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Real-time interactive virtual classroom with teleeducation experience is an important approach in distance learning. However, most current systems fail to meet new challenges in extensibility and scalability, which mainly lie with three issues. First, an open system architecture is required to better support the integration of increasing human-computer interfaces and personal mobile devices in the classroom. Second, the learning system should facilitate opening its interfaces, which will help easy deployment that copes with different circumstances and allows other learning systems to talk to each other. Third, problems emerge on binding existing systems of classrooms together in different places or even different countries such as tackling systems intercommunication and distant intercultural learning in different languages. To address these issues, we build a prototype application called Open Smart Classroom built on our software infrastructure based on the multiagent system architecture using Web Service technology in Smart Space. Besides the evaluation of the extensibility and scalability of the system, an experiment connecting two Open Smart Classrooms deployed in different countries is also undertaken, which demonstrates the influence of these new features on the educational effect. Interesting and optimistic results obtained show a significant research prospect for developing future distant learning systems.
Knowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:21 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: June 2009