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International Journal of Computer Games Technology
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 627109, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/627109
Research Article

SyTroN: A Virtual Classroom for Collaborative and Distant E-Learning System by Teleoperating Real Devices

1TERA Department, Italian Institute of Technology, Via Morego, 30. Genova 16163, Italy
2Ecole des Mines de Nantes- 4 rue a. Kastler, 44000, Nantes, France

Received 11 September 2008; Revised 2 March 2009; Accepted 30 March 2009

Academic Editor: Abdennour El Rhalibi

Copyright © 2009 R. Chellali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Distant E-learning is a main issue nowadays, and it is strongly motivated by social and economical considerations. The increased people mobility and the reduction of educational costs push to develop ad hoc solutions enabling to access to knowledge regardless to geographical situation and economical capabilities. These parameters should not be limits for good training: learning material's pertinence and efficiency have to remain the core of educational activities. In this paper we address the problem through SyTroN: a tele-learning system. This system combines virtual reality and teleoperation techniques to offer an open platform with two main objectives. The first one is to propose intuitive virtual classrooms/desks, including a real teacher supervision and supporting collaborative and individual distant learning. The second goal is to place learners in real conditions with remote connections to real devices allowing distant experimentations. Both goals participate to increase learning impacts and to reduce costs, that is, sharing costly real devices from anywhere at any time. After 5 years of development, our work has been validated by an extensive use at a high engineering school. In situ tests and learning impact studies have been done. They show some advantages and some drawbacks of our global solution.