Virtually There: The Potential, Process and Problems of Using 360° Video in the Classroom

Sophie McKenzie, Justin Rough, Aaron Spence, Nick Patterson
Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology  •  Volume 16  •  2019  •  pp. 211-219
Aim/Purpose: This paper presents an exploratory case study into using 360° videos to present small segments of lecture content for IT students in an Australian University. The aim of this study was to understand; what is the impact of incorporating 360° videos into class content for students and teaching staff? In this study the 360° videos are described as “learning atoms”. Learning atoms are short duration videos (1 to 5 minutes) captured in 360°.

Background: Within this paper we conducted experiments in the classroom using 360° videos to determine if they have an impact on student's feeling of presence with class content. Additionally, to follow up, how does the inclusion of 360° impact on the teaching experience.

Methodology: The methodology used in this study focused on both quantitative and qualita-tive aspects. Data was captured at the same time during the teaching period to address the research questions. In order to gauge the feeling of presence within the classroom a short survey was administered to students in the undergraduate IT class at the start (pre) and end (post) of the semester using the same questions to measure any change.

Contribution: The main contributions from this study were that we demonstrated there is a potential for providing an alternative ‘immersive’ content presentation for students. This alternative content took the form of 360° learning atoms, whereas further showed our nuance process for creating and publishing of these atoms.

Findings: The results show that for students, learning atoms can help improve the sense of presence, particularly for remote students, however the interactive experience can take student’s attention away from the lecturer. The results present potential for providing an alternative ‘immersive’ content presentation for students, however problems for uptake are present for both students and teachers, such as image capture quality and file size

Impact on Society: We foresee this approach as being a new approach to teaching students in higher education within online spaces to increase engagement and move towards having a richer virtual experience no matter the location.

Future Research: Future research will be conducted to resolve whether presence and engagement is supported by the inclusion of 360° videos in the classroom.
virtual reality, students, improving classroom teaching
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