Research @ Amrita e-Learning Research Lab (AERL)
Amrita Virtual Interactive e-Learning World (A-VIEW), an internet based virtual knowledge sharing platform, is an award winning indigenously built multi-modal, multimedia e-learning platform that provides an immersive e-learning experience that is almost as good as a real classroom experience.
A-VIEW is part of Talk to a Teacher program coordinated by IIT Bombay and are funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) under the Indian Government’s National Mission for Education using Information and Communication Technology (NME-ICT). A-VIEW is now deployed at several IITs, NITs and other leading educational institutions across the nation.
A-VIEW addresses one of the most critical issues of India’s Higher Education system today: Millions of students wanting to learn who are not fortunate enough to have well-qualified teachers to train them.
With A-VIEW one good teacher can teach tens of thousands of students simultaneously at different locations all over India, as though in person.
A-VIEW enables distance education using various communication modules like Audio/Video, Whiteboard collaboration, Document sharing and Chat which can either be seen on a single display or multiple displays showing different kinds of content for an enhanced experience. It has lots of advanced modules to enable in-depth knowledge sharing for conducting large class rooms with many students and participating nodes.
A-VIEW is provided free of cost to all institutes of higher education. As of December 2012, A-VIEW has been deployed at more than 2000 universities and colleges all over India.
A-VIEW runs on Windows, MAC-OS and Linux; on desktops, laptops and mobile devices such as Aakash tablets and other Android-enabled smart phones and tablets.A-VIEW Classroom
A-VIEW Classroom is a framework that provides a rich interactive social environment for E-Learning. It is simple, user friendly video conferencing software, which provides a great opportunity to a teacher to teach in a live interactive mode to various geographical locations across India.
A-VIEW Classroom provides opportunity to connect several universities together and creates virtual world for students. It also acts as a Knowledge Cafe where students can discuss /chat about the lecture after the live class.Features of A-VIEW Classroom
A-View on Android Platform : A-VIEW now works on Aakash, other Android phones and tablets.
Multi User Interaction : While audio only interaction with multiple users was possible before, video interaction was limited to the presenter and one viewer. With A-VIEW 3.5 up to 8 viewers can now video interact with the presenter.
Powerpoint Animations : A-VIEW now supports Powerpoint animations.
Private Chat : A-VIEW enables users to have a private chat with Presenter or Moderator. Chat can be initiated by either Presenter, Moderator or Viewer.
Exit Classroom and Logout : Users can change the class room without exiting A-VIEW. They can also logout and log back into A-VIEW with a different username.
Recording & Playback : Lot of improvements have been made to recording and playback. It is smoother and more stable now.
2D- Viewer : 2D-viewer is a platform which enables the presenter to upload 2D animations and give interactive sessions to the students in real time. The demonstrations using 2D animations will help the students to understand the concepts and practical aspects better.
3D- Viewer : This feature enables the presenter to load 3D objects(f3d & dae format) in the application. Presenter has the overall control over the collaboration of objects & viewers can control the object locally i.e it won't be reflected for other users.
Video Sharing : There are times where the Presenter of a class may require to share a video to all the participants. This new feature allows the presenter to share videos among all the users who are connected to the class. This can be done either by uploading a video (mp4/ flv/f4v format) or by sharing a youtube link.
Face Recognition : This feature introduces a new level of security to the application. The user will have to first register his face through the application and during login he can authenticate his login id through the face recognition process.
Quiz : The feature enables the moderator to conduct a live quiz with all connected users. The results of all the participants can be viewed by the moderator at ‘userwise’ , ‘question’ or ‘question paper’ level. Besides each viewer can see his own result.
Polling : The presenter can use this feature to ask a question (one at a time) to all the connected users. This feature is used to get the feedback of the participants regarding any aspect during a live class.
Question Interface : This feature allows the users to post questions to the presenter during a live class. Also each user can vote for a question raised by any other user. The presenter can prioritize the questions posted by various users based on the number of votes it has received and then answer them.
Application Sharing : This is an enhancement to the existing desktop sharing feature available in AVC 2.0. Using this feature the presenter can share any applications in his system.
Multibitrate Streaming in High Definition & Low Latency : AVC 2.0 has multibitrate streaming option only for ‘Low Bandwidth’ codec. The latest version of A-view supports multibitrate streaming for ‘High Definition’ & ‘Low Latency’ codecs as well. This will enable the viewer to choose from a choice of low , medium or high bitrate stream of the presenter based on the bandwidth available to them.
Record & Playback : Record and playback has new enhanced features in the latest version of A-view. This includes recording without audio-video, audio only recording , recording of chat & recording of presenter & selected viewers audio-video. Besides there will be only one recording for a given lecture , i.e each session recording of a lecture will get appended to the previous one.
Document Sharing : Document sharing has enhanced features like thumbnails for documents, annotation tools , document download option for viewers , central repository , document unload option and supports upload of animated ppts. Besides improvement has been done in the document download process which makes the feature more scalable than before.
Audio-Video : The Audio quality in A-VIEW 3.0 has imporved remarkably. Audio alone option is available in the latest version , i.e. the the user can transmit his audio alone without starting his video. This is helpful in low bandwidth conditions or if there are any issues with the starting the video. Other enhancement includes selected viewer being able to see his video , option to maximize viewer’s video and a signal strength meter on video panel.
Whiteboard : The new features in whiteboard includes hide/unhide whiteboard option for presenter , text tool and eraser size selection option. Besides all the drawings made by the presenter will be visible for a late coming viewer.
User List : In the latest version the user list has ‘release all handraises’ option , user selection and search user option for the presenter.
Usability/ UI : There are few enhancements in the Usability/UI of A-view. In the latest version , ‘push to talk’ feature can be activated and controlled only by moderator/ presenter. The audio-video control buttons (accept viewer ,view video ,make presenter, etc ) will be displayed based on the state of the user selected from the user list. Also the presenter is allowed to release himself and become a viewer in this version. The UI has been improved by modifying various ui components and a uniform look and feel is brought throughout the application.
Chat : All users can increase the size of chat text & moderator can delete all chat messages in the latest version of the application.