Modules must first be defined as either a responsive project or a VR project. Both project types offer immersive and interactive learning opportunities with 360 technology in defined branching pathways. There are distinct differences, though, that must be considered in the early phases of design.
Responsive projects are designed primarily for use on a computer and incorporates 360 images and videos into an otherwise 2D module. Responsive projects are designed to transition seamlessly between diverse device sizes by optimizing viewing through reduced panning and zooming across screen sizes. When viewed on a computer, the videos fill the screen, and navigation is controlled largely by the navigation bar at the bottom of the window. Using a framework built around fluid boxes, they allow the content to orient to mobile and larger screen sizes.
VR Projects are designed primarily for use in a VR headset, but can also be viewed on a computer. 360 images make the skeletal structure of the module and other elements open within that space. Hotspots or text overlays can be added to these anchoring slides. Pop up 2D images or videos add layers to the user’s learning opportunities. The level of immersion in a VR project far exceeds that of a responsive project. Users can navigate VR projects using either a VR headset or a browser. Navigation of a VR project on a mobile device is not optimal unless the user has Google Cardboard.
VR projects must use directly embedded video files rather than linking to YouTube. Responsive projects can use embedded YouTube videos. Due to file size issues, projects that use 360 video typically do better in a Responsive Project. Project design objectives should be clearly defined early in the process to clarify between responsive and VR project formats since each offers the end user unique opportunities for interactive learning.