Brief

The project had the following needs and challenges:

  • Identify a bit of software that could be used to create immersive field trips and archaeological digs for students
  • With Flash technology now being obsolete, as well as create new tours from scratch, some old tours had also stopped working, and so the new software needed to have an HTML5 output.
  • UHI has a unique setup, spread across all of the Highlands, and they needed to be usable in rural areas with low bandwidth
  • The output was to cost less than physically getting students to the rural areas
  • The students needed the ability to download and view the tours at any time
  • SCORM or gamification capabilities would be preferred

Target Learners:

  • UHI archaeology students, based in Scotland and worldwide

Design considerations:

  • Good UX design on mobile, tablet and desktop (all devices)

Use cases for using immersive technology: opportunities where 360 / 3D / AR / VR technology can be used effectively to improve learning:

  • Getting there in person: overcoming physical barriers
    • Examples: immersive field trips, archaeological digs
  • Mental / sensory barriers
    • Examples: Graded exposure / de-sensitization to phobias and for autism
  • Health and safety
    • Examples: Building site, hazardous lab experiments
  • Monetary
    • Examples: manufacturing – learn before doing a difficult job where mistakes cost
  • Time – historical and/or long timespan
    • Example: 3D timelapse of plants growing, geographical changes of landscape over time
  • Visual barriers
    • Examples: Microscopic interactions, small-scale interactions
Possible technologies as a solution

I looked at a wide range of softwares to find something suitable for our needs, and recorded what I found in a spreadsheet (see excel spreadsheet and screenshot below)

Reflection and evidence

What have I learnt from doing this project?

Good quality photography is important, so that the learner can zoom in and see archaeological detail. For the photography. I used a digital SLR camera on manual mode. It was thought that a lot of development time could be saved by using a 360 camera. These currently produce imagery that’s a lot lower resolution, but it was thought that the hardware will become better and also less expensive in the future, and this would be a quicker way to develop tours.

In my new and improved project processes, I also started using HDR photographs, this post-processing techniques provides wider tonal ranges, and makes the detail and colour “pop” (see image example below):

What went well/what could have gone better?

Unfortunately we struggled to get engagement with the project owners and team, and the tours could have been better if we had more engagement. One of my ideas was to overlay imagery on to the scenes of what it could have looked like in the past, this would have made the scenes more visually engaging, but the SME’s didn’t have time to find example imagery that I could re-draw/illustrate for this purpose. I managed to do it in one hotspot, which was used as an example, so they could see what i was looking for. They liked it, but didn’t have time to complete the rest with me.

What would I do differently another time?

What was the impact on my users/students/learning in rural locations in with low bandwidth?

From the browser, the new tours can be downloaded to any device and accessed at any time. The tours are currently going through live testing with Archaeology students, and the feedback has show their effectiveness (below).

add quote here

Joe Smith

Deprecation of Flash, and our solution

Some of the tours are currently only developed in desktop. The SME’s are due to come back with more information to put in the new upgraded tours, and when this is finalised, mobile/tablet optimisation will also be completed (so as to not duplicate any work needing done). This was found to be a useful project process in order to get the broken Flash tours back up and running as soon as possible, so they could still be used, while ensuring that we will also be improving on the current content.

The benefits our virtual tours brought to our students

One of the main benefits of using virtual tours, as opposed to students visiting in person was that we were able to spend time gathering audio and video interview content with experts in the field, from all over the country. This, embedded in the trips, offered something that even face to face trips couldn’t – the views of lots of people (situated throughout Britain).

