A Software System for Cost-effective Internet Delivery of Synchronous Distance Education

J.M. Pullen (USA)


synchronous distance education, multimedia networking


The Internet is used widely for asynchronous distance education. Synchronous distance education is harder to deliver; it poses challenges in technology, economy, and organization in addition to the challenge of distance. We have developed an Internet-based system for synchronous distance education, where the instructor's voice, graphics, dynamic annotations, and optional video are streamed to the student at home or office and also recorded for server based delayed online delivery. Network EducationWare (NEW) will deliver a total of twenty full-length courses this year at George Mason University. NEW has been assembled from open source Internet multicasting software and is made available free to the academic community in the same spirit. We describe issues faced in scaling up NEW to meet the demands of multiple courses and large numbers of students.

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