Immersive 360° videos in health and social care education: a scoping review

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Research on the pedagogical use of immersive 360° videos is a rapidly expanding area within health and social care education. Despite this interest, there is a paucity of empirical data on its application.
A scoping review methodology framework was used to search for relevant articles published between 1970 and July 2021. Six databases were used to identify studies using immersive 360° videos for training and education purposes within health and social care: PubMed, Ovid Medline, Psych Info, Psych Articles, Cochrane Database and Embase. Research questions included: Is there any evidence that immersive 360° videos increase learning outcomes and motivation to learn in health and social care education? What are the key pedagogical concepts and theories that inform this area of research? What are the limitations of using immersive 360° videos within health and social education? The four dimensions contained within Keller’s ARCS model (attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction) frame the results section.
Fourteen studies met our inclusion criteria. Learning outcomes confirm that immersive 360° videos as a pedagogical tool: increases attention, has relevance in skill enhancement, confidence in usability and user satisfaction. In particular, immersive 360° videos has a positive effect on the user’s emotional response to the learning climate, which has a significant effect on users’ motivation to learn. There was a notable lack of pedagogical theory within the studies retrieved and a general lack of clarity on learning outcomes.
Studies examining the effectiveness of such interventions remains weak due to smaller sample sizes, lack of randomised control trials, and a gap in reporting intervention qualities and outcomes. Nevertheless, 360° immersive video is a viable alternative to VR and regular video, it is cost-effective, and although more robust research is necessary, learning outcomes are promising.
Future Directions
Future research would do well to focus on interactivity and application of pedagogical theory within immersive 360° videos experiences. We argue that more and higher quality research studies, beyond the scope of medical education, are needed to explore the acceptability and effective implementation of this technology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number590
JournalBMC Medical Education
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • 360° videoing, 360° videos, Head Mounted Display, Health and Social Care Education, immersive technology, literature review, pedagogy, training, virtual reality, VR.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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