This guide is based on the Challenge Based Learning process because open-ended prompts allow students to not only make media, but define an issue they want to address using their media project. If you use Challenge Based Learning as a framework, you set your students up to learn about 360° media production AND whatever Big Idea and Challenge they define.
However, you may need to restrict or otherwise modify the scope of the project in your context. For example, consider:
Restricting challenge topics
Your time and curriculum may not accommodate a fully open-ended project where students decide on the Big Idea and Challenge. However, it’s possible to design more targeted challenge prompts that are still open ended, but fit into various subject areas. The trick is to focus the challenge without giving away students’ agency to develop their own pathway to a solution.
Examples of narrower Challenges:
- Document chemical processes at work in our local community (Science)
- Explore Jane Eyre’s character development (English/Language Arts)
- Illuminate democratic processes in our school and community environment (Social Studies)
- Develop a campaign to advocate for an issue affecting the community (Civics/Government)
Offering 360° production as one option among many
When you work with students on a Challenge, you might restrict them to using 360° photography or video, but it could be powerful to offer it as one way among many to show what they know. According to the principles of Universal Design for Learning, all learners have different ways of performing tasks and expressing knowledge (the “how” of learning), and getting engaged and staying motivated (the “why” of learning). By allowing students to use 360° media (among other methods) as a way to communicate what they know and find meaning in their learning, you are taking a step towards supporting all learners as individuals.
Scaling back 360° media production
There are many ways to flex up and down the time required for the 360° production process. Working on a full, edited, polished 360° video can take students weeks as a capstone project, but a short, simple piece of media can be produced in an afternoon or a couple days. Check out the practice activity “Make a 360° Photo Essay or Mini Film” for an example of a shorter term application. Consider helping students engage deeply with investigating the Challenge topic and developing a story idea, but make the end product a photo essay or short video piece instead of a highly produced and edited video.