Example tours:

Dunadd Fort (fully optimised for all devices):

https://edu-dev.wp.uhi.ac.uk/mhairi/dunadd_draft_7/

Insert tour name (desktop live beta version):

https://edu-dev.wp.uhi.ac.uk/mhairi/dunadd_draft_7/ (edit link)

A. Constraints and benefits of different technologies

WordPress for Education:

Health and Safety Course for Senior School Pupils – Caithness Chamber of Commerce Project

Brief

The project had the following needs:

  • To be fully online
  • Track users progress / provide analytics / enable follow up for non-engagers
  • Enrollment on the course using SQA number
  • User verification by local school
  • Easy to administrate
  • Learner to keep re-going until completion (summative assessments with pass or retry)
  • Completion certificate at the end
  • 4-8 hours long
  • Go out and come back in / learners should be able to learn at their own pace

Target Learners:

  • 16-18 year olds
  • 4 North Highland schools
  • Possibly Highland-wide and also to be rolled out nationally

Design considerations:

  • How younger students learn
  • Visuals to look fun and interesting
  • Short sections / constant progress and chunks

Challenges:

  • Accessible inside and outside the school
  • Digital learning platform for Scotland, GLOW is not used by these schools
  • Alternative needed, that would be accessible in and out of school
  • Not able to use an internal VLE
Possible technologies as a solution

Software we looked at that would fit a small-scale project, and would have the ability to scale up:

Moodle

  • complex,
  • previous poor UX testing feedback from both admin and users

Google Classroom

  • Didn’t have functionality

Easy LMS

  • Doesn’t work with scorm or tin can
  • Expensive

WordPress as LMS

  • Lifter LMS
  • LearnPress
  • ScormCloud for WP
  • LearnDash (chosen software)
Considerations when turning WordPress into an LMS (Learning Management System) and LRS (Learning Records Service)
  • Open source
  • Student interface can be edited to be very minimal, so easy to learn and use
  • Front-end (learning) interface also very flexible
  • Premium plugins allow WP to be used with any SCORM / TinCan files
  • £320 for premium plugins we needed: low cost in comparison to other solutions (Less expensive almost all solutions we looked at, that would cover all our needs)
  • “Resume where left off functionality”
  • On-page technical support (chat box), that can email the tech admin if the admin is not online. (Better support = better engagement.)
  • Hosting Siteground – commercial hosting site: flexibility to move to almost any server (Highland Council are interested in taking over the project after the first 3 years, and then possibly Scotland-wide)
  • Different situation to using tertiary VLE’s, so different solution needed
  • Can be scaled up, further units added
  • Flexible and bespoke permission roles: multiple admins for different schools, project owners admin and super admin.
Reflection

  • What have I learnt from doing what I describe above?
  • What went well/what could have gone better?
  • What would I do differently another time?
  • What was the impact on my users/students/learning?

Evidence

Front page of our WordPress as LMS and LRS solution:

http://workplacementsafety.education/

Minimal and unfussy design, that is easy to learn and suitable for younger audiences:

Fun hazard-perception-style interactions (there are 4 of these altogether in the course):

Presentation at Learning and Teaching Academy ‘Digital Education Week’ by Anne Chard and myself (20 min in), where we discuss the project and how we overcame technical challenges in the project:

test

Immersive field trips and archaeological digs: Finding software to overcome physical, monetary and time barriers

Brief

The project had the following needs and challenges:

  • Identify a bit of software that could be used to create immersive field trips and archaeological digs for students
  • With Flash technology now being obsolete, as well as create new tours from scratch, some old tours had also stopped working, and so the new software needed to have an HTML5 output.
  • UHI has a unique setup, spread across all of the Highlands, and they needed to be usable in rural areas with low bandwidth
  • The output was to cost less than physically getting students to the rural areas
  • The students needed the ability to download and view the tours at any time
  • SCORM or gamification capabilities would be preferred

Target Learners:

  • UHI archaeology students, based in Scotland and worldwide

Design considerations:

  • Good UX design on mobile, tablet and desktop (all devices)

Use cases for using immersive technology: opportunities where 360 / 3D / AR / VR technology can be used effectively to improve learning:

