The latest version of ViSH, Virtual Science Hub – the educational, collaborative and social website that allows teachers and scientists the possibility of creating virtual excursions – was released in this latter days, offering a more user friendly and more manageable interface.
The new release had three stages. The first is the improved interface, the second one introduces new functionalities and the third is related to the contents.
New ViSH designBased on the User experience studies that we conducted, and by consulting expert designers, we have improved the interface of both the ViSH platform and the ViSH editor (the excursion creator). As you can see on the screenshots, the UI became much simpler and designed to ease the usage for teachers, students and for scientists as well.
The new functionalities can be categorized into three parts. First, we have set up the so-called smartcards by which ViSH refers to the earlier flashcards [such as http://vishub.org/excursions/83] and virtual tours [such as http://vishub.org/excursions/293] – from now on these can be created in any excursion as a new slide there is no need to have them in separate excursions.
Another new functionality is the possibility to classify the content: categories are introduced. Beside the interface, this was an other issue that users reported, that in the growing amount of content of ViSH they would need some structure to find what they are looking for much easier. Now categories work like folders, they can be browsed and filtered to facilitate the needs of our users.
And finally: events. By events we mean videoconference events that are possible thanks to the cooperation with MashMeTV. These events or videoconferences can be organized now through MashMeTV and in the near future it will be available from ViSH as every user will have his/her own virtual rooms to invite others to meet there. Events can also be scheduled and announced through ViSH, so sessions like “Meet the scientists” can be organized easily.
The last stage of the new release is about the content, again, based on the feedback of the users: the need to find more and more interesting content. We added the functionality to create an excursion from an uploaded PDF so it is very easy to create new excursions and for example add a video and a quiz to it. With the mobile apps content upload can even be done on the fly.
After all, ViSH became much more manageable and simple with an advanced user interface and with the easy-to-create – easy-to-find content we hope that we will make the classes even more interesting. We recommend all teachers to try the new functionalities in the latest ViSH release and let the learning become fun.