An Asia-Wide Distributed Hands-On Workshop: Synchronous Learning and Large-Scale Computing Laboratory

P. Basu, S. Mikawa, T. Miyachi, A. Basuki, A.H. Thamrin, and K. Okawa (Japan)


Distributed learning environments, distance education, research on advanced technology in education, and information technology


In a lack of educational resources and facilities for IT human resource development in developing regions, it is essential to explore new cost-effective models to efficiently utilize distributed teaching resources to create a learning environment that is approachable by region wide learners. This paper proposes to design a distance learning system which incorporates a remote large-scale computing laboratory for Asia-wide learners to participate in a live hands-on IT education program. The work overcomes the well-known regional inadequate Internet quality that obstructs the development of distance learning by proposing IPv6 Multicast service over a broadcast satellite to best accommodate region-wide multipoint communications. The StarBED large-scale computing laboratory is integrated to provide high quality environment for remote hands-on exercises. In a highly distributed model of facilities and people, a supervision model is proposed to define class management structure and procedure. The proposed work was implemented in a 5-days workshop to train 42 learners from 16 institutions in 10 Asian countries with 5 remote lecturer sites from 4 Asian countries. Evaluation results have shown that the proposed model is practical and cost-effective for region wide IT training. The design, implementation details and evaluations in this paper could be utilized for future researches of alternative models.

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