University of Florence (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 8920-8929
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.1794
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Among the latest generation of digital technologies, immersive environments are generating increasing interest in education for the positive impact they have on students both in terms of engagement and knowledge transfer [1] [2]. In particular, 360 videos involve high levels of realism and sense of presence or embodiment [1], and are also becoming increasingly affordable, enabling users to explore, experiment or practice dangerous or hard-to-reach environments, allowing learners to safely anticipate the experience [2].

However, the educational potential of 360 video is still under scrutiny. The Supporting Educators’ Pedagogical Activities with 360 video project (SEPA360) is an Erasmus+ project (2019-2022) (, aimed at deepening the opportunities of 360 video in HE, and investigating how it supports students' learning processes through real-life video scenarios. The partnership also developed Vivista, an educational software to enrich 360 videos, allowing lecturers to embed interaction points such as hotspots, hyperlinks, texts, images or videos, multiple choice questions, area highlights and other interactive media within the 360 videos.

In this paper, we present a case study based on the design and development of an interactive 360 video with Vivista for the three-year degree course in Food Science and Technology at the University of Florence. The paper starts with a discussion of the educational challenges characterising the teaching activity in this area. Students usually experience difficulties in applying the knowledge acquired in the classroom (through frontal lessons and exercises), when they move to the SensoryLab, where food tasting takes place. When they first arrive in the lab, they feel lost and may not be able to connect the experience to the theoretical knowledge of contents, procedures and instruments previously learned. The 360 video anticipates the experience enabling students to explore the laboratory through the integration of interactive contents. Thus students are not passive spectators but active explorers. Furthermore, in this time when the pandemic is limiting face-to-face teaching in the lab for safety reasons, 360 videos can be exploited, successfully, as an effective alternative. The paper focuses on the design phase which is essential for succeeding in the preparation of the interactive video-contents, making videos more effective and realistic, and stimulating the student's sense of discovery. Looking beyond the Covid-19 emergency, it concludes with a reflection on the opportunities that 360 videos may provide to university students for practice and experience.

[1] Assilmia, F., Pai, Y.S., Okawa, K., Kunze, K., 2017. In360: A 360-degree-video platform to change students preconceived notions on their career, in: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings. Association for Computing Machinery, pp. 2359–2365.
[2] Rupp, M.A., Odette, K.L., Kozachuk, J., Michaelis, J.R., Smither, J.A., McConnell, D.S., 2019. Investigating learning outcomes and subjective experiences in 360-degree videos. Computers and Education 128, 256–268.
360 video, technology-enhanced learning, higher education, food science & technology.