Author(s): Merja Bauters
Affiliation(s): Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Date of publication: May 26, 2016
The Educational Problem
This might be more of a method or technique problem than educational. The challenge we have had in the phase of conceptualizing or testing designed applications is how to easily shoot videos and directly mark the good and problematic issues presented in them.
Originally, the video capturing and annotation tool was designed for learning while working. The first target users were construction workers and nurses (health care personnel) (Bauters et al., 2014, Virnes et al., 2015). The learning idea is based on reflection at work (Bauters et al., 2014). For example, in case of a problem, the user can take a video of the problem and its context, then she or he annotates the video. Namely, points the problem in the video and describes the potential solutions to it.
Ach so! fits to the described task because it is a mobile application, fast to use and allows marking directly into the video after shooting it. It is light, one does not need extra equipment, and it is mobile, as are most of the applications tested before designing Ach so!. It means that it is possible to shoot videos on the go.The issues do not get forgotten and the thinking of what to design or how to enhance existing design can begin directly while annotating. The annotated videos can be used later as documentation, as reminders of what has been decided or as justification for design decisions.
The tool can also be used as formal learning support, for instance, in proficiency tests. Ach so! supports reflection by showing students’ actions afterwards. Watching their own performance afterwards, seeing what the they actually did – a bit like they would be observers – clarifies what happened in the proficiency test. Annotating the successful and challenging parts in the video helps the learning process.
The ease of use was appreciated by students. They felt that annotations helped explaining to others what the problems are, while it was also possible to see how the problems originated. Namely, since it is a video it shows the actions of the users. Students said that it helps the communication of what was wrong with those designers and coders who were not present in the testing situation. One nice thing was that watching the video also presents those parts of the applications that work well. These are often forgotten when corrections and improvements are discussed within the design and coding teams. In the first usage session, it was not possible to share the videos easily, which created frustration. This problem has been corrected in the new versions of Ach so!.
The experiences from the official test usages with nurses and construction workers can be read from the articles but, in general, it was felt that Ach so! enhances awareness of one’s actions in the proficiency test. In addition, the collaborative annotation after the test and discussions that occurred with the annotations supported reflection and helped to understand the challenges and acceptance of problems. Similar issues were noticed in construction workers. In addition, it was felt that seeing the contexts helped to discuss and understand what the problem was.
Materials and Links
- Ach so! website: http://achso.aalto.fi/#about
- Own versions for Android and iPhone http://achso.aalto.fi/#getapp