A Digital Environment Dedicated to Distributed and Cooperative Practical Activities

J.-P. Gerval (France), D.-M. Popovici (Romania), A. Assoum (Lebanon), Y. Le Ru (France), and M. Polceanu (Romania)


Distributed and Cooperative Practical Activities, Virtual Classroom, X3D/VRML world, JavaScript and Ajax3D


This paper deals with a project that aims at improving students engineering skills especially when the actors of the project, the tasks to be achieved and the knowledge, are distributed between several different countries. The goal is to obtain a digital environment that is capable of hosting distributed and cooperative practical activities for groups of students from different universities and different countries working together on the same activities. In the following sections we lay out our implementation of the virtual classroom metaphor and we describe how we distributed our virtual worlds (X3D/VRML, JavaScript and AJAX). Further in the article we explain how we coped with the constant need for change and extensions in the context of distributed virtual environments: new objects to fill the ever-growing 3D world, and in the context of pedagogical activities: new activities, new topics, new methods, etc, by the means of a plug-in-like concept.

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