Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Internet Outage (11-28)

KUMC will experience a brief internet outage on November 28th from 6 - 6:30 AM. This will specifically cause users to not be able to connect to Panopto or Adobe Connect. Anyone attempting to access Blackboard or TLC while on campus during that time will experience issues. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Designing VR Applications

VR is making its way into education. From virtual trips to anatomy lessons, virtual reality (VR) applications and affordable consumer VR devices are showing up more and more into the classroom. There are educational titles available for VR that educators can use today (list some apps). But, the faculty that I work with have more specific needs that the current apps are do not meet. Thus, I started my journey to learn to develop VR applications. In this article, I would like to discuss a particular VR application I am developing to give some context of the process of designing for VR as well as give a review of Udacity's Virtual Reality Nanodegree.

Udacity's Virtual Reality Nanodegree

I am enrolled in Udacity's Virtual Reality Nanodegree program. This nanodegree is a three-term program (about 6 months to complete) that introduces the learner to VR development and design through 13 projects in the course.  I will be presenting my VR app that I developed in the second term titled "VR Design."

In the VR Design module, the learner is introduced to basic VR design concepts such as ergonomics, graphical user interface, motion mechanics, simulator sickness, and audio and visual feedback to name a few. Other design concepts are discussed such as iterations, user-feedback design, and most important documentation. What follows now is my documentation of the project, Puzzler VR, that I submitted as my assignment.

Sonny's Puzzler VR Project

As part of my coursework, I have developed a VR app called Puzzler VR. This app takes a user into a dark and gloomy dungeon room where they will solve a Simon-says like puzzle to exit the room. This project took around 15 hours to develop that allowed for user-testing and iterations. A major consideration in the development of this app as to develop an app that provided clear instructions and visual cues to allow a users to easily navigate the game.

Puzzler VR

This project successfully provided me with the opportunity to develop a VR app through an iterative process. User-tested feedback throughout the development allowed for a better user experience, faster development, and a more successful game.


Puzzler VR

The Process

Statement of Propose: Puzzler VR is a mobile VR application for new users to complete familiar puzzles in a 3D environment.

Persona

For this project, I created a persona called Dean. Dean is 42, education technology specialist working in higher education

Quote: “I like to learn new things and like to play games and role play outside of work.”

Dean is a married, professional with no children. His work engages him in learning new technologies for education. He is an avid video game player, but also enjoys any game or experiences that allows him to role play and escape the real world.

VR Experience: some experience with mobile and consumer products like the HTC Vive.

Sketches

Here are some sketches of a possible 3D environment for Puzzler VR and user interface concepts to begin and finish the game.

Concept Drawing of Puzzler VR

Concepts of UI start and end screens

User Testing

Using an iterative design method, user testing was performed at different stages of development. Below are stages and feedback received that informed development of the application.

Stage: Scale of Environment
User feedback during this stage informed me that the first iteration was "too tight." The user felt that the floor was too close and the walls were too close. Adjustments were made to the camera position and scale of the environment. This took many attempts to get the scale and height position corrected. 

Stage: Mood of Environment
User feedback informed that the room was "dark and creepy," meeting the look and feel that I desired. No changes were made to the game.

Stage: User Interface
User feedback provided indicated fonts were clear and readable and that the button and button engagement was intuitive. No changes were made to the game.

Stage: Movement
User feedback suggested that they started too close to the room. Transitions from into the room and exiting the room were smooth and acceptable. I adjusted the start position of the player to allow for a better time transition into the room.

Stage: Puzzle Play
User feedback indicated that at first, they seemed "a little confused" about what to do as there was not clear instructions, but it was clear that "I could click on the balls, and that I did not want to get the fart sound." User also commented that they expected more than one puzzle. They offered suggestions of performing the puzzle more that once and keeping score. I did not make changes to the game as this was the intended experience. I may make future changes to extend the game in the future.

Selecting an orb during game play.

Final Design

After the multiple iterations in the design, the final game turned out well. I decided to add the mountains in the background as the dungeon room seemed out of place just floating. I continued to tweak the starting position and start screen so that there was a smooth transition without just jumping right into the room.

The game walk-through goes like this:

  • Play starts outside a dungeon room in a mountainous region. There is a welcome screen that displays and offers the player to start the game.
  • Once the start button is pressed, the player automatically moves into the dungeon room. This room is dimly lit with five floating, blue orbs hovering in the air.
  • As the player watches, the five orbs will light up in a pattern. When the orb lights up, it also produces a sound. 
  • The player will now have to attempt to click on the orbs in the same pattern that was displayed. If the player selects the orbs in the correct pattern, they have solved the puzzle, and will slowly move out of the dungeon room. If the player does not complete the pattern correctly, a "fail" sound is played. The orbs will then again display the pattern again to give the player another chance at the puzzle.
  • When the player has successfully completed the pattern and moved out of the dungeon room, a success screen will display allowing the player to restart the game again.
  • Pressing the restart button will position the player back at the start of the game, outside of the dungeon room and in front of the welcome screen.

