Title: Supporting asynchronous communication in an agent-based virtual classroom

Authors: Kenji Matsuura, Hiroaki Ogata, Yoneo Yano

Addresses: Knowledge Media Research Center, Konrad-Adenauer-Str. 40, 72072 Tuebingen, Germany. Dept. of Information Science and Intelligent Systems, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokushima, 2-1 Minamijosanjima-cho, Tokushima 770-8506, Japan. Dept of Information Science and Intelligent Systems, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokushima, 2-1 Minamijosanjima-cho, Tokushima 770-8506, Japan

Abstract: This paper describes the development and the evaluation of an asynchronous virtual classroom, named AVC, which enables learners to participate in learning any time and from anywhere. The environment provides on-demand multimedia learning materials, e.g. video of the lecture, which aims at transmitting basic knowledge to learners. It also has an asynchronous communication space shared by users for the purpose of enhancement, augmentation and application of the basic knowledge acquired through media materials. To utilise these two types of learning resources (i.e. on-demand materials and asynchronous communications), the system combines them effectively. Technology used to implement this approach allows past interactions of others to become available to the learner. A software agent can recommend suitable interactions for the current learner according to his/her interest. The final part of this paper discusses the results of the experimental use of the AVC prototype.

Keywords: virtual classroom; video on demand; asynchronous communication; web based instruction; CSCL; software agent.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2002.002144

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2002 Vol.12 No.5/6, pp.433-447

Published online: 13 Dec 2003 *

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