Alpha testing is the first software testing phase carried out by developers or testers within the organization before the product is released to external users. It is an essential stage in the software development lifecycle where the software is tested for its functionality, usability, and overall performance.

During alpha testing, the software is tested in a controlled environment where developers can closely monitor the software’s behavior and make necessary changes to fix any issues that arise. The testers typically use test cases and scripts to simulate various scenarios and test the software’s functionality, reliability, and usability. The main objective of alpha testing is to identify any defects or bugs in the software and to ensure that it meets the expected requirements and standards. This phase is crucial because it helps to detect issues early on, which saves time and resources in the long run. Additionally, it provides an opportunity to collect feedback from internal testers and improve the overall user experience of the software.

After several months of development, the “Industry 4.0 Learning Factory for Mining Engineering and Geology in the Academe and Mining Industry Using Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Technologies,” also known as Mining Augmented and Virtual E-Learning Technologies (MARVEL Technologies) is now ready for alpha testing. The team recently conducted the alpha test at TMC in Claver, Surigao del Norte, on February 20, 2023. The primary purpose of this activity is to gather data, collect feedback, and obtain technical inputs from the mining engineers of TMC.

On February 20, 2023, the team departed from Caraga State University at 5:00 AM and arrived at Taganito Mining Corporation in Claver, Surigao del Norte, at 8:30 AM. Upon arrival, Agapito Cuadra Jr., CRM Specialist, welcomed the team and accompanied them to the clinic, where they underwent a temperature check and signed a health declaration form. Safety measures were taken seriously to ensure the well-being of everyone. After the necessary procedures, the team proceeded to the conference room in the administration building to set up equipment for the testing.

During the conference room meeting, Agapito Cuadra Jr. was joined by Nissi Aline Alvarez, IEC Officer of Taganito Mining Corporation, who welcomed the project team and introduced each other. Edsel Matt Morales, Project Staff of MARVEL Technologies, began the project presentation afterward. He then provided an overview of the project, the objectives, and the expected outcomes. Mr. Morales then handed over the presentation to Mr. Kent Espejon, Computer Programmer III, who discussed the basics of utilizing the VR Head gear. He explained the VR head gear console’s features and functionalities in preparation for the actual testing of AR and VR for Mining.

After the necessary preparation, the project team commenced the alpha testing of MARVEL Technologies by dividing it into two stations – the underground and the surface mining. Mr. Kent Espejon and Mr. Clifford Eco facilitated the surface and underground mining stations, respectively. As the testers used the VR headgear, they were required to sign a waiver due to the possible occurrence of dizziness and other discomforts.

Agapito Cuadra Jr. chose to experience the AR/VR for underground mines while Nissi Aline Alvarez was in the surface mines. After completing their respective station, the two were then exchanged. It took an hour for them to complete the virtual tour, and they found AR/VR for mining to be immersive and educational. The team monitored the performance of MARVEL Tech during the testing and made a note of any issues or bugs that needed to be addressed. Following the completion of the testing, the participants were asked to fill out an evaluation form which was divided into three parts: Demographic Profile, User Acceptance, and General Feedback. This evaluation tool will help the project team to gather important feedback and insights from the testers regarding the project’s user experience and its overall performance. After the completion of the testing, the team proceeded to take a lunch break.

In the afternoon session of the alpha testing activity, eight mining engineers from the planning department of Taganito Mining Corporation were invited to participate. There was an exchange of discussion between the project team and the mining engineers about the technicalities of the system, and the team took note of all the suggestions and feedback provided by the engineers. An evaluation form was also given to the mining engineers to gather their assessment and feedback about the system. The project team worked closely with the mining engineers to ensure that all technical inputs were considered and the system’s accuracy was guaranteed. This alpha testing activity was a crucial step in the development of MARVEL Technologies as it ensured that the system met the highest standards and was aligned with the mining engineers’ requirements.

Dr. Jaymer Jayoma, the leader of the MARVEL Technologies project, led the award ceremony and presented the certificate of appreciation to Mr. Agapito Cuadra Jr. on behalf of Taganito Mining Corporation to recognize their valuable support for the successful alpha testing of MARVEL Technologies. Afterward, all the participants from TMC and the MARVEL Tech team gathered for a photo opportunity. The one-day event was concluded with a brief speech from Dr. Jayoma. He expressed his gratitude to the participants for their involvement in the testing activity and his eagerness to establish more collaboration and partnership with TMC.