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Testing the 360 video technology in Valencia

Through the Oculus Quest 360 goggles, the students could “visit” a patient. During this home call, the students were able to see the patient and the real-life surroundings, assess the patient, and, as a part of the study case, solve a quiz.

After the 360 experience, the students filled out a survey to rate the immersion. All agreed on the effectiveness of virtual learning and hoped to have more of this type of education.

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360ViSi case on national television in Norway

Interactive art exhibitions created by Screen Story for Stavanger Art Museum, as test cases for the 360ViSi project.

The Erasmus organisation aims to involve private companies in their Knowledge Alliances and create business opportunities for them. Why? Because it will increase the quality and relevance of the project, boost innovation and enhance knowledge sharing.

In addition to the four universities participating in 360ViSi, three companies from the private sector contribute: Screen Story from Norway, ADE from Finland and Quasar Dynamics from Spain.

Screen Story creates interactive art exhibitions

The 360ViSi project was launched around the same time as the corona pandemic exploded and the world went into shutdown, making it challenging for the project partners to test technology and methods.

It turns out, however, that when some doors close, others open. Screen Story was asked to help their customer Stavanger Art Museum to find new solutions to overcome the problems the pandemic forced on them.

Øyvind Torjusen from Screen Story.

– The art museum had to close its doors for a while due to national restrictions, but still wanted to make their newest exhibition available to the public. Thus, we could create an interactive online version, and at the same time use it as a test in the 360ViSi project, says producer Øyvind Torjusen in Screen Story.

Broadcasted on national news

When restrictions were lifted and Stavanger Art Museum reopened its doors, the museum had discovered the value of digital exhibitions. The exhibitions reach a larger audience, and especially those who do not have the opportunity to visit the museum physically. Therefore, Stavanger Art Museum continues to create interactive digital solutions together with Screen Story.

See one of the digital art exhibitions here.

Broadcaster NRK made a report on national television news about the latest exhibition and interviewed a group of elderly people who experienced it through tablets. You can see the story (in Norwegian) here:

– This proves that 360 video technology represents business opportunities for companies like us. We will definitely offer this kind of solutions to more customers in the future, says Torjusen.

From Norwgian broadcaster NRK’s news story.
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Company point of view to the 360ViSi Editor

Learn about the Turku Game Lab here.

Together with Tarja Enala, a senior advisor at Business Finland, the Finnish government organization for innovation funding and trade, travel and investment promotion, the visitors were introduced to the 360ViSi Editor and explained how 360 video can be used in education.

Project engineer Mikko Österman gave the visitors a guided tour through the software that enables teachers to compile and edit simulations from separate 360-videos.

Mikko Österman presents 360ViSi Editor to Mr Ajit, Dr Ritez Kumar, Mr Anuj Chahal and Dr Sunil Tomar.

The visitors saw how a simulation can be built and what features it already has.

“From our point of view, the concept is great”, says Dr Kumar. “The idea can be applied in many fields. It is going to happen since the resources to learning premises are limited.”

Dr Kumar continues that the positive side of the software is that it allows students to proceed at their own pace and practice at any time. That has also a bigger impact:

“The concept also democratizes the sometimes elite rehearsing opportunities.”

Dr Kumar, NeoSim Oy
Principal lecturer Mika Luimula and vice Rector Juhani Soini presenting the Turku Game Lab while the project is being demonstrated in the foreground.
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The state of digital technology in higher education

The State Secretary at the Ministry of Research and Higher Education opened the panel which was held to launch a government report on the state of digital technology in higher education in Norway.

Watch a recording of the meeting (in Norwegian) here.

Project Manager for 360ViSi, Atle Løkken.

Atle Løkken was invited to share insights from the ongoing 360ViSi Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance and also his 20 years of experience with development of digital tools in education. In fact, the report mentions the DigiSim project, another Erasmus+ project Løkken has been a part of, and the predecessor to 360ViSi.

DigiSim is an app where student nurses can train on different procedures. The app is free of charge and can be downloaded on Google Play and App Store.

Digital technology can enhance pedagogic development

The new national report shows that the use of digital technology in higher education can contribute to:

  • more student-activating teaching methods
  • pedagogical development, especially in practical subjects
  • increased access to higher education

The report concludes that the use of digital technology must be an integral part of a holistic learning and teaching design, and teachers and students must have both an understanding of and competence in the use of digital tools with a pedagogical goal.