Future Improvements

I would like to add more than on puzzle. It would be cool to add opening and closing doors to give a sense that the player is trapped in the room until the puzzle is solved. Also, if there are more that one puzzle, provide a way to allow the player to reset if they get stuck on a puzzle. Finally, add more outside details to make the game more immersive.

Conclusions

I enjoyed the overall experience developing this app. It is an entry VR app that new users can easily navigate. It provides many key elements in VR development to make the app engaging; lighting, sound, music, movement, and interactive buttons and orbs. This project also allowed for developers to complete a full VR experience while following a user-tested design process.

Review of Udacity's Virtual Reality Nanodegree

Some background first. I do have a degree in computer science, and have written many small apps and scripts. I do not code regularly, but know enough to write some code and modify someone else's code to make it do what I need it to do. So, this course is not too challenging for me on the coding aspect.

What I enjoy about this course is that it introduces students to VR development and all the topics and consideration needed to make a successful VR app. They provide 3D models, code, and other assess that you use to make the assigned app. I have really liked this module on design. It has provided some great insight into concepts and processes to make development easier and faster. I look forward to the next projects.

Although Udacity claims that a beginner with no coding experience can take this course, I would not suggest it. You need to be familiar with coding or take a coding course before you take this course. All projects end up having some coding errors, and it takes some time to find out your issue. They have great support, but finding errors in code can be stressful and time consuming. But that is an inevitable truth in coding. There will always be errors. And if you don't find some joy in looking for errors, then coding may not be for you.

I would recommend this course for those interested in getting into VR development that has some experience coding.

About the author: Sonny Painter is an Educational Technologist at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He help instructors integrate technology into research and education. He is currently exploring the possibilities of VR/AR is instruction.

Monday, October 30, 2017

TLC Scheduled Maintenance

TLC will be unavailable during the following times due to scheduled maintenance.
Please do not plan on completing training during this time:

Monday, October 30, 2017 8:00PM - 8:45M CST

Friday, September 22, 2017

CAS Authentication issue-Resolved

Users attempting to log into CAS Authentican systems between 9:39-9:45 AM Friday were unable to login due to network issues.
These issues have been resolved and are functioning normally again.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

TLT Newsletter Fall 2017


New Hires: TLT-EdTech and TLT-Media

                                                                                                                                                     

 

Please Welcome Diane, Steven, and Dylan



Diane Addison 
eLearning Support Specialist to SoN

Diane comes to us from Vanderbilt University where she held a Student Assistant position at the Office of Education Design and Technology in the School of Medicine while pursing a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.  Fortunately for us, her experience at Vanderbilt  will allow her to grow her technical skills even more during her tenure with us.









Steven Ringel 
Media Production Specialist

Steven graduated from The University of Kansas with a degree in Film.  Steven has since worked within contract video production and various educational K-12 institutions in a joint technology and video instruction capacity. Currently, Steven joins the KUMC family within TLT Media.









Dylan Walker
AV Classroom Support Specialist

In May, Dylan Walker joined TLT-Media as an A/V Classroom Support Specialist.

He previously spent seven years with Nebraska Furniture Mart, the last two years in the Dallas Fort Worth area opening the largest single retail store in North America. Dylan was tasked with handling all the technical training for five hundred newly on-boarded staff.

Currently he is enrolled at Johnson County Community College and working on an A+ Computer Support Certificate. In his free time he enjoys going to breweries, Sporting KC games and watching movies.

EdTech & Instructional Design


Introducing: Panopto

KUMC's new screen and lecture capture software allows for seamless integration into your Blackboard course. Take advantage of this software, which allows for automatic lecture recording, screen capture, flipped classroom settings, student assessments, content analytics, and much more. Learn More
  

Moving Relay Videos to Panopto

If you have any Relay videos that you would like to kept and manage in Panopto, Sonny Painter made a video on how to accomplish this. Enjoy! Learn More

                                                                                           

Useful Blackboard Features

On Blackboard's homepage, faculty and students will be able to take advantage of three useful additions including new Blackboard mobile apps for both students and instructors. Learn More

Importing a Test created in Word into Blackboard

A common request by faculty is how to import a test that was created in Word into Blackboard. TLT has an app that can assist in this, as long as the Word (or text file) is formatted correctly. Learn More

Publishing Examsoft Test Scores to Blackboard

Those of you how use Examsoft for testing now have the option to push test scores directly to your Blackboard GradeCenter. You will first have to contact your TLT Liaison to get it set up. Learn More

                                                                                           

Faculty Spotlight   

Starting this academic year TLT will be showcasing faculty who have implemented technology into their courses to enhance their student's learning experience in new and innovative ways. 
Our first spotlight faculty member is Moya Peterson, who has implemented a novel method of using short video blogs submitted by students to Blackboard discussion boards as a means of growing their ability to succeed in a preceptorship. Learn More
 

                                                                                                                

New Adobe Connect Add-in

Samsung Gear 360
The current version of Adobe's Connect add-in software is expiring on September 9th, and all users that share content within their Connect sessions must update to the newest version. If the Add-in isn't updated, users will not even be able to enter their meetings. Learn More

Virtual Reality: 360ᐤ Images and Videos

TLT now has a Samsung Gear 360 (1st ed.)  camera that can shoot 360 degree pictures and video. These make for excellent immersive experiences, being able to completely take in the entire environment. Learn More


EVENTS


Exemplar Courses
Date: TBD
Location: TBD
Near the end of each semester, selected faculty present on innovative ways they use technology within their courses. A broadcast will be sent out later in the semester.

