Interactive Cooperative Learning System Based on Virtual
Shared Space: HyCLASS Katsumi Hosoya1,
Susumu Kakuta1 and
Munish Sharma21 Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation2 University of Toronto, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
AbstractA collaborative educational system has been designed
that enables several students in distant locations to
share a virtual three-dimensional space. It can be
used to perform virtual experiments and carry out
creative tasks. Students can dynamically create a
new object and modify its properties. The system
maintains a consistent status of the virtual space as
seen by each student present in a room. An efficient
communication method to maintain this consistency
is proposed. Within the virtual space, the three-
dimensional materials are based on OMG-CORBA, a
distributed object modeling architecture. Furthermore
a method to create a new object and modify its
properties is also introduced. Lastly, after
developing and implementing the prototype system,
we evaluate the various issues centering on the
proposed methods.Keywords--CSCL, virtual reality, shared space,
1 IntroductionRecent studies on intelligent Computer Assisted
Instruction (CAI) have suggested that interactive
learning, in which students actively interact with the
educational material, and collaborative learning, in
which students talk with others in a group, play
significant roles in the process of acquiring new
knowledge. Additionally, people are becoming more
interested in education supported by computers,
especially "Computer Supported Cooperative
Learning (CSCL)". In CSCL, various technologies
are used, such as electronic mail/news, chatting,
voice/video conferencing, and "white boards".With recent improvements in computer
technology, three-dimensional computer graphics
(3D-CG) is being applied in various fields, including
education. By using educational materials presented
using 3D-CG, students can more intuitively
understand three-dimensional knowledge, and actively
study, for example, moving around the space and
observing a object from various viewpoints .
This 3D-CG technology enables the building of a
virtual world that cannot be built in the real world,
and to describe complicated structures.Recent works have described educational
materials by using the virtual reality modeling
language (VRML) . Using VRML, modeling data
can be downloaded from a server in a remote location
through networks, enabling several users to access the
same virtual world. However, a user cannot recognize
other simultaneous users and cannot cooperatively
manipulate a virtual object with those users.We have been developing an environment where
users can perceive and respond to the actions of other
users and manipulate the objects cooperatively .
In this paper, we propose a collaborative learning
environment that runs on computer networks and
discuss the requirements for managing a multi-user
virtual space. We then explain how we place the
educational objects in distributed locations, and
synchronize communication between them. Finally,
we evaluate our proposed methods based on their
performance in a prototype system.
2 Collaborative learning environment
using a virtual space
2.1 FeaturesOur learning environment has the following features:
|1. ||virtual shared space (room)|
An ordinary school oontains several units of
space, each classified as a classroom. Students inside
a given room work on the same educational material.
A student can exist in one room at a time, but can
freely move from one room to another.
|2. ||view of three-dimensional educational materials
Students in the same room see the same three-
dimensional objects. If a property of an object
changes, then all students see it changing at the same
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Proceedings of CSCL '97:The Second International Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning, December 10-14, 1997, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Contributors: Rogers Hall - Editor, Naomi Miyake - Editor, Noel Enyedy - Editor.
Publisher: University of Toronto.
Place of publication: Toronto.
Publication year: 1997.
Page number: 101.
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