Project Smart Remote Classroom Providing Novel Real-Time Interactive Distance Learning Technologies
Yuanchun Shi (Tsinghua University, China), Weikai Xie (Tsinghua University, China), Guangyou Xu (Tsinghua University, China), Peifeng Xiang (Tsinghua University, China) and Baopeng Zhang (Tsinghua University, China)
Copyright: © 2008
Real-time interactive virtual classrooms play an important role in distance learning. However currently available systems are insufficient in supporting large-scale user access, and they cannot efficiently support accessing with heterogeneous devices and networks. Furthermore, these systems are usually desktop-based, until the result that the teacher’s experience is completely different from teaching in a real physical classroom. This paper discusses the Smart Remote Classroom project that deals with these difficulties using the following novel technologies: 1) A hybrid transport layer multicast protocol called TORM and an adaptive content delivery scheme called AMTM, which work together to enable large-scale users to access a virtual classroom with different devices and networks synchronously. 2) A dedicated software called SameView, which takes use of the proposed TORM and AMTM technology, and provides a rich set of functions for teachers and students to efficiently carry out the real-time interactive tele-education. 3) The Classroom augmented by Smart Space technology called Smart Classroom where the user interfaces of the SameView are incorporated in the classroom space. Thus the teacher can instruct the remote students just like teaching face to face in a conventional classroom. All these technologies have been successfully integrated and demonstrated in the prototype system at Tsinghua University.