Invited to present the 360ViSi project to VID

After Atle Løkken talked about 360ViSi in the meeting, he was contacted by VID Specialized University, an accredited, private higher education institution in Norway.

VID has a project where they try to develop a digital learning environment using 360° video and would like to connect to share information and lessons learned.

Løkken was invited to talk about 360ViSi in a digital seminar VID is holding on the use of 360° video in education on 4 February – where Mari Linn Larsen and Kåre Spanne from the 360ViSi team presented and demonstrated the results from the project.

Mari Linn Larsen from UiS in a meeting with VID, demonstrating a 360ViSi simulation environment for nursing students who are preparing for clinical practice. Read more about it here: Realistic training to improve quality of ward rounds

So – exciting times! We are so happy when information about 360ViSi reaches other individuals, companies or institutions who we can collaborate with or learn from! 

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Demonstrated immersive reality on Valencia StartUp Market

VLC Startup Market is an event organised by the Innovative Development Area of the Valencia City Council. The goal is to create a great showcase for startups, thus bringing all the innovation and technology that is developed in València closer to the public.

From Quasar Dynamic’s exhibition stand.

360ViSi partner Quasar Dynamics was one of the exhibitors, and also developed a promotional 360° where Pilar Bernabé, the councilor for economic development in Valencia, presents the event.

Quasar Dynamic also created a virtual reality futuristic environment where the public could access information about the startup market, such as map, programme, exhibitors, events etc. In order to interact with the menu, the user just had to stare at the different elements.

See a video of what they created here:

News The project story

Realistic training to improve quality of ward rounds

The daily surgical ward round in a hospital is an important arena for interprofessional collaboration and communication between physicians, nurses, and patients. To be a skilled interprofessional team worker is an important learning outcome in the nurse education program. That is why University of Stavanger has developed an interactive 360° training environment for nursing students. Important factors in this tool are to help the nursing students to achieve clear communication and good cooperation, as well as awareness about the process and roles in the current setting.

Professor Ingrid Tjoflåt preparing for the 360° shoot.
Monitoring the camera input on the connected ipad.

“We want the nursing students to learn to take an active role and “speak up” during the rounds. The nursing students and the nurses are more in contact with the patients than the physicians, so their knowledge about the patient condition is very important during rounds,” says Ingrid Tjoflåt, professor at Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Stavanger.

The solution can also be used by wards to increase awareness about ward rounds and facilitate discussions on how to handle them.

Four cases in one ward

The interactive training solution takes the nursing students into a surgical ward with four patients. The ward is presented using a 360° image and the interaction takes place through hotspots connected to each patient. A hotspot is an effect that is clickable to the user, for instance text boxes, videos etc.

In this case, the hotspots provide the user with information about the patients’ condition, and medical progress. In addition, the user is given tasks or questions designed to encourage reflections and discussions. With one of the patients, a video of communication between the patient, the physician and the nurse is shown.

Test the training environment here.

“We want nursing students who are about to embark on their clinical practice period to use this training environment as a preparation. It could also be used by educators as part of the clinical supervision of nursing students. The solution is simple but effective. It is obvious what we want the student to learn, which is important to the learning process,” Tjoflåt explains.

Effective production of 360° training environment

Producing this training environment was done very effectively. Due to thorough planning, the recording of images and video only took two hours. It is easy to develop the solution further with new diagnoses and updated information.

Read more about the process for creating 360° learning experiences

Preparations in advance:

  • A detailed script
  • Two planning meetings
  • Quality assurance and feedback about the script from nurses and physician on a surgical ward
  • Communicating the script and plans to actors

After the recording:

  • Creating and filling in material for the hotspots

Research project

The training environment will be part of a planned research project, where the goal is to evaluate how 360 video simulation cases from a hospital surgical ward round can ensure nursing students’ knowledge and confidence during the nursing training. Moreover, to explore how nurse educators at the Bachelor program in Nursing at the University of Stavanger (UiS) perceive 360 video simulations as a learning tool.

Check out the training environment yourself!

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Developing the 360°ViSi Player: a status

When the simulation has been made in the editor, a tool for output where the user can watch and take actions in the simulation is needed. This is the 360°Player, which is being created by project partner ADE Ltd. Read more about it here.

Screenshots from the 360 ViSi Player, which is under development.

