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News The project story

Inspiring project meeting in Nottingham

Partners from all four countries participated in the project meeting. The aim was to bring all partners up to speed on each other’s cases and progress, as well as preparing for the final stretch of the project.

UoN’s Immersive Suite

University of Nottingham (UoN) has its own Immersive Suite on campus, which the project partners were allowed to visit. Michael Taylor, Kathrine Wittingham and lecturer Gill Langmack demonstrated how the technology works and how UoN used it in the training of nurses.

At the immersive suite, images or video is projected onto three walls, and allows students to interact with the content through hotspots, quizzes.

Michael Taylor demonstrates how the Immersive Suite can be used.

Michael Taylor has tested the 360ViSi Community Nursing Case in the Immersive Suite, and the project partners were allowed to try the technology with a quiz. See some examples in the video below.

360° images in Xerte

Fay Cross from University of Nottingham presented how the Xerte technology is used to create Reusable Learning Objects, and how 360 images can be applied to the system.

The Xerte Project aims to provide high quality free software to educators all over the world, and to build a global community of users and developers. The Xerte technology was developed at the University of Nottingham. Check it out here!

360 image with hotspots in Xerte.

Other topics covered on the first day were the implications of the EU web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) for the design of Reusable Learning Objects (RLO) and 360⁰ media cases specifically, and Design Thinking as a framework for RLO development.

Project meeting – Day 2

The second day of the transnational meeting started with focus on evaluation. Professor Heather Wharrad (UoN) introduced the evaluation requirements and toolkit for the project.

Each partner university gave an update on the development of and experiences from their respective cases, and presented their methods for collecting data – and preliminary student feedback from each case.

Project parter Screen Story from Norway presented a business case with a new client, which is a direct result of their participation in the 360ViSi project.

Quasar Dynamics, project partner from Spain, has developed a digital tool which will enable educators to produce Reusable Learning Objects without help from technical experts.

Screenshot from Quasar Dynamics new 360 production tool, which is still under development.

The tool is developed based on identified needs from educators in the 360ViSi project. Quasar presented the Beta version of the tool, and invited everyone to try it and provide feedback.

Read more about the development of the tool.

CoViRR insights

At the end of Day 2, Dr Matthew Pears from University of Nottingham shared best practices for co-creating Virtual Reality and 360 educational resources based on insights from the CoViRR project, another Erasmus+ project University of Nottingham has been a part of.

Final day

The last day of the meeting, started with input about chatbots in education from the CEPEH Project by Stathis Konstantinidis, James Henderson and Matt Pears.

CEPEH is an Erasmus+ strategic partnership that aims to co-design and implement new pedagogical approaches and, in particular, chatbots for European Medical and Nursing schools.

From left: James Henderson, Matt Pears and Stathis Konstantinids shared insights from the CEPEH project.

There is a growing evidence that chatbots have the potential to change the way students learn and search for information. Chatbots can quiz existing knowledge, enable higher student engagement with a learning task or support higher-order cognitive activities. 

The 360ViSi project members were given a mini workshop showing how easy it can be to create a chatbot – about the 360ViSi project.

Way forward

The transnational project meeting was concluded after the partners planned the final stretch of the project. This involves completing all tools and solutions, collecting data, evaluation, disseminatin and final reporting.

Based on input from other projects, like CEPEH, and due to the successful cooperation in the 360ViSi project, the partners are already considering applying for new Erasmus+ projects, with the aim of combining chatbots and 360 media in education.

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News The project story

Turning 360° technology into business opportunities

Through this project we have confirmed that 360° pictures and videos can indeed be used for educational purposes. But can it also open business opportunities for companies? The answer is yes.

Making art more accessible

By combining 360° photos and videos, Screen Story in collaboration with Stavanger Art Museum, made three virtual tours with the purpose of making art more available for the masses.

Experiencing art can be an enticing experience, but not everyone has the opportunity to visit an art museum for different reasons. Be it physically challenges, geographical impracticalities or an ongoing pandemic. By making a digital representation with the use of 360-video/photo technology, anybody can visit the Stavanger Art Museum and the exhibitions Kitty Kielland, Frida Hansen and The Hafsten collection.

“We have some pretty unique works of art here that’s in the forefront of Norwegian art history,” says Hanne Beate Ueland, director of Stavanger Art Museum.

From shooting the Hafsten collection. Elin Lillebråten from Stavanger Art Museum guides the visitors through the virtual tour.

When the pandemic hit, they closed the museum and sent everybody home. They had to find new ways for the visitors to enjoy the art.

“To experience an art museum is very much about walking into a space and being surrounded by the art. We talked to people who we respect within technology, and they suggested that we contact Screen Story, and we did. They had this project going on with 360-video. We immediately found that quite interesting and inspiring, and it turned out to be project where we could collaborate quite easily,” Ueland continues.

Turning ideas to business

Screen Story took on the task and saw an opportunity to gain new know-how in the field of 360- technology. Project leader at Screen Story, Øyvind Torjusen, says it was a perfect fit.

“This proved to be a great case for the 360ViSi-project. Screen Story’s main task in this project is to look at the transferability to business, and create a 360-product which in turn can be commercialised. Having an actual need from an institution such as the Stavanger Art Museum is a much better starting point than a made-up scenario,” he says.

And action!

