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A real-time interactive virtual classroom multimedia distance learning system

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2 Author(s)
Deshpande, S.G. ; Digital Video Dept., Sharp Labs. of America, Camas, WA, USA ; Jenq-Neng Hwang

In this paper, we present the design and development of a real-time interactive virtual classroom multimedia distance learning system at the University of Washington. There has been rapid progress in digital media compression research, and the delivery of media data on the public Internet is becoming widespread. A real-time interactive virtual classroom allows a remote participant to not only receive a live class feed, but also to interact in a live class by asking questions with audio, video in real-time using an Internet connection. Many instructors use electronically prepared slides during their class. The traditional video coding algorithms are not able to compress this slide data very well at low bit-rates. We propose a Web-based real-time presentation system for the electronic slides. Instructors also write text on a white board or a piece of paper during the class. At low bit-rates, conventional video encoding algorithms cannot encode this handwritten text video with enough fidelity, resulting in an illegible decoded video. We propose an extension of the well known bilevel image encoding algorithms to handle the handwritten text video. Our method results in decoded video frames which can be read very clearly when encoded at low bit-rates. We have developed a set of tools which allows recording the live classroom session and automatic creation of a synchronized multimedia integration language (SMIL) presentation, which can be used for a later viewing

Published in:

Multimedia, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Dec 2001

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