Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

A Near-Reality Approach to Improve the E-Learning Open Courseware

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

A Near-Reality Approach to Improve the E-Learning Open Courseware

Article excerpt


The media/video sharing data recorded with streaming format have been widely accepted by most of the people, including the information in YouTube and the open courseware proposed by MIT (Abelson & Long, 2008; Carson & Forward, 2010; Lerman & Potts, 2006; Tovar, 2010). Currently, a lot of universities develop the program of open courseware as part of their distant learning activities including University of Tokyo OCW, Tufts Open Courseware, Utah State University Open Courseware, National Chiao Tung University OCW, etc (Carson & Forward, 2010; MIT OCW; University of Tokyo OCW; Tufts OpenCourseWare; Utah State University OpenCourseWare; National Chiao Tung University of Taiwan OCW). Teaching and learning are no longer restricted to classroom learning (Marold, Larsen, & Moreno, 2000; McAllister & McAllister, 1996; Papanikolaou, Mabbott, Bull, & Grigoriadou, 2006; Zhang & Nunamakter, 2003). As we know, most of the contents from open coursewares are recorded in classroom and then translated into web site for online self-learning purpose. Even students can read the same data from the classroom recorded by themselves, they actually cannot endure the poor quality media if the recording procedure inside the classroom is not well-controlled. Up to now, a number of studies have demonstrated how e-Learning technology influences today's education (Davies & Graff, 2005; Naeve, Lytras, Nejdl, Blacheff, & Hardin, 2006). Wentling et al. suggested that "e-Learning is the acquisition and use of knowledge distributed and facilitated primarily by electronic means" (Wentling, Waight, Gallaher, La Fleur, Wang, & Kanfer, 2000, p. 5). Hence, in this paper, the advantage of e-Learning technology will be taken to improve the recording quantity and quality of open courseware such that students can read everywhere and anytime with enough amount of high quality streaming data.

Inside a classroom or studio room, several streaming data from computer screen, digital camera, and document camera are recorded to preserve the details. The best way to keep all data together is to apply the integration technology to fuse those streaming data into a single streaming media (Boer, Kommers, & Brock, 2011; Liu, Chen, Wang, & Zhang, 2010; Reisslein, Seeling, & Reisslein, 2005). Two technical issues have to be considered. One is to decide what kinds of catching devices including digital camera, document camera, and VGA grabber are used. Another is the integration software to fuse those caught streaming data into the single streaming. The VGA grabber is a hardware device which can catch the screen of another computer with fine quality. The software system receives raw signals from grabber and then to process, analyze, integrate, and compress images (Diaz, Pelayo, Ortigosa, & Mota, 2006; Will, 2001). As shown in Figure 1, the VGA grabber is embedded in a PC which can catch teacher's gesture and notebook screen. This technique has been widely used to catch the computer screen with dynamic content, for instance, the moving particle run on teacher's notebook and shown in front of students in the physics lecture can be recorded by this skill (Diaz, Ros, Carrillo, & Prieto, 2007; Kim, Lee, Jeon, & Song, 2010).


As we know, most of the contents of open courseware just provide students with more opportunities to review the lecture after they go back home for self-learning. Currently, a lot of universities try to improve the quality of open courseware to be suitable for regular distant lectures. Hence, how to record teaching lectures and retouch those recorded materials to be high quality materials such that students can have better learning outcomes is a critical issue (Leijen, Lam, Wildschut, Simons, & Admiraal, 2009; Ochoa & Duval, 2009; Wilson & Harris, 2003).

In contrast to advertisement program which just consists of short messages or illustrations, the teaching program needs to present the detailed knowledge with more verbal illustration. …

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