The recording process took a total of six days, with over 170 images and 48 videos shot, all in 360 degrees. A script consisting of about 18 pages written by the three mediators, each presenting a different exhibition. A whopping 3.25 TB of data was needed for all the materials.

Shooting in a museum can be a challenge. Lighting conditions are often set in such a way to preserve the art, and not optimal for shooting with a 360-camera which requires a lot of light. And because of the nature of shooting in 360 degrees, there’s nowhere to hide a light rig which complicates shooting even more.

Stian Skjerping prepares to shoot the very first 360 project Screen Story did for Stavanger Art Museum, the exhibition “In the clouds”.

“We had to bring up the brightness of the fixed lights to the maximum while shooting, but even then it was a bit too dark in some of the rooms,” says Stian Skjerping, videographer at Screen Story.

This meant some extra hours in post-production to brighten the footage.

“But when you brighten the footage you add more noise to the image as well, which meant we had to use some noise removal tools to clean it up,” he continues.

Making a great user experience

When all the footage was colour corrected and cleaned up, the assembling of the tour began. Every image and video must be linked together so that the viewer can move seamlessly through the exhibitions. Along the way, new ideas and solutions were discussed to make the user experience the best possible.

The Hafsten collection is one of the 360 exhibitions Screen Story has made for Stavanger Art Museum.

“Stavanger Art Museum wanted a simpler way to reach more content, so we came up with a top bar with a menu where you quickly can navigate to all the videos, as well as get help navigating,” says Pål Berg Mortensen, editor at Screen Story.

Moving around a 360 virtual tour can be a challenge, because it’s a relative new product, so there are no set conventions yet. It was therefore important for both Screen Story and the museum to make the tour as intuitive as possible.

“We made an intro where you get some instructions on how to navigate, hopefully making it less intimidating,” says Mortensen.

The museum also wanted to incorporate more information and content about single works of art.

“Early on there were discussions about including more information on individual art pieces, and how that would work. The solution was to create a pop up menu that appears when the the art piece is clicked on. The user can then choose to watch a video about the piece, or see it in high quality and read more about it,” Mortensen explains.

More benefit than traditional video

The Stavanger Art Museum were fascinated by the experience of being able to actually walk through the exhibitions, and see several use cases for the 360 virtual tour.

“It’s something we are able to use, not only towards the general audience but also in our dialogue with other artist we are working with for the coming exhibitions,” Hanne Beate Ueland says.

She sees a clear benefit over “traditional” video:

“One of the most interesting things for us, that separates 360-videos and images from a normal video of a exhibition, is to give people an actual experience of being there and walking around, looking at the artworks, but also reading, and finding more information. That adds a complexity and quality to the project that we liked.”

“It’s great to see that the customer was satisfied with the tour and appreciates all the hard work behind it,” Skjerping says.

The potential for a “360 virtual tour product” is definitively there, and Screen Story has learned a lot in this process moving forward.

“We wanted to create a truly immersive experience where you can interact with the pieces of art, and absorb the atmosphere in the exhibitions. And I think we managed to do that. This is only the beginning of what is possible with the 360-technology,” Skjerping concludes.

You may also want to read these stories about 360 technology and business

EuroLeague Metaverse: Success case

The business side of 360 video simulation

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News The project story

Recorded four 360º cases

The video and pictures below were captured when 360 ViSi project member The Catholic University of Valencia “San Vicente Mártir”, UCV, worked on four new cases.

The cases were recorded by UCV’s team of academics at the university’s Virtual Hospital.

Behind the scenes

This video shows the stages and topics to consider when recording 360º video for education.

Creating a teaching methodology which is applicable to 360º video is the goal of the 360ViSi project, to help nursing students enhance their clinical, communication and team-working skills.

“Four 360º cases were recorded after creating a case script for each and carrying out a briefing with the technicians. Innovating in new teaching methodologies is something that we love doing for our nursing students!” says Esther Navarro, Dr of Nursing at UCV.

Image gallery from shooting of the case

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The project story

EuroLeague Metaverse: Success case

In a previous post, we described what a metaverse is and how can it be used. Interestingly, only a few months later, Quasar Dynamics, partner of the 360 ViSi project developed a metaverse for the basketball EuroLeague Final Four competition.

The EuroLeague is a European professional basketball club competition, widely recognized as the top-tier league in Europe. It consists of 18 teams and its first season took place in 1958.

EuroLeagueLand explained

The main objectives of the EuroLeague were to attract attention as metaverses were raising popularity, engage with the youngest fans (generation z) and to be considered as an innovative sports league.

“To achieve these objectives, we had to think about multiple features that could be interesting for basketball fans who could not physically visit the fan zone in Belgrade,” explains Lead developer at Quasar Dynamics, Jaíme Diaz González.

These are the features Quasar included in the EuroleagueLand.

  • A complete 3D environment of the fan zone where users can visit the main sponsors (Turkish Airlines, Adidas, BKT etc.)
Main land in the EuroLeague Metaverse.
  • Every sponsor had its own and unique room, where fans accessed exclusive content
Sponsor Turkish Airlines’ VIP room in the metaverse.
  • 3D Avatar customization, so that users can freely change their appearance.
Users could create their own avatars.
  • Interact with other users through a chat or with animations like dancing, cheering and greeting
  • Play 5 custom minigames related to their sponsors and Basketball. You can try two of the games here: Three Point contest and Throw.
  • Unlock rewards if users scored high on the games. The score was translated into basketZ tokens were used to access exclusive content like a live interview with Shane Larkin, one of the best EuroLeague players, or DJ sessions
  • You were even able to watch live streaming of the final four matches with your friends.
Final matches streamed live in the EuroLeagueLand metaverse.

