference on Rail Human Factors - Lille, France
Duration: 3 Mar 20095 Mar 2009


Other3rd International Conference on Rail Human Factors

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