Bringing the real into VR and AR into the real

Melbourne Knowledge Week explores ideas and actions about our future. With a strong focus on emerging technologies, the VEDT attended a guest lecture on VR and AR from Frank Vetere, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Melbourne. Within the heritage meat market in North Melbourne, the journey of AR and VR was shown with amazing modern applications. From the movie ‘Metropolis’ in 1927, to Ivan Sutherland’s ground-breaking AR machine in 1967, there are regular 40-year cycles in AR and VR concepts. The most striking development in these technologies today is the use of emotion; adding this emotional element allows the user to feel more invested and connected to the activity. The first example of an emotional application was with an AR dog. Via a projection from a live AR headset, an AR dog appeared on the stage. The dog, wagging its tail and tilting its head, responded to cues and movements from the user. When AR balls were introduced (in a real basket) the dog began to jump, yipping and yapping with excitement. The user then threw the AR balls on the stage for the dog to collect. Both dog and AR balls responded to their surroundings by […]

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Preparing for Industry 4.0

Our ongoing expert panel series continued this month where we posed the question “How will i4.0 and emerging technologies impact VET, industry and skills?”. We assembled a panel of experts consisting of Ray Nashar, Linda Corrin and Shivneel Prasad to share their thoughts. But first, let’s bring everyone up to speed by looking at what i4.0 is and its predecessors: Industry 1.0 – Steam power and the manufacturing industry Industry 2.0 – Mass production through the assembly line Industry 3.0 – Computers and the internet Industry 4.0 – Automation and data exchange. Our first speaker was Ray, a consultant, advisor and professional learning provider, currently at Antonine College. He sees the main part of his role building teacher capacity and changing teacher perception of technology. For example, when working with schools who are implementing a new technology such as iPads, it is common for him to have to overcome objections from teachers who see technology as distracting and disruptive, rather than a modern tool for education. “Nobody likes being changed.” Ray showed us an informative video (below) on the current education system which has not changed much since it began hundreds of years ago, despite massive advancements in technologies and […]

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Our workflow

Now part of the Education portfolio, the Vocational Education Design Team (VEDT) are one of the operational groups that supports course development and uplift at RMIT. The team has been busy building educational environments and products for internal, external and industry partners. A constant throughout these projects has been the workflow process – Plan Design Build Review. The team is primarily learning designers and multimedia designers, with essential support and leadership from a program manager, an editor and project coordinator. Plan Planning is key to a successful project, and ensuring scope and methodology is articulated early comes to the roles of the project leads and the coordinators. Understanding the outcomes of the project, the compliance requirements and the stakeholder needs form what is mapped during the stages. Although all of the team are involved in each of the stages, accountability of tasks and involvement changes across these stages as per roles. Content gap analysis can provide some insight into required resourcing, especially if some resources have been available but it’s not clear if they are relevant to the competency. This task is typically the role of Learning Designers, though scoping of the learning materials required can help guide the multimedia […]

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Generic units of competency

The VEDT is developing a range of units of competency that are used across multiple programs, across colleges. These include assessment and rich digital content, in Canvas, that can be contextualised and used by Program Managers/Coordinators and teachers within any program area. In 2018, the VEDT worked with the School of Media and Communications to develop the unit BCMM401 Make a presentation. This unit of competency was identified to be used in numerous programs across the colleges, including: Graphic design Marketing and communication Laboratory technology Live production and technical services Fashion styling Training and assessment Strata community management Work health and safety The assessments developed were designed to be industry agnostic, with teachers or students being able to choose a presentation topic relevant to their cohorts. This approach means the assessments are easily contextualised to relevant topic areas or can easily be clustered with other units of competency. In developing the content, the VEDT wanted to give insight into each of these industries. As such, we interviewed industry representatives talking about how and why they make presentations. These representatives included: Narelle Tunstall – Centre Manager, The University of Melbourne David Corelli – Managing Director, Corelli Lighting Concepts Aimee Gonzalez – […]

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Behind the scenes

The VE Design Team often creates videos to introduce topics within courses, demonstrate practical tasks, and to capture real world experiences.  My role is to coordinate all aspects of video production, from the hiring of audio visual equipment and talent, to organising the set and location, and assigning tasks to the multimedia and learning designers on the team. All this information is documented in a run sheet. A great run sheet begins with a brain storming session between the project coordinator and the multimedia and learning designers. The purpose of the session is to thrash out filming ideas and requirements. These include: establishing a consistent look and feel, camera positioning, lighting and sound requirements, and ensuring that the clips and images align with the learning objectives. These discussion points are then refined so that everybody knows their roles and responsibilities on the day of filming.   Our latest production involved creating short film clips and photos for the CNC Short courses project and AR app. Students will be able to use the AR app to view the short film clips to further enhance their understanding of CNC machine components and tasks. Building 55 in the RMIT manufacturing precinct was the […]

