Modeling Chinese Classrooms for Low-Cost Real-Time Distance Education

  • Neema Moraveji
  • Udai Pawar
  • Taemie Kim

MSR-TR-2007-41 |

This paper presents a novel method of improving classroom technology access in developing regions for use in distance and co-located education. By placing a mouse on each student’s desk in a classroom and connecting those mice to a single computer, the system affords simple anonymous and non-anonymous student interaction with a remote or co-located teacher. User interaction features and metaphors modeled directly from numerous classroom observations are presented. The results of user studies conducted in rural China and India indicate that the system is easy to learn for even novice students in developing regions. A discussion of the user study results found the system lends itself to a game-like classroom atmosphere where students can interact as a member of the group or as individuals and engagement is encouraging. A discussion closes the paper, indicating how the findings have implications beyond distance education and in teacher-mediated instruction and related classroom activities.