  • Getting there in person: overcoming physical barriers
    • Examples: immersive field trips, archaeological digs
  • Mental / sensory barriers
    • Examples: Graded exposure / de-sensitization to phobias and for autism
  • Health and safety
    • Examples: Building site, hazardous lab experiments
  • Monetary
    • Examples: manufacturing – learn before doing a difficult job where mistakes cost
  • Time – historical and/or long timespan
    • Example: 3D timelapse of plants growing, geographical changes of landscape over time
  • Visual barriers
    • Examples: Microscopic interactions, small-scale interactions
Possible technologies as a solution

I looked at a wide range of softwares to find something suitable for our needs, and recorded what I found in a spreadsheet (see excel spreadsheet and screenshot below)

Reflection and evidence

What have I learnt from doing this project?

Good quality photography is important, so that the learner can zoom in and see archaeological detail. For the photography. I used a digital SLR camera on manual mode. It was thought that a lot of development time could be saved by using a 360 camera. These currently produce imagery that’s a lot lower resolution, but it was thought that the hardware will become better and also less expensive in the future, and this would be a quicker way to develop tours.

In my new and improved project processes, I also started using HDR photographs, this post-processing techniques provides wider tonal ranges, and makes the detail and colour “pop” (see image example below):

What went well/what could have gone better?

Unfortunately we struggled to get engagement with the project owners and team, and the tours could have been better if we had more engagement. One of my ideas was to overlay imagery on to the scenes of what it could have looked like in the past, this would have made the scenes more visually engaging, but the SME’s didn’t have time to find example imagery that I could re-draw/illustrate for this purpose. I managed to do it in one hotspot, which was used as an example, so they could see what i was looking for. They liked it, but didn’t have time to complete the rest with me.

What would I do differently another time?

What was the impact on my users/students/learning in rural locations in with low bandwidth?

From the browser, the new tours can be downloaded to any device and accessed at any time. The tours are currently going through live testing with Archaeology students, and the feedback has show their effectiveness (below).

add quote here

Joe Smith

Deprecation of Flash, and our solution

Some of the tours are currently only developed in desktop. The SME’s are due to come back with more information to put in the new upgraded tours, and when this is finalised, mobile/tablet optimisation will also be completed (so as to not duplicate any work needing done). This was found to be a useful project process in order to get the broken Flash tours back up and running as soon as possible, so they could still be used, while ensuring that we will also be improving on the current content.

The benefits our virtual tours brought to our students

One of the main benefits of using virtual tours, as opposed to students visiting in person was that we were able to spend time gathering audio and video interview content with experts in the field, from all over the country. This, embedded in the trips, offered something that even face to face trips couldn’t – the views of lots of people (situated throughout Britain).

Example tours:

Dunadd Fort (fully optimised for all devices):

https://edu-dev.wp.uhi.ac.uk/mhairi/dunadd_draft_7/

Insert tour name (desktop live beta version):

https://edu-dev.wp.uhi.ac.uk/mhairi/dunadd_draft_7/ (edit link)


B. Technical knowledge and ability in the use of Learning technology

eTIPS: A new model for publishing and distributing etextbooks to the masses

Brief

Our first foray into ePublication was the eTIPS project. eTIPS ran from 2014 – 2017, it was part of a national programme and was funded by Jisc.

The project had the following needs and challenges:

  • Identify a bit of software that could be used to create immersive field trips and archaeological digs for students
  • With Flash technology now being obsolete, as well as create new tours from scratch, some old tours had also stopped working, and so the new software needed to have an HTML5 output.
  • UHI has a unique setup, spread across all of the Highlands, and they needed to be usable in rural areas with low bandwidth
  • The output was to cost less than physically getting students to the rural areas
  • The students needed the ability to download and view the tours at any time
  • SCORM or gamification capabilities would be preferred

Target Learners:

  • UHI archaeology students, based in Scotland and worldwide

Design considerations:

  • Good UX design on mobile, tablet and desktop (all devices)