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Building a culture of accessibility

The VE Design team held another Panel Session on March 28, to discuss and explore ways on improving accessibility across teaching and learning experiences. Today, digital accessibility touches nearly every aspect of educational institutions: applications to websites, courses, resources used in programs, services, and activities. We had a panel of experts including: Andrew Normand – Web Accessibility Lead, University of Melbourne Michael Meehan – Dean: Faculty of Foundation Studies, Box Hill Institute & Centre for Adult Education Brendan Carter – Creative Director, The Learning Hook       What does accessibility mean to you? Panel member, Michael Meehan directed this question to the audience. Whilst the question was simple, it was a clear indicator that accessibility is diverse in its meaning and applications across members of the educational community. Michael stated that whilst everyone has different definitions and approaches when it comes to addressing accessibility within education, we need to change our approach and have it in the forefront of our thinking at all times. Michael indicated that Box Hill Institute continues to see growth patterns of the number of students identifying with disabilities annually. In 2015, they had 733 students who identified with disabilities and have since had a […]

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Design sprint part 1

Earlier this month, the VE Design Team ran its first Design Sprint to collectively come up with a new and innovative way to deliver a section of the CNC machining course using Augmented Reality (AR) technology. CNC stands for computer numerical control machinery and is a manufacturing technique used to create all sorts of precision components for engines, medical products and computers much faster than a human possibly could. The question posed to the team was: “How might we get users to interact with an AR model?” The use of AR technology in education is rapidly growing as it can render images or concepts into a real environment using a smart device making it easier for learners to grasp abstract and difficult concepts. Leading the sprint was James Ratsasane who guided the team through the process and ensured the sprint was focused, structured and timely. Why have a design sprint? The Design Sprint is a five-phase process to help create or define an idea which is then rapidly prototyped so valuable real user feedback can be collected quickly. Quick feedback from real users early in the process, identifies which areas of the idea are on point and where you can […]

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FSSI design is a journey

Last September, I completed the user interface design of a learning package for a client, Future Social Service Institute (FSSI). Here is the story of my design process, of how the brand new FSSI online course package design evolved and came to life. With so many available online learning and management platforms and different design themes to follow, it can be a nightmare to get started. While I did a lot of design and development versions for this FSSI online course design, I won’t show you every single design I made, nor will I only talk about the final product. This post is about the journey to the final product and all the significant stages of the process. It starts with the client brief. The Brief There wasn’t much information in the client brief for the design of a brand new online learning package, but it did spell out a few things that the package had to have: the FSSI brand minimal navigation a modern design that was professional and suitable for all genders between the ages of 17-40yr) the ability to embed into any learning management system (LMS) like Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard, etc.       The design of […]

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Writing and Design

Recently I discovered that the strength of my practice has been my interest in ideas. Perhaps this explains why, as a communication designer, I have enjoyed working across so many types of projects, mediums, and disciplines. This has led me to think more broadly about what constitutes design practice and what we do as designers. The intention here is not to critique design methodologies, but rather, to explore something seldom discussed in everyday practice, the importance of writing as a skill for designers. Here are a few observations from my own experience. Relational design As design shifts further away from purely form and function concerns, navigating context has never been more important than now. It helps us move away from the idealised user towards more appropriate solutions for the complex reality of diverse audience behaviour. As Akkawi (2017) notes, ‘the act of writing and designing are strongest when it comes to building context. Both require sensitivity to every plausible situation. Like writing, the design process considers varying levels of complexity in the context of use’. In my own work, writing has become an important practice for sense-making. It has allowed me to articulate what is understood, design with reflexivity, and […]

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Joining the VE Design team as an RMIT student

Caitlin is heading into her second year of the Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT University in Melbourne. She has a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education from Curtin University in Western Australia and a Bachelor of Arts from Edith Cowan University. We all remember teachers who assured us in class that we would be “using this in the real world!” but this rarely happens. So, imagine my surprise when, on day one of work with the Vocational Education (VE) Design Team, my colleague handed over the Australian Style Manual and echoed the advice of my copy-editing and proofreading teacher– “this will be your Bible”. So much of what I have learnt at RMIT has been put into practise since joining this fast-paced project team, but I’ve also acquired many new skills including the use of Canvas and SCORM, working to deadlines, and navigating hand-overs between Instructional Designers and Multimedia Designers. Participating in the online review stage of projects put my editing and feedback skills to the test and taught me how essential effective communication is to the outcome of a review. This editing role has given me the confidence to pursue greater assignments and responsibilities. It has […]

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