Status of the simulation player

The next step for the team is testing of the tool’s nodes in the player; that is the questions, choices and information which will lead the user through different paths in the simulation.

The goal is that the player will be compatible to most internet browsers, and that it includes ways for teachers to evaluate the student’s results and progression. This is some of the work that still must be completed.

During development, several issues have arisen which will have to be solved or decided upon: Where will the player be located and how will users access it? How will the player import the server simulations? Who will have control over the player and manage the data? Will there be need for registration to use it, and how should results be exported to or by teachers?

We will let you know when all the pieces of the puzzle are in place – and show you how it works.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the 360°Editor and Player in this demo by Turku UAS and ADE.

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Testing the 360ViSi Editor

This is one of the 360° video scenes in the Turku University of Applied Sciences’ virtual, interactive recovery room simulation. All the videos contain different phases, symptoms and statuses of patient care, that the nursing student has to interpret when practising perioperative care.

In this case, the 360° videos are built around a patient recovering from an appendectomy, but they can be applied to any learning situation. The recovery room case is just a practising tool to develop further the 360ViSi Editor constructed by Turku UAS staff as a part of the 360ViSi project.

Benefits of virtual simulation

Unlike a face-to-face simulation, a virtual one has numerous benefits. It allows the student to practice in real-like surroundings regardless of the time, place and schedules of other students and staff members. One part of the learning experience is to answer situation-related quizzes and to react to a patient’s symptoms. Answers and reactions gather data that enables giving individual and immediate feedback to the student.

Testing – a vital part of developing

At one of the Turku UAS’ meeting rooms, the nursing teachers tested the editor for the first time. As the Editor is still in the making, the task was seen as a bit complex. Working with an unfinished product may take the tester’s attention to technical challenges at the expense of content and fluency of the simulation.

To smoothen the path, the developers’ representative, who also happens to be the actor representing the patient in the videos, and the nursing teachers, who have written the simulation case, took the chance to meet face-to-face.

The goal is to make the 360ViSi Editor user interface so simple, that any teacher with just very basic IT-skills and some 360° videos, would be able to use it to create a 360-simulation. To develop the 360ViSi Editor further, a change of perspective is needed.

They will go through the simulation, create quizzes and check that the linking between videos tasks is logical. Next, the nursing teachers get to step into a student’s shoes and think of the simulation experience from their point of view. Progress needs feedback and ideas, and that is what the teachers are skilled at.

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360ViSi presented in Croatia

The 360ViSi project team was invited to the EU-CONEXUS PhD summer school in Zadar, Croatia, where the University of Zadar provided special training for PhD students about Professional and Scientific Communication and Networking in Multidisciplinary Environment.

Dr Esther Navarro (third from the right) from The Catholic University of Valencia, presented the 360ViSi project in Croatia.

The summer school had an interdisciplinary approach to research with practical examples for mind-mapping. The programme consisted of seminars and workshops held by experts, project proposals presentations, lessons on defining multidisciplinary projects proposals to fit the EU policies and the call rules and training about scientific communication and tools, resources and tips.

Dr Esther Navarro presenting the 360ViSi project in Croatia.

360ViSi: an international and interdisciplinary example

One of the invited lecturers was Dr Esther Navarro from The Catholic University of Valencia, who presented the 360ViSi project as an example of interdisciplinary research and teamwork.

Navarro portrayed the project as an example of how a team consisting of lecturers from different European universities, technicians and companies work together in the field of new technologies.

The project team works on several tasks. First, it provides teaching and learning tools to higher education using new methodologies. The second task is to develop solutions and content for e-learning, which is carried out by the universities’ and companies’ technicians. The third focus point is to provide new business opportunities for companies that elaborate services, products and technologies related to learning.

The 360ViSi team was introduced by presenting the different universities, tech groups and companies, the existing relationship among some of the members, the needs that originated our project, the type of project that it was and what it was about, needs and competencies within the partnership, interdisciplinarity within the team, barriers for interdisciplinary collaboration and adopted solutions.

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Filming a 360° community nurse scenario in the Covid era

An 83-year-old mother and a best friend, who is also a retired community nurse, agreed to take part.

Before filming, it was important to ensure the home environment reflected the details in the script, all the necessary equipment was in place to meet the clinical scenario requirements and that the ‘actors’ were comfortable with the scenario expectations. In the 83-year-old’s case, the necessity to appear dishevelled was possibly the biggest challenge of all!

