Development of a Live Virtual Classroom Environment for Blended Learning

K. S. Lasith Gunawardena, Dr. Champa Hewagamage, Dr. K.P. Hewagamage

ABSTRACT

Live Virtual Classroom (LVC) software has emerged as separate category of learning software which aims to cater to synchronous learning needs. They are used to bridge the distance gap in distance learning environments. This paper addresses the application of the LVC concepts in a blended learning environment, as a solution to a limited skilled human resource problem. The objective was to create an environment at a Government University in Sri Lanka through which a single lecturer could simultaneously instruct a large student group numbering over two hundred. The developed solution incorporates the essential features of LVCs through the fusing of existing technologies and software. The paper outlines the phases in the development of the environment, and operational aspects of the environment. Results of a comparison study performed to determine the effectiveness of the system are discussed in this paper. We conclude by revealing avenues to further fine tune the environment to create a more fulfilling experience to the students.