There are two aspects of the work that can be divided easily into two separate teams. We formed a video team and a Captivate team. Both teams were made up of student workers, and one student worker on each team was appointed to be the team leader. The team leader on each offered the most feedback and training as well as provided the most help in being as organized as possible.
Both teams communicated regularly throughout the week. On Thursday evenings, all members of both teams would work in CIDT or join via Zoom. During that time, all projects would be reviewed so that everyone on both teams would be aware of progress and needs. Then the two teams would work separately on their projects. This time was frequently used for brainstorming, training, and peer review.
- The video team was responsible for capture sessions with faculty that included both 2D and 360° Video as well as 2D and 360° still images. Once the images and videos were captured, this team was responsible for editing and sharing.
- 360° images did not need to be edited. They were simply shared to the Captivate team. 360° videos did not have extensive editing. They were just cut or spliced where appropriate and then injected and published. We found that it was necessary to provide the Captivate team with both the video file and a YouTube link.
- The video team was responsible for editing, publishing, and captioning the 2D videos also. The Captivate team needed both the video files and the YouTube links. For YouTube videos, we found that it was easiest to create a playlist of videos for each project and share a single link with the Captivate team.
- The video team was responsible for capturing the 2D images, but not for editing them. Some members of the Captivate team as well as other CIDT staff assisted in editing the images, which consisted of removing backgrounds, adding captions provided by the instructor, etc. Those editing images were sometimes considered a third team – the graphic design team.
- The Captivate team was responsible for building the modules in Adobe Captivate. Each member began by completing the LinkedIn Learning training provided for Captivate. Most also obtained a 30-day free trial of Captivate to get a head start in learning the program and to begin working on a project before obtaining a full license. *Note: We found that it was a simpler process to upgrade from the free trial to a OneNet license than to install the OneNet license without having first done the free trial.
- The Captivate team was involved in brainstorming the layout of the modules, determining the order and placement of content, and building all aspects of the module, including assessments. Each member of the team was assigned one of projects to work on at a time, and as they neared a point where they would be waiting for feedback before continuing, they were given another project. Some of the members of the team, especially the team leader, would work directly with faculty to show the modules and get feedback. Others did not communicate directly with the faculty but would get feedback through the director of CIDT who would work with the faculty.
- The projects in Captivate were an ongoing process as many iterations of each project were produced based on ongoing feedback from peers, faculty, and eventually students.
A student worker who quickly excelled in each team was appointed team leader for each team. The team leader played an invaluable role in training the other student workers and providing peer feedback. Both team leaders for our project thrived in the leadership role as they took initiative in defining our process and creativity in the content produced.
Participating in a design team remotely can provide both flexibility and access to team members who might not otherwise be able to engage in the project onsite. Remote design is very common, especially in the field of instructional design / eLearning and can teach students both the skills of remote work as well as establishing excellent communication.
Hosting weekly team meetings through virtual conference software such as Zoom allowed all team members to collaborate when each person joined the meeting individually regardless of location. Clearly communicating agendas ahead of time to all attendees allowed both remote and on-site team members to be prepared for the collaboration. This is especially important for stand-up opportunities where each project holder updates the department manager as well as cross team connections between Captivate designers, video/photo crews, and graphic designers. Access to well organized systems of cloud-based file sharing is essential for integrating remote team members.
Communication between remote staff and faculty members, who will be using these modules for instruction, can be challenging until that relationship has been established. Including remote designers in the early phases of project planning and carefully noting the goals and sequencing of the modules will help remote designers move forward with the video and images that are gathered with the faculty member. It can be challenging to receive a deck of images without a clear understanding of the project. Clearly defined deadlines and weekly next steps are essential for keeping remote workers on pace.
Meeting with Faculty
The director of CIDT met initially with departments and individual faculty to find interest in the VR project and brainstorm project ideas. The director met again with each to get a better sense of the subject that would be covered and schedule times for video capture. The faculty and members of the video team were sent a calendar invite for each scheduled capture, and scheduled captures were also marked on the student worker schedule for the department. Instructors were also asked to send any existing content for the lesson that might assist the team in knowing objectives and organizing the content. Existing content would include PowerPoints, handouts, study guides, etc.
As work on the modules progressed, the most current version of each module was stored in a Blackboard Course called “Demo” where each of the participating faculty were also enrolled. Faculty were asked to go there to review their modules and give feedback. They were invited to give feedback as many times as they wanted until they were ready for us to put it in their own courses for beta testing by students.
While most communication with faculty went through the director of CIDT, several times, faculty were invited to CIDT to work directly with the student worker assigned to their project, which was very helpful as it gave the student worker an opportunity to ask questions and clarify the instructor’s objectives and preferences.