“The hardest part of the development was making the EuroLeagueLand metaverse fully accessible to all users. We were able to optimize it for any kind of device (Android, iOS, Windows) and with any web browser,” says González.

Therefore, you can try it here with your favorite device and an internet connection.

Why is it considered a metaverse?

The EuroLeagueLand can be considered a metaverse because it is a complete 3D world where users can navigate using their preferred device. They can interact with each other and live unique experiences kilometers away from the real event.

“We were able to achieve impressive numbers. 30,000 unique users got connected during the 7 days of the finals,” González states.

“Finally, we think that metaverses are still too new. Its definition may change from one person to the other. However, we are sure that in the future many real events will have its virtual counterpart,” he concludes.

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Results The project story

Principles for designing, using and sharing reusable learning objects

This is particularly relevant as the creation of reusable learning objects (RLO) and immersive simulation scenarios is often undertaken by teachers themselves. 

According to official data from Google, about 70% of searches on YouTube refer to the terms “How to do”, which indicates the great demand for audiovisual resources that the population uses to learn to do things, that is, not to learn theory but to learn practicalities. (Google, 2015). 

Throughout the 360ViSi project, it is important to note, by emphasis, that everything considered is based upon a clear and sound pedagogical point of view.  

1. Pedagogical perspectives on 360° interactive video and related immersive XR-technologies

According to stakeholders like BlendMedia, interactive 360° ​​video technology is beginning to take on the same importance as the revolution of the arrival of video in education, with the difference that this technology also offers students an immersion and a sense of “presence” that enhance empathy and a deeper understanding of the content. 

According to various authors, including the well-known Benjamin Bloom (American educational psychologist renowned for the” taxonomy of educational objectives”), the fact that the student interprets, focuses, creates, interacts, and evaluates real situations, will make their learning much more meaningful and long-lasting. 

Grossman (Grossman et al., 2009) distinguished between three types of pedagogical practice teachers would use to take students to a supposed practical reality. On one hand, there is representation, through which the student is provided with analysis resources such as video, interviews, etc. On the other hand, decomposition, in which the teacher dissects and analyzes learning through discussion forums, debates etc. And finally, the pedagogical approach, which allows students to approach their future professional reality without necessarily being in it. (Ferdig and Kosko, 2020) 

That is why simulation plays an essential role in the learning of health science students (Kim et al., 2016) and the creation of 360° videos through which the student feels immersed in a real environment, not only will it reduce simulation costs but will help the student to abstract from the distracting elements and to focus on the learning objectives. 

Immersive environments, such as 360° videos, are extremely relevant in the technological explosion that we are experiencing, given that their potential to improve learning through training from multiple perspectives, situations and experiences has already been proven. 

Hallberg, Hirsto and Kaasinen (2020), stated that 360° technology can be used to facilitate learning related to the representation of spatial knowledge, participation, and context, both experimental and collaborative, which make this technology an effective tool for learning practical aspects digitally. The main difference between this technology and others is that 360° technology allows us to create recorded virtual environments so that students can immerse themselves in a situation or action that seems 100% real. 

To achieve optimal learning, it is essential that this technology meets the following characteristics: 

  •  That the user experience is satisfactory. That is to say, that it does not cause dizziness, that the recording quality is sufficient for the student to feel that they are “inside” the scene and that the interaction is as natural as possible. 
  •  That the virtual elements do not distort. Many times, overlapping texts or 2D words are configured on the spherical surface, which may cause distortions that distract the student. 

Balzareti (Balzaretti et al., 2019) states that promoting reflection among students through decision-making enhances learning effectiveness. 

According to Ferretti et al. there are 4 keys to the use of audio-visual media as a reflective method in learning: 

  1. Discover and describe 
  2.  Look for cause-effect links 
  3.  Exercise analytical thinking 
  4.  Identify possible alternatives 

It is, thus, important to bear in mind that what students value the most when it comes to keeping their attention on 360° videos, is not so much visual excellence or technological novelty, but rather that they value “enjoying” and “doing an interesting activity”, in fact, when compared to 2D video activities, these are the elements that stand out the most. (Snelson & Hsu, 2019). 

For this, it is important that the audiovisual signals (hotspots) are well designed to direct the attention of the users in virtual environments, since they are key for the effective immersion of the student and the feeling of spatial presence. The lack of such cues can lead to boredom, while overuse of such cues can stop students from focusing their attention by switching from one item to another for fear of missing something important, which would end up leading to frustration and stress. 

Regarding the pedagogical benefits of the use of this technology, although there are different studies on it, the one carried out in 2020 by Hyttinen and Hatakka stands out, since they wanted to take the use of 360° video in teaching to the next level, using it to perform live teaching sessions. The results, very positive on the part of the students, reflected some clear benefits, such as not needing physical materials (simulators, objects, actors etc.), which are not necessary for the students, the greater sense of presence in the student’s environment, the use of devices which are familiar to the student (smartphone), a fun learning for the student and a greater concentration on the task, since there are not distracting elements. 