10th Annual TLT Open House
Date: October 24th
Location: HEB G109

Stop by anytime from 1:00 to 3:00 pm and meet the team behind the technology, sample some new instructional technologies, and see what's coming next to KUMC!

IR/IS Open House
Date: October 12th
Location: HEB 3112

Come by anytime between 1:00pm and 2:30 pm to ask questions and see demonstrations!




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Panopto Outage - RESOLVED

There was a brief Panopto outage between 4-5pm today.  It was due to an issue with the server.  If you experience any problems with your recordings please contact TLT. 

UPDATE: After we performed a restart of the servers at 5 PM we believed that the issue was resolved. However upon further review the issue was still persisting. We resolved the issue of Panopto running slowly and timing out and not loading videos properly at 7 PM on 9/20. We apologize for this inconvenience and we are investigating why it happened so that it does not happen again.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Faculty Spotlight: Moya Peterson



When I was asked to teach NRSG 813- Applied Drug Therapy, I was nervous and excited.  I wanted to try new ways to teach this content online.  I read and I consulted my colleagues in TLT for the best practices.  At the time they seemed a little extreme, but now I cannot think about teaching any other way.  The class consists of a new topic each week- basically a new bodily system- and the drugs that treat diseases that occur commonly in that system.  Although nurses give lots of drugs, most of our students enter this course with a narrow view of pharmacology.  They are comfortable administering inpatient drugs for the conditions that they care for in the hospital. So it is my job to introduce them to the art and science of selecting the proper drug for every system in the body.

For the first section I developed a family- two children, two adults and two elders.  Each week at least one member of that family developed a problem that the students had to determine a treatment for their assignment. After they read the brief outline of the symptoms and other relevant health information on the patient they made their drug selections and posted their conclusions on a discussion board.  This was followed by a weekly quiz. The literature I had reviewed indicated that review questions on material that had already been tested on are important to the learning process so after the first week the quizzes also contained about 3 questions from previous material.

The second section we changed the structure of the discussion boards.  My colleagues in TLT said that there was a need to vary the method of the boards so that students learned from a variety of approaches.  For part of this section the students were given a patient or two with an age, chief complaint(s), allergies and diagnosis, and instructed to present their findings  and treatment plans based off of this information.  The students were asked to use the Screencastomatic* website (https://screencast-o-matic.com/screen_recorder) to present their completed assignment rather than submitting it in writing.  On that website one can record up to 5 minutes of video for free, which is then converted to an mp4 file. I asked them to record this as if they were precepting with me.  If there was information that needed to be added then they were free to make up the information.  Since most of them were unfamiliar with precepting I also included a video of me precepting with a provider to provide some direction for them.  I asked them to tell me about the patient, their physical exam findings, the diagnosis, their choice of treatment and their rationale.  They then posted their videos on the assignment's discussion board.


They all did a good job, but what I did not expect was the reaction of the other students.  The discussion on the board was very active.  The students really enjoyed this activity and the discussion that followed was robust.  The remainder of this section was given to the family again and they had questions about various controversial topics and treatments – the students were asked to discuss the topic and include two articles- one from professional literature and one from the lay literature.  I think that it is important for us to know what our patients are reading.  The students found print articles, websites, and clips from Dr Oz.  They began to realize why these topics were so problematic for our patients.

The last part of the semester, I gave the students each a topic and asked them to discuss the topics and then post an open ended discussion question for the class.  They were responsible to direct the conversation throughout the week and then write a summary of the discussion at the end of the week. I think that my students this summer benefited most from these strategies.  

That was the third time I had taught the class and each time I had changed the boards.  But now I think that I have a system that reflects a variety of learning strategies,  and a variety of ways to promote learning and develop a knowledge base.  However, this is not to say that this is a painless process.  The students have a difficult time with this much self direction.  When education first went online it was difficult for the students to adjust to learning without the lectures and the classroom.  So PowerPoint and voice overs replaced that.  Now the students have adjusted to that and it is difficult again for them to adjust to a more self directed learning style.  They have a tendency to think that I am in absentia and not teaching.  They are having difficulties understanding that I should not be the one responsible for  what they are learning.  As this new method is accepted more widely in the university environment  our future  students that have been exposed to this in the secondary level will embrace this learning methodology.  It has always been our role to press the boundaries of education and push them forward.  This approach to teaching is doing just that.


  
Moya Peterson, Ph.D., RN, CPNP, ARNP
Clinical Associate Professor










* This course took place before the introduction of KUMC's new lecture capture and video content management tool, Panopto, which is now the recommended video platform for integration into KUMC's online Blackboard courses.