The timeline for projects does increase in speed after gaining practical experience, but it does take some extra time for the first few projects. We found ourselves experimenting with a lot of options for file type, layout, settings, etc. The newness of the tool takes some exploration time to fully realize what all can be done. However, after the first few projects are done, it is easier to plan and complete projects at a much faster rate.
Below are steps of the project that a timeline projection should include:
1. Video and Image Capture
Nothing can be done on the project until the team has images and videos to work with. It is sometimes even difficult to write a concept for the module until after the capture session. Some modules require multiple capture sessions because the experience is in multiple parts or because additional footage is needed. While we would frequently dive in and start working as soon as we had anything at all, it is much more efficient to have all footage prepared and organized before beginning the drafting phase.
Some instructors want the capture to take place during a live class. Some footage from the live class is helpful, but it is best to also have them go through the content with just the video team so that they can go slowly and reposition the equipment as needed, especially if the instructor moves around the room. In cases where students are recorded, remember to ask the students to sign a video release.
*Note: In addition to capturing video and images, it is helpful to request existing materials at this time (if not already collected). If they have existing PowerPoints, handouts, study guides, etc., those materials can help shape the concept and layout of the module.
Will the module be a VR project or a Responsive project? Will the slides be primarily 360° images? If so, what order should the images be in? What hotspots should be included on each slide? Will you use 360° video? Or just 2D video in hotspots? These are questions you should consider when writing out a concept for a module.
Once you know what you want in the module, make sure you have everything, and in the right form. If you will be using a VR project, you’ll need the video files, not YouTube links. If you will be using a Responsive project, you can use YouTube links to your videos to make the file size smaller.
*Note: Long 360 video does not work well in a VR project because of file size
The hotspots on each slide can include images and/or text, but that content should come from the instructor. An efficient way we collected information from the instructor was to use Google Slides and place one image on each slide. We would send the slides to the instructor and ask them to add to the notes section what we should say about each image. We would then edit the photos to include the captions provided.
With the concept and assets ready, it’s time to build it out in Captivate. The more prepared you are from step 2, the easier step 3 will be, but don’t be surprised if you realize as you build the module that more content is needed to clarify or add more value. The time to plan for building will be based largely on how complex the module will be. Some may only be 3 or 4 slides. Others may be 20 or 30 slides. [COLLECT DATA ON TIME SPENT PER MODULE. INSERT HERE.]
The instructor will want to be involved in writing questions, but they sometimes struggle to understand the concept of how and where the questions will be used. We usually make example questions to insert how and where we would recommend. Some faculty give us existing materials, such as study guides, that can help us create questions. The instructor can give feedback and change what is there, add more, etc. It is important that any sample questions not have settings that prohibit the instructor from going back and answering the questions multiple times as this will prevent their ability to review them. Some of the question settings can be tricky!
It may be helpful for instructional purposes to require that students review all the hotspots or watch the videos or answer a question, etc. before moving forward in the module. Those settings can be cumbersome and irritating in the review process though, so it is best to enter those at the end. The instructor should have some input on what will be required to move forward.
This is also a time to consider accessibility and check through the module to see if anything was missed. Were the videos captioned? Do the written hotspots have audio? Finish up anything that may have been missed along the way.
The faculty should be involved to whatever extent possible all along the way, but once you have what you think is a finished draft, they will give the main feedback for you to make revisions. They typically give several rounds of feedback before they are ready to share the module with their students.
We recognize that there will inevitably be some bugs that need to be worked out, and we need students to be patient with our process. When we put the module in the course, we label it as a “Beta Test.” We want student feedback, not student complaints. As feedback comes in, several more iterations of the module may be necessary.
For the first few projects, the director of CIDT wrote out concepts to tell the student workers how to lay out the content. This was helpful and important in the initial stages to provide guidance; however, after the first few projects, the student workers assigned took a larger role in determining how to lay out the project and, mainly, determine in advance whether the project should be built as a VR project or a Responsive project.
Written concepts were organized around “slides” as the inside of Captivate is similar to PowerPoint and progressed through “slides.” The concepts therefore identified what content would be used on each slide. Sometimes the concept had to be revised to better fit the faculty’s objections that may not have been clearly communicated initially.
This project falls under the umbrella of OER (Open Education Resource). Links to the final modules will be available to other institutions for viewing and usage. Additionally, project files will be made available to other Oklahoma institutions to use as templates to assist them in producing their own modules.
Faculty were informed of OER goals in the initial discussion to determine interest. Participating faculty signed an Intellectual Property Release Agreement.
Click below for the Intellectual Property Release Agreement Form used at Southeastern, developed in consultation with OneNet’s legal department.