One Education professor I had loved one particular phrase and tried to relate everything back to it: Productive Struggle. In mathematics education, productive struggle is fighting with a problem until that one method finally clicks and you say “oh, I get it now”.

If only that’s how things actually worked, right?

This project has been an ongoing exercise in productive struggle, but I am thankful for it and impressed with our final product. We met and surpassed each goal, though we didn’t meet our deadlines.  In drafting our contract, we tried to space everything out evenly without thinking about the actual difficulty of our products. Because of this, we finished capturing video and 360 photos much earlier than anticipated thanks to the ease of use. However, the videos took longer than we thought because we were all operating on different levels of editing experience. Also, we didn’t factor the time that communicating with other people would take. Our contracted duties and responsibilities also shifted around.

Kelly was in charge of the media because we thought we would have to stitch each image together. After we used the Ricoh Theta though, we were pretty much done with the 360 captures. We did have some issues with the image quality and museum lighting, but neither of these were things that we could change. Where Kelly stepped up was in video editing, as she edited 4 videos rather than 2.

I was responsible for the filming of the artifact videos and the nuts and bolts of the 360 tour. Emily, Kasey and I were able to knock out filming in one museum visit which was nice. This took considerably longer than the 360 images, even with two cameras. I also found the 360 hosting service that we used (Roundaa) that met our cost needs (free) and our functionality (interactivity, hotspots a plus). I learned how to use this and then inserted each hotspot into the tour. This took some time to learn, but once I got rolling it moved quickly and easily. Creating the page for the tour was simple thanks to the embed codes that Roundaa provides. I did decide to also add the Google Arts and Culture and previous ADH 3D scans to the tour, which wasn’t in the contract but synthesizes everything neatly.

Kasey’s role was to head the website and support everything else. I think hers is the position that changed the least through the course of the semester. She was also voicover liason, but unfortunately was sick when we recorded the voiceovers. She did remain in communication with the Speaking Center tutors throughout, so she fulfilled her job well.

Emily also stayed steady throughout. She handled all of the communication with the museum which was great for everyone involved. Emily also edited her two videos, worked on the timeline and storymap, and helped with the website. She didn’t do the closed captioning like planned, but she did constantly run accessibility checks on the website to keep the design on track.

Sarah was the least confident with video editing, so she created the closed captioning for the videos instead. I also taught her how to make QR codes and she created that resource for the museum. Additionally, she worked on the timeline and storymap with Emily.

All in all, we completed the requirements of our contract and then some. Our website is clean and accessible, the 360 tour works well and intuitively on machines that support it, and our artifact videos highlight the histories of some key museum pieces. The QR codes and 360 tour are particularly gratifying to me, as I think these will be the most useful for the museum going forward. Patrons can access online content easily through the QR codes and educators can use the tour in their classrooms. The timeline and storymap can be redundant, as they hold the same information, but nevertheless they are valuable educational tools depending on which standard is being covered.

I’m very pleased with this project. I’m happy with how our group worked together and the content we were able to create. I hope that the James Monroe Museum will find it useful for years to come.

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