In order to achieve these benefits, it is important to bear in mind that there will be a certain percentage of students who would need to bridge the digital divide in order to feel comfortable with the use of this technology. This can be achieved through training, not only for students, but also for teachers (Tan et al., 2020). 

As per the duration of the 360° content, although the scientific literature regarding the use of this technology is still not very abundant, a systematic review published in early 2021 by Hamilton, McKechnie, Edgerton and Wilson in the Journal of Computers in Education, shows how there are two types of lengths. On one hand, a duration that is set by the content creators, on the other hand, making the content last as long as the participant takes to complete the task, although the vast majority of studies opted for a short duration of the video (with an average duration of 13 min). 

2. A framework for the design of reusable learning objects, including learning objects of 360° media

The ASPIRE framework has been successfully applied over many years by the 360ViSi project partner HELM (Health E-Learning and Media Team) at the University of Nottingham to help scaffold the design and development of learning resources, including Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) and Open Educational Resource (OER) of any medium. 

There are many OER learning design frameworks available but the ASPIRE framework is particularly suited for the 360ViSi project and the design of 360° video based RLOs because it is flexible enough to involve a community of practice style of development. It has been employed on many health-related learning resource projects involving health care professionals, patients, carers, charities and other related health organisations. (Wharrad, 2021) 

Such stakeholder involvement helps to identify and align the requirements of focused learner groups, this in turn helps to shape resource content and the way it is represented. This ability to share stakeholder knowledge and expertise helps to assist the development of quality reusable learning objects, that can be shared initially by all project partners and eventually with the wider OER community. 

ASPIRE is an acronym for the all the steps of the framework involved in RLO creation:

  • Aims – helps to focus on getting the correct learning goal    
  • Storyboarding – allows the sharing of initial ideas and enables a community-based approach to resource design 
  • Population – combines storyboard ideas into a fully formed specification 
  • Implementation – a specification peer review is applied, and any concerns addressed before starting resource development  
  • Release – a second technical peer review is applied and approved before resource release  
  • Evaluation – for research and development purposes to assess the resources impact 

(Windle, 2014). 

Read more about ASPIRE here.

A number of bespoke tools have been developed to help support the implementation of the framework within any given project. One of them is a specification tool – where the content author/s can create a specification to support the ASPIRE frameworks population step and share with the rest of the project team. This allows for the greater inclusion during this important stage for all team members, who are able to review and discuss and suggest multimedia, as graphics and video content.

Once written, the specification can then be accessed as part of a content peer review stage by a subject expert not previously involved in the project. This allows for a review by a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ ensuring that all the necessary content is included, and that the specification is robust enough for development. (Taylor, Wharrad and Konstantinidis, 2022) The inclusivity that this tool provides supports and encourages a community of practice approach to any given project’s development. 

3. Sharing reusable learning objects 

An online repository is the best way for sharing RLOs across universities and other interested parties and is a digital library or archive which is accessible via the internet. An online repository should have conditions of deposit and access attached.  

There are some good examples of online repositories currently available where academics and learners can access, share and reuse content openly released under a creative commons licence.

They include: 

  • https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/helmopen/, which contains over 300 free to use healthcare resources  
  • https://acord.my/, allowing open access to resources developed by university staff and healthcare and biomedical science students in Malaysia which have been released as part of the ACoRD project.  
  • https://www.merlot.org/merlot/, which holds a collection of over 90,000 Open Education Resources and around 70,000 OER libraries. (Merlot, 2022). 

For sharing RLOs between different Learning Management Systems (LMS) an eLearning Standard should be used such as xAPI and cmi5. Cmi5 is a contemporary e-learning specification intended to take advantage of the Experience API as a communications protocol and data model while providing definition for necessary components for system interoperability such as packaging, launch, credential handshake, and consistent information model. (Rustici Software, 2021) 

References and sources  

Balzaretti, N., Ciani, A., Cutting, C., O’Keeffe, L., & White, B. (2019). Unpacking the Potential of 360degree Video to Support Pre-Service Teacher Development. Research on Education and Media, 11(1), pp. 63–69. https://doi.org/10.2478/rem-2019-0009  

BlendMedia (2020). https://blend.media/  

Ferdig, R. E., Kosko, K. W., Maryam Zolfaghari (2020). Preservice Teachers’ Professional Noticing When Viewing Standard and 360 Video. Journal of Teacher Education, 72(3). 

Ferretti, F., Michael-Chrysanthou, P. & Vannini, I. (Eds.) (2018). Formative assessment for mathematics teaching and learning: Teacher professional development research by videoanalysis methodologies. Milano: FrancoAngeli. ISBN 9788891774637. http://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/25362  

Google (2015). https://about.google/stories/year-in-search/ 

Grossman, P., Compton, C., Igra, D., Ronfeldt, M., Shahan, E., & Williamson, P. W. (2009). Teaching Practice: A Cross-Professional Perspective. Teachers College Record: The Voice of Scholarship in Education, 111(9), 2055–2100. https://doi.org/10.1177/016146810911100905  

Hallberg, S., Hirsto, L., & Kaasinen, J. (2020), Experiences and outcomes of craft skill learning with a 360° virtual learning environment and a head-mounted display. Heliyon. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e04705  

