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The Intelligent Classroom

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3 Author(s)
Franklin, D. ; Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL, USA ; Flachsbart, J. ; Hammond, K.

Computer software is being designed under the principle that the more features it has, the better it is. Consequently, most people find learning to use a new product overwhelming. What good is having several hundred commands in your word processor, if you can't find the ones you want, and aren't even certain what most of the others do? The difficulty lies in the way people are expected to interact with their computers. All the effort lies with the users, who must decide what they want to achieve and deduce how they can do it. Intelligent systems should not restrict themselves to following this user-interaction paradigm-they should infer what their users are trying to do. In our research lab, we are developing the Intelligent Classroom, an automated presentation facility that a lecturer can interact with and control. In the Intelligent Classroom, we are enabling new modes of user interaction through multiple sensing modes and plan recognition. The Classroom uses cameras and microphones to determine what the speaker is trying to do and then takes the actions it deems appropriate. One of our goals is to let the speaker interact with the Classroom as she would with an audiovisual assistant: through commands (speech, gesture, or both) or by just making her presentation and trusting the Classroom to do what she wants. One way the Classroom assists speakers is by controlling AV components such as VCRs and slide projectors. Additionally, the Classroom lets speakers easily produce fair-quality lecture videos. Based on the speaker's actions, the video cameras pan, tilt, and zoom to best capture what is important. This will allow the presentation of interesting lectures on cable TV, the distribution of videos of entire classes, and the broadcasting of lectures to support distance learning-extending learning beyond the confines of a traditional classroom

Published in:

Intelligent Systems and their Applications, IEEE  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

Sep/Oct 1999

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