CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Jacques Levin

Committee Member

John A. Scigliano

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell

Abstract

A distance education system has been designed for Nova Southeastern University (NSU) . The design was based on emerging low cost video technology. The report presented the design and summarizes existing distance education efforts and technologies.

The design supported multimedia electronic classrooms, and enabled students to participate in multimedia classes using standard telephone networks. Results were presented in three areas: management, courseware, and, systems.

In the area of management, the report recommended that the University separately establish, fund, and staff the distance education project. Supporting rationale was included.

In the area of courseware, the importance of quality courseware was highlighted. It was found that the development of distance education courseware was difficult; nevertheless, quality courseware was the key to a successful distance education program.

In the area of systems, component level designs were presented for a student system, a university host, and a support system. Networks connecting the systems were addressed. The student system was based on widely available multimedia systems. The host system supported up to sixteen participants in a single class. The support system was designed for the development of courseware and the support of future projects in distance education.

The report included supporting Proof of Principle demonstrations. These demonstrations showed that low cost video systems had utility at speeds as low as 7. 2 kbps. They also showed that high quality student images were not crucial to the system. The report included three alternate implementation strategies. The initial capability could be operational in 1997. A multi-session, 2000 user system was projected for early in the next century.

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