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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/L06614/01
Title: MULTI-WAY EFFECTIVE DISTANCE LEARNING AT LOW-COST (MEDAL)
Principal Investigator: Hardman, Dr V
Other Investigators:
Sasse, Professor MA Hailes, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Hewlett Packard Inc
Department: Computer Science
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 1996 Ends: 30 June 2000 Value (£): 177,684
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Multimedia Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The aim of this research is to investigate the enhancement of existing low-cost multiway multimedia conferencing facilities (telephone quality speech, slow-scan video, and no lip synchronisation) for use in more demanding applications, such as distance learning, and particularly remote language teaching. Ensuring that distance learning does not merely provide a poor substitute for face-to-face learning can be accomplished by improving the quality of existing multimedia conferencing facilities: the addition of wide-band speech and, lip synchronisation, the integration of computer-based training facilities (video clips, automatic teachers), and the use of enhanced reality systems (voice-controlled interfaces, and 3D-spatial sound will result in a system that is fun and attractive to use, and which can be tailored to support modularised courses. A pre-requisite of the research is that the facilities be developed for a range of heterogeneous multi-tasking operating systems (especially Pcs), with no extra specialist hardware. This premise will mean that higher education institutions can more readily acquire the facilities in order to offer distance learning services. Seamless mobile access is a key enhancement that will attract businesses to seek education from HE institutions, since modularised courses and mobile access will facilitate learning at the rate and availability of the learner.
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