Exploring the Relationships Between Teacher Noticing, Ambisonic Audio, and Variance in Focus When Viewing 360 Video

A growing body of research has supported the implementation of innovative and immersive video for teaching and learning across the lifespan. Immersive video, delivered through eXtended Reality (XR) tools like 360 video, provides users with new ways to see real or created environments. Unfortunately, most of the existing research has highlighted immersive video without accompanying immersive audio. This use of monophonic audio can create a disconnect for viewers as they experience close to real world video with sounds that do not match a real-world environment. The purpose of this study was to respond to this gap in the literature by exploring the use of ambisonic audio and its impact on preservice teacher noticing and variability of viewing focus when watching 360 video. Data were collected from undergraduate teacher education students who participated in a self-paced online activity that included watching 360 videos and responding to a questionnaire. A convergent mixed methods design was employed to compare participants’ professional noticing and observed viewing behavior in the context of ambisonic and monophonic audio. Results showed that users in ambisonic audio conditions in 360 video environments were more likely to have higher focus. Moreover, for users who had specific professional knowledge, monophonic audio with immersive video had a negative impact on their variance in focus. The paper concludes with recommendations for future research on the use of audio in virtual and augmented reality environments.

Ferdig, R. E., Kosko, K. W., & Gandolfi, E. (2023). Exploring the relationships between teacher noticing, ambisonic audio, and variance in focus when viewing 360 video. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 71, 881-899. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-023-10215-2