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Multimedia-based Distance Education on the Internet: Challenges and Experiences. Karl Kurbel Virtual Global University (VGU) & European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. Outline. 1Background 1.1VGU - a virtual organization for Web-based e-learning

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Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Multimedia-based Distance Education on the Internet: Challenges and Experiences

Karl Kurbel

Virtual Global University (VGU) & European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Outline

1Background

1.1VGU - a virtual organization for Web-based e-learning

1.2Motivation and concepts of the MBI program

2Teaching and communication in a distance-education program

2.1Multimedia-oriented teaching modes

2.2Tools for communication and student interaction

3Online teaching in the MBI program

3.1Providing video lectures over the Internet3.1.1 Coping with various transmission rates3.1.2 Integrating video streams at the user interface

3.2Audio-based courses

3.3Text-based courses

3.4Hybrid animations

4Conclusions


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

"International Master of Business

Informatics" (MBI) - General Idea

  • A worldwide master program in IT and management for international students

  • "Business Informatics"

  • Distance education, based on multimedia and the Internet

  • Individual guidance, assistance, and support for students through electronic media

  • Semester oriented, classes meet weekly, personal interaction

  • "Normal" PC and Internet technology


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

VIRTUALREAL

UniversityVirtual GlobalVGU GmbH (teaching) in University (VGU)cooperation with European University Viadrina (formal: enrollment, degree) and others

DepartmentSchool of Business Dept. of BA and Economics Informatics (SBI)(formal: ordinances; exams)

FacultySBI facultyA network of professors fromCentral European universities

StudentsClass of 2002, 2003, ...Distributed worldwide,communicating via Internet

BuildingOffices, administration,Distributed, some at EUV,lecture halls etc.Multimedia


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Multimedia Techniques for Distance Education

  • Hypertext material

  • Audio + presentation material

  • Audio + presentation material + text

  • Video

  • Video + presentation material

  • Animation (e.g. Macromedia Flash)

  • Multimedia incorporated in web-supported textbooks


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Interaction Techniques for Distance Education

  • Discussion forum, bulletin board

     Asynchronous communication

  • Chatrooms  Synchronous communication

  • Internal e-mail  Privacy

  • Videoconferencinge.g. NetMeeting


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Key Bandwidths for Dialup Connections

56 kbpsUpper limit for data transfer in dialup connections

33 kbpsData transfer speed limit for 56k modems in *) and **) cases

28 kbps > 5 year old modems and modern modems in ***), ****), *****) cases

14 kbps> 10 yearold modems

14

33

56

28

Bandwidth,

kbps

*)Signal loss due to distance**)More than one analog-to-digital conversion between client and Internet Service Provider

***)Low quality modem

****)High noise level in telephone line

*****)Concentrators and other "cable save" equipment installed between client and Internet Service Provider


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Bitrates and Dialup Connections

56 kbps176x132x12 fps low motion video

(large number of dropped frames at this bitrate)

Video

30-55 kbps800x600x10 fps screen recordings

33 kbps176x132x8 fps low motion video

Mixed sound material of

"transistor radio" quality

20 kbps

Audio

Biggest bitrate of ACELP.NET codec

under Windows Media Plattform

16 kbps

Acceptable sound quality using

"speech optimized" codecs

8.5 kbps

Smallest possible bitrate for audio data

5 kbps

16

8,5

5

33

55

Bitrate, kbps


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Video and Audio Material Suitable for Dialup Connections

30-55 kbps800x600x10 fps screen recordings

33 kbps176x132x8 fps low motion video

16 kbpsAudio

28

33

56

Bitrate,

kbps


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Providing Video Lectures over the Internet

How to cope with a variety of Internet access speeds?

  • Version 1:Very fast access DSL 1500 (360k)

  • Version 2:Fast access DSL/LAN (300k)

  • Version 3:Fast access LAN (100k)

  • Version 4:Moderate access ISDN (64K)

  • Version 5:Slow access dialup (56k), sound and video

  • Version 6:Slow access dialup (28k and 56k), sound only


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Recorded Lecture Video - a First Naive Try


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Online Demonstration

<Demonstration of VGU courses online - outside this Powerpoint presentation>


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

360 kbps Video


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

300 kbps Video


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

100 kbps Video


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

64 kbps Video


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

33 kbps Video


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

16 kbps Audio


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

2 Videos


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Recording Scenario 1


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Recording Scenario 2


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Topics

Topic 1

Topic 2

Topic 3

Topic 4

...

Slides, Graphics, etc.

Picture (GIF, JPEG File) or Powerpoint Slide

<img> or <frame> Tag

Video (Audio)

Windows Media Player

Controls for Player

(Buttons)

Text annotations (optional)

Functional Diagram of a Video Course Page


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Synchronization Algorithm

Switching to Desired Playback Position

Playback Start Synchronization

*PP = Playback Position

PP1 < PP2 + T

AND

PP1 > PP2 - T

NO

Correction of Playback Time Difference

YES

Wait N Seconds


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Audio Based Course Page


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

HTML Based Text Page


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Animated Course Page (Flash)


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Observations

  • Producing video lectures requires a significantly long phase of learning and getting acquainted with the technology

  • Elapsed time to produce video/audio material for a 90 minute lecture

    – 2000: 12 days

    – 2001: 4 - 7 days

    – 2002: 2 days– 2003: ???


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Participation and Collaboration

  • How Can Students outside Germany Participate in the MBI Program and VGU Courses?

  • 1) Directly

    • Apply, enroll and study (from home/workplace)

    • Applications for SS 2004 invited from January 19, 2004 to March 8, 2004

  • 2) Partnerships

    • VGU is building a network of partners who provide local support for students


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Acknowledgement

  • Development of the MBI program has been supported under a grant by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research in the program "New media in education".

    More Information

  • http://www.vg-u.de


Multimedia based distance education on the internet challenges and experiences

Multimedia-based Distance Education on the Internet: Challenges and Experiences

Karl Kurbel

Virtual Global University (VGU) & European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany


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