Use cases for using immersive technology: opportunities where 360 / 3D / AR / VR technology can be used effectively to improve learning:

  • Getting there in person: overcoming physical barriers
    • Examples: immersive field trips, archaeological digs
  • Mental / sensory barriers
    • Examples: Graded exposure / de-sensitization to phobias and for autism
  • Health and safety
    • Examples: Building site, hazardous lab experiments
  • Monetary
    • Examples: manufacturing – learn before doing a difficult job where mistakes cost
  • Time – historical and/or long timespan
    • Example: 3D timelapse of plants growing, geographical changes of landscape over time
  • Visual barriers
    • Examples: Microscopic interactions, small-scale interactions
Possible technologies as a solution

I looked at a wide range of softwares to find something suitable for our needs, and recorded what I found in a spreadsheet (see fig 1 below)

Reflection and evidence

What have I learnt from doing what I describe above?

Good quality photography is important, so that the learner can zoom in and see detail. For this I used a digital SLR camera on manual mode. It was thought that a lot of development time could be saved by using a 360 camera. These currently produce imagery that’s a lot lower resolution, but it was thought that the hardware will become better and also less expensive in the future, and this would be a quicker way to develop tours.

What went well/what could have gone better?

Unfortunately we struggled to get engagement with the project owners and team, and the tours could have been better if we had more engagement. One of my ideas was to overlay imagery on to the scenes of what it could have looked like in the past, this would have made the scenes more visually engaging, but the SME’s didn’t have time to find imagery that I could re-draw for this purpose. I managed to do it in one hotspot, which was used as an example, so they could see what i was looking for. They liked it, but didn’t have time to complete the rest with me.

In my new and improved project processes, I also started using HDR photographs, this post-processing techniques provides wider tonal ranges, and makes the detail and colour “pop” (see image below):

What would I do differently another time?

What was the impact on my users/students/learning?

From the browser, the new tours can be downloaded to any device and accessed at any time. The tours are currently going through live testing with Archaeology students, and the feedback has show their effectiveness (below).

add quote here

Joe Smith

Some of the tours are currently only developed in desktop. The SME’s are due to come back with more information to put in the new upgraded tours, and when this is finalised, mobile/tablet optimisation will also be completed (so as to not duplicate any work needing done). This was found to be a useful project process in order to get the broken Flash tours back up and running as soon as possible, so they could still be used, while ensuring that we will also be improving on the current content.

Example tours:

Dunadd Fort (fully optimised for all devices):

https://edu-dev.wp.uhi.ac.uk/mhairi/dunadd_draft_7/

Insert tour name (desktop live beta version):

https://edu-dev.wp.uhi.ac.uk/mhairi/dunadd_draft_7/ (edit link)

The project investigated the development of the university as a publication service for etextbooks. During the project two etextbooks were published and the publishing model, distribution channel and uptake of the etextbooks were evaluated. A significant output of the project was an analysis of the process, from commissioning to publishing with associated documentation. This work has provided a template, platform and process for future development and publishing of etextbooks at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

https://etextbooks.ac.uk/

Solutions

Wide-ranging role, using a lot of different skills

Reflection

Evidence

screenshots of websites, ebooks, printed materials etc etc

Quotes from Keith and Frank

Quote from Frank:

