At ALTC in 2017 we presented proof of concept interactive 360° image resources made by our Digital Learning Team using Thinglink (a subscription and browser-based software). These early examples served to illustrate the affordances of this medium to faculty staff; but were not used in teaching and were our first steps ‘through the looking glass’ of creating immersive learning.
This beginners-level session will outline the development and expansion of the original work since 2017; we have created more detailed, relevant immersive experiences, and enabled faculty staff to join us on the other side of the looking glass, dispelling notions that immersive learning is a fanciful fad or gimmick. The success of this, in part, is down to reframing the issue as what problems can immersive learning resources ameliorate or solve? Session participants will have an opportunity to try out Thinglink software and reflect on the design of such digital resources. We will outline some free alternative tools to Thinglink for creating these types of resources. Attendees will be encouraged to share ideas for applications and use-cases via online tools such as Padlet, so BYOD is essential for full participation, but previous experience in creating 360° images is not.
In the last two years the Digital Learning Team has attended two different fieldcourses for STEMM subjects (Biology and Marine Biology), capturing video and 360° images to build virtual versions of each trip. These resources are now being refined with student and teaching staff feedback, and attending the fieldcourses for a second time to capture additional media. As well as creating resources with direct application in teaching, the team is supporting an interdisciplinary group of staff in a faculty which encompasses Health Sciences, Biology, Ocean and Earth Sciences, and Geography. This cross-faculty project aims to increase staff skills and capacity for producing their own immersive experiences, using kit modelled on a similar successful initiative at the University of Sussex, and through sharing practice and design tips from the Digital Learning Team’s experience. This work is already breaking down silos and providing greater cohesion across field course design (by linking module leads for 1st and 2nd year courses in STEMM). The reflective nature of Health Sciences professionals is core in developing engaging and valuable immersive experiences in clinical settings and approaches to encouraging professional reflective practice are being shared with the group.
Studies indicate that immersive tours or virtual reality experiences may reduce anxiety felt by individuals in unfamiliar surroundings such as surgery (Ryu et al 2017), or due to autism (Carey et al 2016, Maskey 2019). With an increasing number of students reporting mental health issues (YouGov 2016) this is of particular importance, especially for field courses with potentially higher health and safety risks or limited support services available on location.
The use of immersive media will become more commonplace in Higher Education settings (Horizon New Media Report 2018). Reduced costs and improved tools mean that staff and students are more enabled to create their own resources, further democratising access and learning. Delegates will develop an understanding of entry-level routes to embedding appropriately-designed immersive media.
Introduction and overview of project team’s work and current resources
Participants explore one of our digital trips and leave feedback via padlet or an online form.
Brief walkthrough of Thinglink editor
Participants access ‘student group’ on our account, clone existing 360 images from Thinglink and create their own resource
Peer sharing and Padlet wall to collect ideas for practical settings/applications
Summary, questions and close
Carey, Greg & Constable, Paul & , C.Sprick & , S.Parker. (2016). Can a virtual tour reduce anxiety in young optometry patients identified on the Autism Spectrum?. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. 60. 646.
Morag Maskey, Jacqui Rodgers, Barry Ingham, Mark Freeston, Gemma Evans, Marie Labus, and Jeremy R. Parr. 2019. Using Virtual Reality Environments to Augment Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Fears and Phobias in Autistic Adults Autism in Adulthood.http://doi.org/10.1089/aut.2018.0019
NMC Horizon Report: 2018 Higher Education Edition. Retrieved March 2019 from https://library.educause.edu/~/media/files/library/2018/8/2018horizonreport.pdf
J.-H. Ryu, S.-J. Park, J.-W. Park, J.-W. Kim, H.-J. Yoo, T.-W. Kim, J. S. Hong, S.-H. Han.(2017). Randomized clinical trial of immersive virtual reality tour of the operating theatre in children before anaesthesia. British Journal of Surgery; DOI: 10.1002/bjs.10684
YouGov Survey Results (2016) accessed https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/obtomdatp4/Survey_Results.pdf