Multi-media tools for computer-based learning

Professor Chris Jesshope,
Professor of Computer Science,
Massey University, NZ

This seminar explores past and future research from Massey University on tools for computer-based learning in both synchronous and asynchronous modes.

For asynchronous modes we have developed tools to record and Play AudioGraphs on the world-wide web. These are multi-media presentations that can be streamed over low-bandwidth connections (requires <13Kbps) and comprise presentation graphics, various graphical annotations and compressed sound. The recorder is as easy to use as a wordprocessor and unlike many multi-media authoring tools requires little traing and can produce an hour of multi-media material in a matter of hours rather than the 100-200 hours which is the industry norm. Thus the system is eminently suitable for use by lecturers in preparing interactive web-based courseware. The system mirrors a presentation in a lecture theatre and will be very intuitive to use for most lecturers who have a basic amount of computer literacy. The material produced can be easily edited maintaining any investment in the corpus of courseware. This software has been evaluated at a number of universities and the results from evaluations have been published.

For synchronous teaching we have developed software to support MPEG streams over IP networks, which with the use of hardware compression cards can support full TV broadcast quality (MPEG 2) video links for inter- or intra-campus lecturing.  We are combining this with a synchronous version of the AudioGraph tools with an interface that  allow a lecturer to both lecture and direct the remote presentation.
Demonstrations of the asynchronous tools will be made at the seminar.