I have worked closely with Mhairi Longmuir on a number of occasions when her technical
skills were critical in the ability for the project to deliver the outcomes that the team was
looking for. In particular, her work for the UHI team, for which I was the academic lead, on a
JISC-funded project to explore ways of making university expertise more widely available in
e-book format, is a good example of the breadth of her IT abilities. In this course of this
project, a number of barriers needed to be negotiated, including IPR/copyright, accessibility checking, and negotiating the establishment of new internet domain host sites. In addition to
the technical issues in producing the e-books (her responsibilities included print design,
institutional branding, and creating the cover illustrations) we decided to produce companion
webpages for the books, in order to be able to add updated information after the dates of book
publication. For these companion websites (designed by Mhairi) we included a selection of
video clips and some complex HTML coding to ensure that all the resources were as widely
available as possible. Mhairi had a key lead in this process and patiently worked away until a
successful resolution was found for each new difficulty. The result was an amazing success,
with the first two books reaching top slot for non-fiction downloads on Amazon, in both the
UK and the USA. A key aim of this project was to maximise the openness of academic
information produced by universities by establishing an innovative system for e-publications,
and the lessons learned from this initiative have been instrumental in being able to take the
concept to a more advanced stage after the end of the funded project. In realising the goals of
this project, Mhairi was required to demonstrate both a high level of collaboration with the
other participants, but at the same time to take responsibility for independent and problemsolving
decisions with regards to her own work packages. In all of these aspects, Mhairi has
constantly shown an ability to adapt and to try out new approaches to combining technology
solutions to improved learning, teaching, and research, and she has been a pleasure to work
with.

(Professor) Frank Rennie
Head of Research and postgraduate studies
Lews Castle College
University of the Highlands and Islands
24 September 2021

HTML5 template

Problem solving

  • explain technical; details of HTML5 framework, with different release notes etc
  • had to make it flexible so we could produce a wide range of multimedia
  • built-in accessibility to high standard
  • re-usable classes and code
  • responsive for mobile, tablet and desktop

Solution

xxx

Reflection

xxx

Evidence

xxx

HNC Psychology

Using WordPress for education

Problem solving

flexibility and low cost

Solutions

The following was part of the project management process within these WordPress projects:

Defining the brief, creating a brand, domain and hosting admin and management, graphic design, website optimisation (page speed, image optimisation, accessibility), UX browser testing, Search Engine Optimisation, help with privacy and cookies text, Google Webmaster tools and submission, user control panel creation and administration.

I have developed these sites so that their management is as streamlined as possible for a team environment, this includes consistent use of technology and plugins, back-ups, security, and also noting documentation that may be re-used, for developers and back-ends in the future.

Reflection

I have continued to improve the process of developing databased and interactive solutions with multiple users… it was thought and noted that face to face sessions with the course owners/writer would improve communication to the project. Website design is about solving human problems (not just making things look pretty!), this communication is vital for a successful project outcome and time for development, with minimal revisions.

Face to face testing is also needed with at least 2 phases of this.

Evidence

 ‘Developing and Supporting the Curriculum’ enhancement theme

Problem solving

The purpose of this video is to provide an overview of the work that the University of the Highlands and Islands has undertaken in connection with the ‘Developing and Supporting the Curriculum’ enhancement theme, our reflections on this work and how we have utilised this in the forward arrangements for academic delivery across the University. The University of the Highlands and Islands has a distinctive constitutional structure, comprising of 13 autonomous independent Colleges and specialist institutions, – known as the Academic Partners – together with a central Executive Office. These entities are bound together to form the University of the Highlands and Islands. The Academic Partners are dispersed across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and beyond, from Shetland in the north to Perth and Argyll in the south and from the Western Isles to Moray. They also vary in size and focus, but taken together the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) has been able to deliver the Developing and Supporting the Curriculum enhancement theme within a tertiary environment.

Solutions

xxx

Reflection

xxx

Evidence

Translating courses info other languages

Problem solving

  • Gaelic version of “benchmarks” interaction
  • Terres des Hommes Hellas – Child Safeguarding and Protection – full course (4 modules) into greek

Solutions

talk about complex development process

Reflection

xxx

Evidence

get quote from project owner

Greek Child Safeguarding and Protection

Support for new Brightspace VLE

Problem solving

Help get staff and students engaged in the rollout of the new VLE

Solutions

Full re-brand for all communications relating to the rollout

Reflection

  • What have I learnt from doing what I describe above?
  • What went well/what could have gone better?
  • What would I do differently another time?
  • What was the impact on my users/students/learning?

