Read more about the background for creating the 360 video editor for teaching purposes in this article.
Here’s an update on the progress of the tool!
After the first mockup designs, we performed several usability tests with our teachers that were truly constructive. Gathering all the feedback in this phase is crucial to have a shorter development time. As you may know, it is easier to make changes on a design rather than on code already implemented.
We updated our design to adapt the teachers’ feedback into it, in order to have the most effective platform. We are pretty happy with the final result, and we think it will be intuitive to everyone. Our current tool is on the Alpha phase, it still needs some fixes to be applied but we can already check most of the features.
Let’s break down the most important functionalities:
After signing in you will be redirected to the home page. Here we wanted to have a YouTube like design. The main idea is that the tool is a repository of public and private 360 videos published by teachers. You will find a search bar where you can filter by specialties, type of file (360 videos or images) and multiple sorting filters (relevance, alphabetic, date…)
After you have found the right course to take, you can select it to view more details of it. For instance, you can see a brief description of it, the creator’s name, added date and the main categories.
360º images and videos
After accessing the course, students will be able to visualize 360º environments both in image and video format, with HotSpots created by the teacher, with useful information like: Text, videos, images and questionnaires.
When you click on a hotspot, you will unfold all the contents of it:
In each video, for each frame, students will be able to see all the hotspots that have been added by the teachers and be able to review them whenever they want:
As teacher you will have access to more features. You can check all the courses you have created on your profile:
It also includes a panel with all your students’ grades, depending on the course they enrolled and statistics about which topics were the most interesting ones for them.
Finally, it is very important to mention how a teacher can create a course. The basic steps are:
1. Choose the title and select the category
2. Add a video or an image: you will have to click on Add new file.
3. When you click on it, a panel will be displayed where you can upload the file you want to be displayed in 360º.
4. Select the frame where you want to add new hotspots.
5. By clicking on Add new hotspot, you will be able to add interactions to the frames you want. The hotspot can be dragged where you think there should be an information point and you can add a title, relevant information, videos, images, and questionnaires.
Try it yourself
That is basically it! We hope that you find it interesting. You can briefly try the tool by clicking the button:
The 360ViSi project has developed several cases on 360° video training in health education, and project partner University of Nottingham (UoN) has published them on the HELM Open platform.
HELM Open is an open online repository of learning objects for healthcare featuring over 200 free to use high quality, interactive peer-reviewed learning and teaching resources!
HELM stands for Health E-Learning and Media and is a UoN team that aims to provide expertise and support in the development, design, evaluation and research of technological and media-based educational materials and interventions in health.
University of Nottingham’s e-learning resources are designed around the principles of the ‘reusable learning object’ or RLO. These are web-based resources that consist of a mixture of multimedia elements such as audio, text, images and video and which engage the learner in interactive learning through the use of activities and assessments.
University of Stavanger’s Future Classroom Lab is an arena where students and staff at the teacher training courses can test and explore digital tools for use in teaching. The goal is that student teachers enter the classrooms of the future with high professional digital competence.
Students and teachers from the Stavanger region took part in the workshop, where several of the cases from the 360ViSi project were presented and created the basis for useful discussions.
Representatives from project partners Screen Story and University of Stavanger presented the 360ViSi project. °
Project manager for the Future Classroom Lab, Paolo H. Scarbocci is excited about how 360° video can be used in education:
«The future is now! We can already take use of the advantages that 360° video can give us, as a great tool for learning in schools and higher education. This will give students the opportunity to produce and create truly cool immersive and virtual experiences that may inspire and engage the students in a much deeper way, but also provide them with a cognitive endurance to stay into these self-created worlds with joy and curiosity,” Scarbocci says.
Inted is an international technology, education and development conference held annually in Valencia, Spain. Every year more than 700 delegates from 80 different countries attend to share experiences and learn from other experts.
Representatives from all the partner universities in the project contributed to the session. See overview of the topics covered in the 1,5-hour long session below.
In the recent months, the development work of the 360ViSi Editor has been done in GitHub, a code hosting platform that is used for storing, co-developing, and tracking codes. The idea of open-source code is that once published, anyone can see, modify, and distribute it.
From the code owner’s point of view, open source has several advantages. First, it makes the collaboration with other project partners easier as there is no need to send files.
Secondly, all changes to the code and to the source material will be updated to the public repository.
Thirdly, sharing means more developers: the publicly available code allows anyone to explore possible security-related doubts and fix the found issues. This happens by sending a pull request to the owner. If the request is seen beneficial, it can be accepted as a part of the code.
Although projects have a limited lifetime, the coders’ platform continues to exist. It is possible to continue the development work and utilize the code also after the project ends.
Online Educa Berlin isanannual global, cross-sector conference and exhibition on digital learning and training. The conferencegathers participants from around the world to learn about developments in learning technologies.
University of Stavanger was invited to talk about 360° video simulation and used the 360ViSi project as case subject. Video producer Mari Linn Larsen and Media Engineer Kåre Spanne presented the project in front of an audience of 60 people.
“I am very pleased that so many wanted to hear about our experiences from the 360ViSi Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance and were interested in learning how to use 360° simulation in their own education,” says Mari Linn Larsen.
The feedback from the participants was positive, and many of them had questions.
“The presentation sparked an interesting discussion in the room, where we could elaborate further on the kind of situations where 360° simulation can enhance education and increase the access to training,” Kåre Spanne explains.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.”
Hear Director of Stavanger Art Museum Hanne Beate Ueland talk about the process, experiences and benefits of using 360 video from a client perspective:
“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
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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