Record your learning experiences in a video format, share with your groups, and collaboratively discuss through integrated annotations and discussion facilities.

The ZoP app* allows professionals to participate with each other in groups sharing experiences in a video format. Users can: Record video clips very easily from their smartphone; Add categorized annotations (Questions, Remarks, Suggestions, examples of good work) at a specific time in a frame; Share videos publicly or with your private groups; Discuss with your peers as on social media forums and extend your personal learning network by making new contacts.

* The ZoP app is an spin off project based on the original Ach So! app . The ZoP app aims to extend Ach So! by exploring how Social positioning can take place by sharing video-experiences; joining situated conversations by exchanging questions/answers in an annotation format; by participating in a discussion associated to the video; or by augmenting your personal learning network making new professional connections.

Main features

The ZoP app is an extended version of the Ach So! app, this version is focused on understanding how to help professionals participate with each other in groups (a Zone) calls for orchestrating social supports (via navigation and bridging aids) so that professionals can benefit from the ideas of others (Possibility). This version includes the main features of Ach So! but also new ones focused on giving support to discussion and personal learning network facilities:

  • Record: Record your professional learnings experiences in a video format
  • Share: Add categorized annotations (Questions, Remarks, Suggestions, examples of good work) at a specific time in a frame. Professionals can use these annotations as a way of having an integrated discussion (e.g. by exchanging questions and answers) contextualized in a specific moment of a video.
  • Discuss: Each video has a forum associated which gives support to deeper discussions
  • Social Profile: Users can create their professional profile by adding their details and main interests, from this section they have access to their list of contacts/Friends.
  • Make friends: Professionals can extend their Personal Learning Network by adding new friends as contacts
  • Search: Videos can be searched by title, keywords (annotations), or authors
ZoP app examples of main features


Sharing outdoor learning experiences

euRathlon is a new outdoor robotics competition which invites teams to test the intelligence and autonomy of their robots in realistic mock emergency-response scenarios. The euRathlon/TRADR Summer School on Heterogeneity in Robotics Systems is designed as a five-day course to provide participants with a full overview and hands-on experience with multi-domain real robotic systems. The summer school is jointly organised by EURATHLON and TRADR EU Horizon 2020 and FP7 projects, respectively. Videos recorded by members of the organization and by students will be uploaded to the, and the Summer School participants will add comments and discuss how the mission went (failures, good work, etc.). For instance videos can be tagged as aerial vehicle, land, marine robot, control station... Videos can be used to reflect on their performance and also to exchange ideas with other teams. The organization can use the videos as a collection of good examples of outdoor learning experiences for next editions of the summer school.

Zop app being used during the euRathlon/TRADR Summer School 2016

Shaping your professional identity by learning from your peers

The Bristol International Festival of Cinematography (Cinefest 2016) is brought by the Centre for Moving Image Research at the University of West England (CMIR, UWE). Cinefest explores the practices, histories, theories, cultures and politics of moving image production, interaction and reception. The crew is formed by a group of high-expertise professionals (from the academia and the filming industry) but also by a group of volunteers that includes students and early-careers. Especially this is a very good opportunity for volunteers to learn different organizational aspects of a Cinematography festival (i.e. production, dissemination, organization of materials, documentary…). This is a very busy environment where people is distributed in different subgroups to cover the different aspects of the festival (see for instance examples in the images below: how a set was build, how actors were discussing or the cameras set up). In this context, the ZoP app was used during Cinefest 2016 to help volunteers to capture and document (in a format of short videos, see first figure below showing different videos collected during the festival) their informal learning experiences and share their knowledge with the rest of the group. Typically students or early-career are in a learning stage where they are positioning themselves in the professional world. By having access to different learning experiences (that contains different organizational examples of the festival) this group of learners have the opportunity to explore the knowledge acquired by the crew and use this learning to shape their own professional identity.

Zop App being used during Cinefest 2016

Tech specs

  • Native and fast Android client
  • Ruby-on-Rails server backend, with web viewer for commented videos
  • Authentication with Layers OIDC or Google account
  • Modular server backend: configurable authentication service, metadata storage and video storage
  • All open source, all free, Apache 2.0 licensed
  • Dockerized and Layers Box -compatible
  • The ZoP app is based on the 2016 version of Ach So! more technical details can be found in the Ach So! app
  • Read more: Github:

The Story

The ZoP app is an extended version of an existing app called Ach So! App (Aalto University, GitHub. The main aim of this spin off project has been to understand how to scale an existing outcome from the Learning Layers project (Ach so!) to others professionals settings beyond Construction such as the Creative Industries environment (see the Cinefest case), educational settings (such as a Summer School or a faculty module - see the Robotics case) and social regeneration, heritage and culture (see the Stokes Croft project case).

In order to do that, the UWE team has collaboratively worked with the original team from Ach So! but also with colleagues from TUG in order to integrate services from the Layers Social Semantic Server.

Three main pilots (ZoP Robotics, ZoP Cinefest and ZoP Stokes Croft) have been conducted during 2016 in order to understand how the app can provide support for this informal learning settings. This is still a work in progress and further co-design sessions are planned with the organizers from the three pilots.

In addition a Participatory Patterns Design workshop [Link:M-05] was conducted in March 2016 with staff of the UWE Arts, Creative Industries and Education faculty in order to understand how this tool could be used in a formal education setting.


Design based research and co-design interventions with field trials were the key in ZoP app research. See more details in the Methods section of the Zone of Possibility scenario [link: S-11]


John Cook (

Patricia Santos (

ZoP Space


UWE Robotics Lab, EU research project - Eurathlon/TRADR


Bristol’s Cultural Quarter

UWE Arts, Creative Industries and Education faculty - Journalism