The Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Requiring Immersive Presence (CSCLIP) concept has been established with the objective of extending and enhancing thee-learning experience of distance education, especially for classes that involve laboratory (lab) experiments. The CSCLIP concept defines "immersive presence" as an inherent requirement that enables cognitive, affective, and most importantly psychomotor learning objectives to integrate into designs and concepts for next generation e-learning systems (Sharda et~al., 2003). Within the CSCLIP architectural framework, the Wireless Instructor (WI) system has been conceptualized and developed as an essential device to effectively support "teaching while roaming" instructional features for both local and distance students. The WI system provides cost effective means to establish a real-time immersive presence for the distance learning (DL) student and his/her lab group peers. The technical design and system architecture to create a WI system are introduced in this paper. The objective of the WI system is to make the learning experience more vivid and interactive by enabling the DL students, as well as the local students that are not in the same room with the instructor(s) at the same time, to be able to flexibly interact with the instructor(s) in real-time. With this system the students can experience real-time or non-real-time virtual tours with the instructor(s), enabling the students to visit places that may not be easily accessible due to distance, limited space and/or time, cost, or possible danger. The WI system consists of two major sub-components. First is a wireless audio and video (AV) system, which transfers real-time AV signals to and from the instructor(s) to all students. Second is the wireless instructor locator & data assistant system. These two systems can be combined into one WI unit, but as the applied development technologies are somewhat distinct, their features and architectural designs will be described separately throughout this paper. Integration of the two systems will enable further capabilities.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Most significantly, the authors sincerely appreciate the U.S. Department of Education for the research project grant that made this research and development possible. The authors also sincerely thank the former research assistants of the VLab development team, K. Ramasamy, V. Kotikalapudi, Z. Mulla, G. Thiyagarajan, P. Rasiah, H. K. Khan, F. Azeem, and J. Lucca, as well as the co-principal investigators of the VLab and DoE projects, Drs. R. Sharda, M. Weiser, G. Scheets, and N. Romano, Jr. for their devoted effort in bringing the VLab to its current successful status. The authors also appreciate the anonymous reviewers for their recommendations that helped to improve the quality of this paper. In addition, the authors sincerely appreciate the generous donation of the ScottyFTPTM API v1.4 software from Ruksun Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd., which made the networking operations and development efficient and effective. Finally, the authors acknowledge numerous consultations with the engineers at ImpulseSoft, Ltd. regarding the details of the applications in BlueCETM that were very helpful in the development of the WI system.
§This project was funded by the U.S. Department of Education (DoE) award no. P116Z020042 project titled “Telecommunications Virtual Laboratory Development.” ∗To whom correspondence should be addressed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Theoretical Computer Science
- Information Systems
- Computer Networks and Communications