Virtualized Classroom – the Next Generation e-Learning System

Project Status: Complete (Years: 2003 – 2004)

Research Description

A domain of primary importance in the future of web-based technology and digital libraries is distance and electronic education (e-learning). Multimedia materials from classrooms and seminars are rich sources of information. Today’s first generation e-learning systems primarily adopt a “record-and-playback” approach, which does not leverage the processing capabilities (during live capture, after-capture post-processing, and during later user interaction with archived materials) that we believe will underlie the next generation of more automated, flexible, comprehensible, and individualized e-learning systems. The goal of the Virtualized Classroom project is to design novel software systems to address fundamental research problems occurring in different components of a next-generation, processing-enhanced e-learning system for college and graduate courses. It includes the following key components:

Automatic data collection, analysis, and multi-modal synchronization. Intelligent post-processing: compression, cross-media indexing and archiving. Augmented presentation and user-controllable views. Natural Interaction between students-students, students-teacher and students-computer.

In the Virtualized Classroom project, we aim to create a natural environment that could give students interactive experiences equivalent to or even better than the real classroom, which is enabled by virtual instructor presence (generated by computer vision, intelligent question-answering and virtual reality techniques), user-selectable and fully-indexed visual aids and materials, full communications between students-students, students-instructor and students-virtual instructors (computers), all organized in the Virtualized Classroom environment that are more natural and friendly.


CUNY CISDD grant, 3D Virtual Classroom: the Next Generation Learning Environment, 04/01/03 – 03/31/04, PI: Z. Zhu