Ongoing Project

360 Video as a Teaching Technique in Higher Education

Exploring affordable solutions to digital teaching strategies

Project summary

The Challenge

University students often struggle to apply theoretical knowledge and understanding into practice – especially in new and unfamiliar settings.

The Approach

This pan-European project proposes and develops the use of 360 video cameras as an affordable and effective solution.

The Outcome

A 360 degree video online library has been produced. This free online platform is now entering a user-testing and evaluation stage.

Lead researchers

Funded by

Project partners

The Challenge

Evidence clearly shows that university students often struggle to apply theoretical knowledge and understanding into practice. This is especially true in situations where students are required to carry out work outside of the university setting. Placements, visits and internships are unfamiliar and new to students who often feel apprehensive about the challenges associated with learning in these kinds of spaces. Opportunities to familiarise themselves with such settings before experiencing them ‘live’ are therefore welcomed.

Various technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and computer simulations have previously been proposed as solutions. However, these are usually expensive and require substantial training for staff – meaning they are difficult to scale up across universities. Our SEPA360 project proposes the use of 360 video cameras as a solution to these problems.

A range of popular VR devices

The Approach

We are working as part of this EU Erasmus+ project which includes five university partners across Europe.

Each partner has identified three to five ‘digital champions’ in their organisation who have been trained and supported in the use of 360 video. These digital champions have produced a series of exemplar 360 videos to form the basis of a 360 video library. The videos feature a number of educational scenrios such as visits to a chemical plant; visits to wildlife sanctuaries and a classroom scene that focuses on classroom management techniques.

The purpose of this study is to examine the extent and nature of research in peer-reviewed research journal articles and conference papers in order to obtain an overview of current uses of 360 video in educational contexts, with a focus on possible application to the higher education field

Professor Kevin Burden

University of Hull, Principal Investigator and Project Coordinator

The videos are hosted on our newly created, free online platform Vivista. This 360 video library enables users to add elements of interaction to their video including multiple choice questions, tests and mapping exercises.

The project is currently in its second of three years. Work will start shortly on a testing and evaluating stage with students in each of the partner universities.

Ultimately the aim is to convince decision-makers in our respective universities that 360 video is a valuable tool that can support and enhance student learning – and is worth implementing on a larger scale.

Vivista is a 360° video editor and player being developed as an open source software project at the PXL Hasselt.

The Impact

So far we have completed a scoping study and systematic literature review exploring how 360 video is used in university settings. This highlights the benefits of using 360 video in Higher Education and includes the use of modelling, instruction and simulations. The full report is available to download here.

Project partners are currently developing and testing the Vivista platform with users within their respective universities. The software is freely available to download and use and the project team have already engaged with academics and users in Colombia who are interested in exploring the use of 360 video in their own university.