A Virtual Environment for Collaborative Distance Learning with Video Synchronization

S. Gupta and G. Kaiser (USA)


Collaborative environments, metadata, visualization, video synchronization


We present a 3D collaborative virtual environment, CHIME, in which geographically dispersed students can meet together in study groups or to work on team projects. Conventional educational materials from heterogeneous backend data sources are reflected in the virtual world through an automated metadata extraction and projection process that structurally organizes container materials into rooms and interconnecting doors, with atomic objects within containers depicted as furnishings and decorations. A novel in-world authoring tool makes it easy for instructors to design environments, with additional in-world modification afforded to the students themselves, in both cases without programming. Specialized educational services can also be added to virtual environments via programmed plugins. We present an example plugin that supports synchronized viewing of lecture videos by groups of students with widely varying bandwidths.

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