Hamilton, D., McKechnie, J., Edgerton, E. & Wilson, C. (2021). Immersive virtual reality as a pedagogical tool in education: a systematic literature review of quantitative learning outcomes and experimental design. Journal of Computers in Education. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40692-020-00169-2   

Hyttinen, M. & Hatakka, O. (2020). The challenges and opportunities of using 360-degree video technology in online lecturing: A case study in higher education business studies. Seminar.net. https://doi.org/10.7577/seminar.2870  

Kim, J. , Park, J. H., & Shin, S. (2016). Effectiveness of simulation-based nursing education depending on fidelity: a meta-analysis. BMC Medical Education 16(152). https://doi.org/10.1186%2Fs12909-016-0672-7  

Merlot 2022, merlot introduction Merlot Organization, viewed 14 June 2022.  https://www.merlot.org/merlot/

Rustici Software. (2021). cmi5 and the Experience API. https://xapi.com/overview/; https://xapi.com/cmi5/ 

Snelson, C., & Hsu, Y. C. (2019). Educational 360-Degree Videos in Virtual Reality: a Scoping Review of the Emerging Research. TechTrends 2019 64:3, 64(3), 404–412. https://doi.org/10.1007/S11528-019-00474-3 

Tan, S., Wiebrands, M., O’Halloran, K. & Wignell, P. (2020). Analysing student engagement with 360-degree videos through multimodal data analytics and user annotations. Technology, Pedagogy and Education 29(5). https://doi.org/10.1080/1475939X.2020.1835708  

Taylor, M., Wharrad, H., Konstantinidis, S. (2022). Immerse Yourself in ASPIRE – Adding Persuasive Technology Methodology to the ASPIRE Framework. In: Auer, M.E., Hortsch, H., Michler, O., Köhler, T. (eds). Mobility for Smart Cities and Regional Development – Challenges for Higher Education. ICL 2021. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 390. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-93907-6_116 

Wharrad, H., Windle, R. & Taylor, M. (2021) Chapter Three – Designing digital education and training for health, Editor(s): Stathis Th. Konstantinidis, Panagiotis D. Bamidis, Nabil Zary. Digital Innovations in Healthcare Education and Training, Academic Press, 2021, pp. 31-45. ISBN 9780128131442, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-813144-2.00003-9. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128131442000039

Windle R. (2014). Episode 2.3: The ASPIRE framework [Mooc lecture]. In Wharrad H., Windle R., Designing e-learning for Health. Future-learn. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/e-learning-health 

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News The project story

Creating new editing tool for teachers

If a teacher realises that her students would benefit from training in an interactive 360° environment on a particular topic – wouldn’t it be great if she could easily create it herself, without help from others? One of the goals for the 360ViSi project is to make that possible.

It’s the teachers who know the curriculum, the material and the learning outcomes. They also know when visual representation and repetition would help students understand concepts. Being able to create 360° interactive educational content themselves would shorten the time and effort from idea to finished product. At least that’s our experience from the 360ViSi project.

Project partner Quasar Dynamics is now developing an editing tool for 360° videos specifically for teaching purposes which should be easy to use for teachers, based on the needs that we have experienced during the 360ViSi journey.

Usability testing across borders

Lead developer at Quasar Dynamics, Jaíme Diaz González, and his colleague Manel Almenar, created two possible prototypes. We saw this as a great opportunity to share skills between countries and organisations.

Gloria Orri, UX designer at University of Stavanger, ran a usability test to evaluate the two prototypes, with participation from health professors from both University of Stavanger and The Catholic University of Valencia “San Vicente Mártir”.

Usability testing prototypes of the new editing tool.

Adjusting according to test results

The usability test gave insight about what direction the design should take to ensure that the editor will be intuitive to use for teachers who are not familiar with video editing tools. Another goal is to ensure that it will cover all their needs to create 360° content for education.

Qualitiative interview after the usability test.

With the feedback from the usability test, Quasar Dynamics will build an editor for teachers that probably will be presented during autumn 2022.

And the best thing of all? When it is finished, the first edition of the tool will be available to use for everyone – free of charge!

Another 360ViSi editor and player

Project partner Turku University of Applied Sciences has also developed an editor with the working title 360° Editor. It is also suitable for larger and more complex scenarios. The target group for the tool is also teachers. The code for this tool will be published on the developer platform GitHub.

In addition, project partner ADE Ltd has developed 360°Player, which is an output tool for the simulation made in the 360° Editor.

Read more about the editor and player here.

Also relevant

Other stories about the 360 editor and player:

Testing the 360ViSi editor.

Developing the 360 player – a status

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The project story

Findings on 360 video in other projects

CoViRR

Similar to the 360ViSi project, the Erasmus+ project titled “Co-creation of Virtual Reality Reusable e-Resources for European Healthcare Education (CoViRR)” aims to consider the approaches to enabling and producing 360° interactive video which can be embedded within Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs).

CoViRR has held a number of meetings, training events and international presentations on the strategic aims, development progress and findings to date. The work packages, as deliverables for this project, include the co-creation and technical implementation of VR activities (as scenarios) together with an analysis of feasibility and acceptability of reusable VR e-resources in the form of documented best practices and recommendations from a co-creational design aspect.

The dissemination of results will occur in the following ways:

  1. Virtual channels at local, national and international levels to inform about the created VR e-resources; attracting more learners from other universities for analyzing the feasibility and the acceptability.
  2. Outcomes delivered through a multiplier event, journal publications, conferences, social media, and websites, press and internal and external partner networks.
    More information is available from the CoViRR website.