Learning points from filming ‘on location’

1. Have a very detailed specification for filming each of the scenes including the following elements:

  • Positioning of actors and equipment in the scene
  • Lighting in the room
  • Where the person filming will be positioned
  • Ensure the actors are aware of the sequencing of each scene and give them a script to prompt what they need to do/say is really helpful
  • Equipment list including technical e.g., camera, stand, microphones, lighting, batteries

2. Visit the filming location beforehand to check out the space, potential issues (as far as possible – some can’t be predicted!). Also, if you are filming outdoors, it is important to check weather reports well in advance of any date decided for the shoot. As filming 360 video outside in the rain is not advisable.

3. Prepare your equipment in advance and make sure you have spare memory cards, batteries etc, and check everything is working beforehand. It is useful to create a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything before travelling to your location. Get to the location in plenty of time to set up.

4. For our shoot we used the following equipment:

  • Insta 360 One R camera
  • iPhone 11with Insta 360 app installed (app available for IOS and Android phones)
  • Bushman panoramic monopod V2 – weighted tripod stand
  • Insta 360 selfie-stick & tripod
  • 2 lavalier lapel mics & 2 Sennheiser mobile body packs and receivers
  • Zoom H6 recorder
  • 2 x 128gb SanDisk Extreme A2 micro-SD cards (for 360 camera)
  • 2 x 32gb SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC (For Zoom – audio)
  • 2 packets of replacement AA & AAA batteries
  • 1 x Heaphones

The kit above is very portable and mostly fits (complete with travel cases) into a medium sized backpack.

Sound: We could have relied on the built-in microphone within the 360 camera for our audio and further reduced the required kit, but we already owned zoom and lapel mics and wanted to try and get the best sound possible. (Remember when using external audio equipment to provide an identifiable noise such as a handclap at the start of each clip once all devices are set to record. This helps when aligning/syncing the external audio with the video clip during editing).

Lighting: We decided not to take any lighting and rely on house lighting and portable table and floor lamps for indoor scenes. This worked well and looked natural and as part of the furniture when viewed in shot.

Remote control: We used the iPhone to take still photos of equipment and control the camera remotely but could have downloaded the Insta 360 app onto almost any type of smartphone.

Tripod: We did invest in the weighted tripod, this is advisable as other tripods we experimented with offered little resistance to even the slightest amount of breeze and could easily fall over, which could seriously damage the camera and at very least ruin the shot. The weighted tripod has also been designed to work well with 360 video cameras and leaves very little stand footprint to remove during editing.

Monopod: We also used the monopod for a motion shot with the nurse holding the camera at arm’s length whilst entering the house. Shots such as this can cause motion sickness when viewed in headset, but this one seems to be working.

Frame rate: It was decided that we would use the higher quality HDR mode setting for stills and all scenes were shot in 5.7k. at 30fps.

5. Remember with 360 you are shooting blind – be prepared for re-takes in an uncontrolled environment. We had family members walking downstairs into the shot, a cat walking through the front door! Tell your participants that this may happen when they agree to take part in the filming. If they have not learned a script, they have to keep remembering what they said or should be saying in the scene.

6. Remember when you are filming 360 the field of view is much wider than in usual filming – things or people you think are out of shot are sometimes in. We took advantage of natural hiding places such as the hedge in the front garden and the alleyway next to the garage to remain safely out of shot for the outside scenes. We monitored each scene via the Insta 360 phone app which was installed on the Iphone.

7. Take lots of batteries. A battery-operated kit is great to get the flexibility in how the scenes are filmed and for ease of use by the operator, but it is also useful to have an assistant to check battery levels in the different pieces of kit.

8. We had one professional technologist filming the scenes – with two assistants helping to set up the scenes, look after the actors/actresses and check batteries. It is important to check that the actors or any important information that you wish to include in your video is not captured in the camera’s stich-line. Having more than one person checking that each scene is correctly set-up is extremely useful.

9. Our participants in the film were an older family member (as the patient) and a district nurse (playing the district nurse) – they were not trained actors but were confident at role play. They read the specification of the scenes and activities beforehand but did not memorise a script but ad-libbed the scenes. This worked well in this case, but it is important to select performers who are confident to do this.

Have a look at our other tips on how to produce interactive 360° video for education.