A Hybrid Learning Model Using an XML-Based Multimedia Podcasting System

A Hybrid Learning Model Using an XML-Based Multimedia Podcasting System

Joseph Fong (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-380-7.ch020
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Due to heavy workload and tight working schedule, it is difficult for part-time students at City University of Hong Kong to ‘digest’ course materials and to understand the content of the course. Therefore, it will be convenient if a lecture presentation with course materials is recorded and posted into the Internet. Then, students can easily attend the lecture on-line in anywhere or watch back the video archive of the presentation through the Web. This chapter aims to provide a solution to achieve a hybrid learning model (HLM) including e-learning and traditional teaching platform by synchronizing video, audio and image files which are used in a presentation. In addition, this is targeted to record and to retrieve by using an on-line podcasting system and an XML SMIL technology respectively.
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The most important concept of the project is the application of Podcasting (http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-ajaxslideshow/?ca=dgr-lnxw01AjaxSlid) (McEvoy, 2003) stands for “Asynchronous JavaScript and XML”. The architecture of AJAX can be explained in the following diagram. They can be shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Sample of SMIL and AJAX interaction


When a Web browser, or client, makes a GET or POST request to the Web server, the server formats an HTML response with some JavaScript code on it. That code calls back the server for more information as needed. Those requests can be made as simple GET or POST requests. The JavaScript code then parses the response, often encoded as XML, and updates the HTML on the page dynamically to reflect the new data. In addition to XML, engineers are returning data encoded in the JavaScript Serialized Object Notation (JSON) format. This data is easier for a browser to understand but not for other client types.

AJAX helps the project in displaying the multimedia elements, especially for graphic files. It supports a quicker communication between the server and client machine. Therefore, it helps in displaying documents (i.e. Power-Point files) in graphic format (i.e. jpeg files) and also in support drawing (i.e. writing explanatory notes) by a hand-writing pad. Furthermore, the main programming language for the project is C# which is a simple, type-safe, object-oriented, general-purpose programming language. It provides code-focused developers with powerful tools and language support to build rich, connected Web and client applications on the ASP.NET Framework. The reason to choose this language is because it has a variety of libraries and APIs which helps the development of the system.

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