The 360ViSi project has been able to benefit particularly from technical input from partners also involved in the CoViRR project. With both projects running concurrently, it has been a good opportunity for learning technologists, software developers and researchers alike to be able to exchange useful knowledge and common interests between all involved.

ARsim2Care

Following the same line as 360ViSi, there is another Erasmus+ project, titled “Application of Augmented Reality in Clinical Simulation (ARsim2care)”, which aims to enhance the use of manikins with augmented reality in order to carry out certain nursing techniques.

The main goal of this project is to develop an Augmented Reality (AR) software that, combined with clinical simulation anatomical models, allows students to learn how to perform invasive clinical procedures, helping them visualize internal anatomical structures. The project is addressed at a European level as the training of technical skills is a common need for European nurses.

The procedures compiled in a manual included in the ARsim2Care app, are endotracheal intubation, arterial blood sampling, intramuscular injection, nasogastric tube insertion and suctioning via a tracheostomy tube.

This manual includes the detailed description of each procedure, and it illustrates the key internal anatomical structures to be visualized by the student during the procedure.

The ARsim2Care project was initiated before 360ViSi, and it is in its final stage. It has allowed the 360ViSi team to see how new technologies, particularly technologies related to VR and AR, can help students gain better practical/technical competencies. Researchers from both teams (ARsim2Care and 360ViSi) have been in contact to discuss results and exchange experiences.

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Adding 360 video to the ASPIRE framework

By Michael Taylor, Learning Technologist and Project Developer at University of Nottingham.

Any successful project requires good planning, progress tracking and review to ensure project costs, scope and deadlines are met. To this end, the Health E-Learning and Media team (HELM) at the University of Nottingham have devised the ASPIRE development framework which also importantly supports pedagogical design methodology and has been applied by the team over many years in their development of Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs).

The ASPIRE framework for development of projects.

The challenge now is to see if ASPIRE can be used successfully as a framework for 360 video development or would experiences learned when producing 360 video content highlight the need for major revisions to the ASPIRE framework, or even lead to the adoption of a totally new design methodology to cater for 360 video and other immersive technology development.

Why use ASPIRE?

One reason why ASPIRE was developed by Helm and used instead of other available development frameworks, is because we believe it fully supports a community participatory design approach to development.

When developing resources, we understand that including as many project stakeholders as possible is key. Such stakeholder involvement helps to identify and align the requirements of all the focused learner groups, this in turn helps to shape resource content and the way it is represented.

The ability to share stakeholder knowledge and expertise helps ASPIRE to assist the development of quality resources, which are fit for purpose and can be shared not only directly by all project stakeholders but also ultimately with the wider Open Educational Resource (OER) community. For example, the Community Nursing Scenario developed by the Nottingham team as part of the 360ViSi project may benefit from ASPIRE’s two step peer review process, which would allow experienced UK community nurses to review content for accuracy before starting development.

A second technical review could be carried out after the development and prior to release. Such quality assurance steps would help identify potential resource bugs before release.

What is ASPIRE?

ASPIRE is an acronym of all the development framework steps involved during resource development and after release.

  • Aims – helps project teams to focus on getting the right learning goals and objectives
  • Storyboarding – allows the sharing of initial ideas for resource content and enables a community-based approach to resource design
  • Population – combines storyboard ideas and allows the content author/s to write a fully formed specification, which includes a narrative and multimedia elements
  • Implementation – a specification/content peer review is provided by a suitable subject expert not yet involved in the project, allowing for suggestions and concerns to be raised and addressed before starting/implementing resource development.
  • Release– a second technical peer review is applied, and any issues are addressed and approved before resource release
  • Evaluation– using data tracking and feedback forms to collect data for research and development purposes to assess the resources impact.

An Online toolkit to support ASPIRE framework

A number of bespoke tools have been developed and implemented to help support the procedures and requirements of the ASPIRE framework within any given project. They co-exist alongside off-the shelf commercial applications to deliver a full online toolkit supporting all ASPIRE development steps.

The toolkit proved invaluable during the recent pandemic when meeting in person was not possible and allowed online group participation and development through tool use. The toolkit includes an off the shelf storyboarding application which allows numerous participants to simultaneously access, review, discuss and record project ideas.

There is a bespoke specification tool that allows content authors to build on ideas raised at the storyboard stage and create, populate and implement an online development specification, which can be accessed and shared by the whole development team. The specification tool further helps with versioning issues which can arise when working with large stakeholder groups.

Example of the bespoke specification tool which can be shared with all project stakeholders.

Can 360 video methodology and other immersive technologies use ASPIRE?

It was fully anticipated from the onset of this project that the ASPIRE framework could successfully be used for 360 video and future immersive technology development. However, there was an expectation by those experienced in applying the ASPIRE methodology that some adaption would be required.

Recent Helm collaborations with international development teams on sister Erasmus+ immersive 360 VR projects such as CEPEH and CoViRR had identified certain limitations when using ASPIRE framework and associated tools. For example, our bespoke Specification tool required manual modifications from each of the content authors to cater for 360 video and VR content development.