Evidence

  • Add screenshots into the page from page above (and possibly others)
  • Lesley is going to give me a quote
  • Screenshot of analytics of some sort showing engagement? Ask Carolin?

“Benchmarks for the use of technology in learning and teaching”

Problem solving

An interaction developed in Articulate Storyline, to help university staff transition to a new Learning Management System, Brightspace, and achieve our in-house benchmarks in the use of technology while doing so.

Solutions

xxx

Reflection

  • What have I learnt from doing what I describe above?
  • What went well/what could have gone better?
  • What would I do differently another time?
  • What was the impact on my users/students/learning?

Evidence

HTML5 template

Problem solving

Framework for the development of e-learning materials, to be used consistently across all the department

Solutions

HTML5 template and associated training materials and staff training

Reflection

  • What have I learnt from doing what I describe above?
  • What went well/what could have gone better?
  • What would I do differently another time?
  • What was the impact on my users/students/learning?

Evidence

  • Screenshots of :
    • Resources made with template
    • Code guides
    • Training guides I created for new staff
HNC Psychology

eTIPS (eTextbook Institutional Publishing Service)

Problem solving

Design and publishing of ebooks “in-house” in UHI – supporting budding authors, and deploying to the masses

Solutions

Ebook as different form of deploying education

Reflection

  • What have I learnt from doing what I describe above?
  • What went well/what could have gone better?
  • What would I do differently another time?
  • What was the impact on my users/students/learning?

Evidence

  • The University of the Highlands and Islands offers budding and experienced authors a service which supports them to publish and distribute ebooks.
  • Our first foray into ePublication was the eTIPS project. eTIPS ran from 2014 – 2017, it was part of a national programme and was funded by Jisc. The project investigated the development of the university as a publication service for etextbooks. During the project two etextbooks were published and the publishing model, distribution channel and uptake of the etextbooks were evaluated. A significant output of the project was an analysis of the process, from commissioning to publishing with associated documentation. This work has provided a template, platform and process for future development and publishing of etextbooks at the University of the Highlands and Islands. 
  • During the eTIPS project we learned that by supporting academic staff to publish etextbooks, positive change can be affected at several levels. The diagram below represents the use cases for etextbook publishing. It suggests the value that each use case will bring generally and the text highlights where the university’s strategic plan and core values are supported.
  • Info from this table from main website:

“As an author for electrolic resources, I feel much more in control of what happens to my writing. I know that I’ll be at the centre of producing the book, that we can add and update quickly, even after publication, and that what I’ve written has the potential to be seen by millions, globally.”

Frank Rennie

Presentation on findings on 3D / 360 and virtual reality technologies for education

Problem solving

Solutions

3D / 360 – a presentation I did on use cases for using 360 and virtual technology, and how everyone can use them in teaching now

Using 3D repositories and low cost current and emerging solutions that are easily accessible to everyone – what you can do now, using what’s already out there just using a bit of creativity!

  • Using 3D repositories and low cost current and emerging solutions that are easily accessible to everyone – what you can do now, using what’s already out there just using a bit of creativity!
  • Simple virtual tour made with consumer level equipment (on our campus)

3D scanning with mobile phone:

3D models into Powerpoint:

Animation (embed animation to show it in PP)

Reflection

  • What have I learnt from doing what I describe above?
  • What went well/what could have gone better?
  • What would I do differently another time?
  • What was the impact on my users/students/learning?

Evidence

  • Links to Arqspin files
  • Lighting Talk at Digital Education Week: https://stream.uhi.ac.uk/Play/13289 (skip to 20 mins 30 secs)
  • Link to PowerPoint slides (Camtasia, or Camtasia with voice over)?
  • My Virtual Tours that have 3D embeds within them – I found these embed myself online in the repositories, while researching how we can use 3D to enhance learning. Add screen video also