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In China, the number of university students has quadrupled in only six years. How can technology support the access to education of these and future students? In this paper, we describe the mobile live video learning system developed at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Motivated by the observation that in developing countries, mobile phones have a much higher penetration rate than laptop and desktop computers, we developed a mobile learning system that streams live lectures to the students' mobile devices. The lectures are held as usual in university, not requiring the costly preparation of especially authored mobile learning materials. The system takes care of compressing the video and audio data efficiently so that it can be live-streamed, while maintaining high visual quality of the slides. Due to the synchronous (live) nature of the system, students can interact with the teacher during the lecture, using a set of preprogrammed interactions that facilitate feedback with mobile devices with limited input facilities. Large-scale evaluations in two lectures with 1000 students each show that students find using the system beneficial. In sum, the mobile live video learning system offers a convenient and cost-effective way of making higher education accessible to large number of students.
Date of Publication: Jan.-March 2010