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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. 1 Background 1.1 VGU - a virtual organization for Web-based e-learning

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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

1 Background

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

1.2 Motivation and concepts of the MBI program

2 Teaching and communication in a distance-education program

2.1 Multimedia-oriented teaching modes

2.2 Tools for communication and student interaction

3 Online teaching in the MBI program

3.1 Providing video lectures over the Internet 3.1.1 Coping with various transmission rates 3.1.2 Integrating video streams at the user interface

3.2 Audio-based courses

3.3 Text-based courses

3.4 Hybrid animations

4 Conclusions


"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


VIRTUAL REAL

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

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

Faculty SBI faculty A network of professors from Central European universities

Students Class of 2002, 2003, ... Distributed worldwide, communicating via Internet

Building Offices, administration, Distributed, some at EUV, lecture halls etc. Multimedia


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


Interaction Techniques for Distance Education

  • Discussion forum, bulletin board

     Asynchronous communication

  • Chatrooms  Synchronous communication

  • Internal e-mail  Privacy

  • Videoconferencing e.g. NetMeeting


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


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 kbps 176x132x8 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


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


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



Online Demonstration

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











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


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





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: ???


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


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

Karl Kurbel

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


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