Employing Need Analysis methodology

To help understand how the development needs of 360 video content differed from that of more traditional multimedia content a need analysis was carried out by the 360 visi partners. This ensured that all development requirements were recognised and recorded at the project start to help identify any potential adaptations required for the ASPIRE methodology and associated tools.

A team of 12 developers and academics from all partners met regularly at the early stages of the 360 Visi project to set some overall project guidelines and create working practices. During one meeting the Nottingham team showcased their developed online ASPIRE specification tool, which had the capability of being accessed and shared.

The need analysis involved the review of four 360, VR specifications belonging to each of the partners for suitable use in the project. The results of these reviews and specific requirements and recommendations from each team are presented below. (See Table 1).

Results

It immediately became apparent that each partner specification asked for slightly different data input. For example, the form used by the University of Stavanger had text fields to enter such information as the duration of each scene and camera placement. This differed from the Universidad Católica de Valencia who wanted to record further information about each individual medical case.

Nottingham’s specification document asked for detailed prop information and the TUAS form was focused more on completing a simulation scenario as part of their bespoke tool development.

A decision was made by all partners to design a standard specification form that would include features that each partner deemed necessary for the development of immersive content. Although each partner recognised the ASPIRE specification tools potential, it was primarily designed to be used with Nottingham’s more traditional RLO format and it was agreed that it required amendments to fit immersive project needs. The results are entered below.

Project partnerCritical review and suggestions
University of Stavanger·   Pre-production section – common case understanding for all team members
·   Technical preparation – required equipment and how it should be used in project
·   Communication – documentation – consent forms
·   Community of practice – inform all relevant parties about project.
·   Post production – brief information on tools to develop content after the film shoot
·   Area to view test footage
·   Room description
·   Observation view – Where to place camera
·   Scenario description
·   Audio, hotspot text and narration if required
·   Rationale for producing in 360 instead of 2D video
The Catholic University of Valencia “San Vicente Mártir”·   Specification learning outcomes
·   Case description (background information provided to student prior to accessing 360 video)
·   Hotspots – with or without static photos
The University of Nottingham·   Required props
·   Required filming/lighting equipment
·   Cognitive learning outcomes
·   Scene description – signs, external sound etc.
·  Filming approach – camera settings – formats
Turku University of Applied Sciences·   Required props
·   Simulator setup/manikin preparation 
·   Observer tasks
·   Scenario lifesavers – case briefings
·   Pre-material required
·   Major problems encountered
·   Non-technical co-operation – staffing

A visual representation of intended additions to the specification tool can be viewed in the illustration below. The sections in green represent the current functionality available in the tool including the adding of:

  • text in the form of a narrative
  • multimedia assets
  • author ‘further comments’ pop-up box

The subsequent blue sections represent the additions recommended as part of a basic need’s analysis through a series of meetings/consultations with 360 Visi project stakeholders.

Detailed explanation

The following section explains in more detail the suggested tool functionality that each segment represents in the illustration.

Filming Equipment

Description of cameras, microphones, lights etc. required for each shoot. This is an essential checklist for all the production teams.

Prop Listings

Detailed list of everything required in each scene e.g., from uniforms to nursing equipment through to everyday items such as bicycles, cars etc. Everything required in shot to make the scene as realistic as possible.

Scene Area / Description

What is to be highlighted in each video clip, e.g., streetlamp to highlight lighting security at night, or key safe to support access issues.

Observation View (Camera placement)

Not always easy to predict, especially if the production team are unfamiliar with the area that is to be filmed. However, it does help focus production team on task at hand and gives a valuable guide on camera placement whilst on location.

Audio Description

Used for narrative description of each scene. It helps guide user to where the action is located when using 360 clips.

Scene Duration

Estimated length of scene, very useful whilst out on location and during post-production.

Scene Learning Objectives

What leaning objectives will be met in each scene, they are broken down into Skills, Knowledge and General competence.

Hotspot Learning Element Placement

Used mainly in post-production to show editor where each hotspot is required, this also very useful during filming sessions, as a potential hotspot could become lost in 360 camera’s stich line. This will lead when considering the camera placement for every scene.

Hotspot Text

This information-based text is often overlooked by content authors and is left to the developer to write and include. This section would specify if an image, 2d video or audio clip is to be added as part of the hotspot for the learner.

Discussion

There is an overall necessity highlighted through our work with immersive technology for the adaptation of some stages of the ASPIRE framework. For example, a recent project undertaken by HELM on the repurposing of case-based learning helped introduce a modification to the Storyboarding stage of the ASPIRE process. The aim of modifying the ASPIRE process was met, as the Storyboard stage was changed from previous collaborative visual idea generation to decision-making tree, and content driven discussion. [2].

The content creators need also to realise that a VR, XR or interactive 360 video resource is more immersive and therefore training around both understanding the differences on the design with more traditional web based educational resources, but also how to describe the content is needed. [3].

Early adopters of the ASPIRE framework on 360 videos for clinical skills [4] identified the need of adapting the ASPIRE framework and for more concrete tool functionalities. This is in line with the recommendations that are made in this discussion.

In conclusion, the ASPIRE process is a recognised development methodology for creating high quality digital resources. [1] The needs analysis carried out during this project provided an opportunity to adapt our existing bespoke specification tool currently used in the ASPIRE process. 360 and VR technologies are the next generation of media and will be increasingly adopted for use within learning resources. Creating robust specifications prior to creating the media for these resources is crucial to ensure future high quality and efficiency in development.

