Charlotte, North Carolina
June 20, 1999
June 20, 1999
June 23, 1999
4.46.1 - 4.46.6
A Virtual University CS1Course as a Platform for Web-based Education Experimentation
Richard J. Enbody Department of Computer Science & Engineering Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1226
We have developed a version of our CS1 course for Michigan State University’s web-based Virtual University. This section was designed as an experimental platform for web-based distance education. We use locally developed Sync-O-Matic 3000 software to deliver a RealVideo streaming video lecture synchronized with PowerPoint slides. The result is a video lecture with slides available over a 28.8 modem which can be watched asynchronously at the student’s convenience. An important goal of our research is to humanize asynchronous distance education. That is, insert the human component into a web-delivered course. The RealVideo lectures provided through the Sync-O-Matic 3000 software is an important first step in delivering a human component asynchronously. This paper describes how this course is delivered. The best way to appreciate our approach is to see it in action at http://www.vu.msu.edu/preview/cps230/.
In the Fall Semester of 1998 we began offering a standard CS1 Introductory Computer Science course1 on Michigan State University’s web-based Virtual University2. In addition to making the course available to students who were otherwise unable to take the regular sections, this offering was designed as an experimental platform for web-based distance education. As a regular, required CS1 course in the Computer Science major, this course is a “production” course in the sense that course outcomes are expected to be satisfied for use in all subsequent courses in the major. It is experimental in that innovative technology is used. In the first offering, the course used the Sync-O-Matic 30003 delivery software for the lectures. Sync-O-Matic 3000 delivers a RealVideo4 streaming video lecture synchronized with PowerPoint slides. RealVideo uses a compressed format which can reach a dozen frames per second. The PowerPoint slides are currently delivered as GIF files and share the bandwidth with the RealVideo. The result is a video lecture with slides available over a 28.8 modem which can be watched asynchronously at the student's convenience. Supporting technologies include a WebTalk discussion forum where students and faculty can carry on a discussion, and a handin program for submitting projects electronically. Laboratories which meet live in the regular sections are done asynchronously on line by students in the web-based sections. Teaching assistant office hours are handled using a chat room, AOL's Instant Messenger or ICQ.
An important goal of our research is to humanize asynchronous distance education. That is, insert the human component into a web-delivered course. The RealVideo lectures provided
Enbody, R. (1999, June), A Virtual University Cs1 Course As A Platform For Web Based Education Experimentation Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. https://peer.asee.org/8049
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