How to do a 360 video assignment in a multimedia reporting class

For my intermediate multimedia reporting class this semester at the University of New Mexico, I assigned students to create a short 360 video piece. For the two-day assignment, I teamed with an instructor who teaches a VR cinema class in another program (Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media).

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  1. We broke our work into two class days. On day one, students got to hear about the history of immersive reporting as well as get details on how it works from IFDM instructor Elan Colello, who is also the CEO of ARVRUS, a spherical content distribution platform. Colello went over the history of immersive reporting as well as details about how it works.
  2. Students were engaged and excited about what they were learning.
  3. Colello also shared some technical tips for students.
  4. Colello also spoke about ethical considerations.
  5. For their assignment, students were tasked with doing a video report about a crime scene on campus. They had to read a police report about an incident like a larceny and create a short script about it before the second class period began. I assigned them their teams and they chose the roles they wanted to play -- script writer, camera person or sound person.
  6. On the second day, students were dispatched across campus after getting a quick training on their cameras. The three cameras we used were the Ricoh Theta S, a Theta M15 and the Insta360 4k. Students recorded external sound with Zooms and Tascams and wireless lavalier mics. They used monopods to support their cameras. By and large (save a few camera battery issues) things went smoothly. All teams returned with video. Two of the five teams were able to do a report, ingest video, edit it and upload it during the hour and 15 minute class period. Another team wanted to re-record what they had, and were able to publish within a day. Two teams took a bit longer to finish editing due to scheduling issues. We used Premier Pro CC for editing and Youtube for hosting.
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