Future developments

Adaptation of existing paper-based tools is currently under review and our peer review forms will shortly be joining the other bespoke tools available in supporting the online implementation of the ASPIRE process.

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the ERASMUS+ Knowledge Alliance “Increase access to training in European health education through 360o video simulation technology, 360ViSi,” and the ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnership in Higher Education “Co-creation of Virtual Reality reusable e-resources for European Healthcare Education CoViRR” (2018-1-UK01-KA203-048215) projects of the European Union.

References

1. Wharrad, H., Windle, R., Taylor, M.: Designing digital education and training for health. 10.1016/B978-0-12-813144-2.00003-9, (2021).

2. Pears, M., Henderson, J., and Konstantinidis, S.: Repurposing Case-Based Learning to a Conversational Agent for Healthcare Cybersecurity. 10.3233/SHTI210348, (2021).

3. Konstantinidis, S., Wharrad, H., Nikolaidou, M, M., Antoniou, P., Neokleous, K., Schiza, E., Matsangidou, M., Frangoudis, F., Hatziaros, M., Avraamides, M., Bamidis, P, D., and Pattichis, C, S.: Training the Trainers Curriculum on Co-Creation of Virtual Reality Reusable EResources: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, (Edulearn20). 5752-5761. (2020).

4. Schiza, E.C., Hadjiaros, M., Matsangidou, M., Frangoudes, F., Neocleous, K., Gkougkoudi, E., Konstantinidis, S. and Pattichis, C.S.: Co-creation of Virtual Reality Re-Usable Learning Objectives of 360° video scenarios for a Clinical Skills course. IEEE 20th Mediterranean Electrotechnical Conference (MELECON) (pp. 364-367). IEEE. (2020).

Categories
News The project story

The business side of 360 video simulation

With the ambition to highlight business opportunities for private companies using 360 video, the day started with a presentation from Stavanger Art Museum and Screen Story. They talked about their successful collaboration with 360 visualisation of art exhibitions. Read more about it here.

ADE shared their experiences about commercial and educational 360 and VR solutions that they have developed. A Learning Management System (LMS) developed was presented, which includes practical trainings in health care and the technical sector.

Quasar Dynamics presented their other projects with immersive technologies, for instance using VR goggles for people with different disabilities, and a horror Playstation game they are soon to launch.

Guest input

Guests VID Specialized University and the company Mediafarm have collaborated to create student active learning activities.

They explained their journey from the beginning of working with 360 video, what they have learnt and shared advice on everything from actors vs real patients, locations, scripts, how to create emotional impact, placement of camera, lighting, user interactions, playback solutions, subtitles, graphic interface needs, technical considerations and more.

The 360ViSi project team was invited to try out one of their education solutions with VR goggles.

Elizabeth Armstrong, UiS (in front), Javier Ortizá, Quasar Dynamics, and Mari Linn Larsen, UiS, deeply concentrated in a 360 environment.
Mike Taylor from the University of Nottingham tested one of VID’s 360 video education tools.
Arne Morten Rosnes (VID), Severin Ommundsen and Morten Orre (Mediafarm) shared their experiences and best practices from creating interactive 360 video for education.

Excursion to companies

The project team visited two different companies located in Stavanger, who both use simulation tools for training and education purposes – in very different ways.

Aker Solutions delivers integrated solutions, products and services to the global energy industry, and uses simulation extensively. For instance, the company simulates complex offshore operations in order to prepare staff, to reduce risk of accidents and injuries, and to enhance efficiency.

Aker Solution’s simulation dome, where crane operators and other personnel can train and plan how to execute heavy lifts. Weather and waves may be changed to affect the situation. Clear communication with personnel on the platform deck is crucial, and also part of the simulation.
Aker Solutions has an advanced simulation centre used to train personnel before complicated operations in the offshore oil and gas industry.

The team also visited Lærdal Medical who creates realistic simulation-based learning for healthcare education, for instance the world-known Resusci Anne manikin.

Bodil Bø from the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Stavanger looks at the premature manikin from Lærdal Medical, which is used to train health personnel.
Lærdal Medical’s most advanced simulation manikin is called SimMan, which here being programmed at the factory.
Categories
News The project story

Transnational project meeting and workshop in Norway


The purpose of the meeting and workshop was to share information and learning outcomes from the project so far.

On the first day, all the project partners presented their case studies and analysis of the features that worked well, experiences on what did not work, and shared information about the different tools they had tried out in their respective case studies.

Workshop well underway. Mike Taylor presents case study from the University of Nottingham, and tells the rest of the project team about the process, findings and results.
Esther Navarro from the UCV Catholic University Valencia sharing experiences and best practices from their own case studies.


Student involvement

Two student nurses from the University of Stavanger participated and gave feedback about how they experienced using one of the tools produced by the project, and also gave advice on elements that would make students interested and invested in using these kinds of tools.

Students David Kristoffer Nymoen Eltervaag and Tov Mosvær Sandland gave their honest feedback about a 360ViSi project from University of Stavanger which they had tested.

Trip to the famous Lysefjord

After a long day with interesting presentations and dicussions, the project team spent the evening with teambuilding and dinner.

A boat took the team to the beautiful Lysefjorden to look at the famous Pulpit Rock.

Socialising and getting to know eachother.
Lysefjorden