Distance and distributed teaching and learning that are as interactive and effective as traditional face-to-face learning are now on the horizon. New innovations – such as cloud computing, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and automated videoconferencing – play a crucial part in enabling these learning methods. However, current solutions come with a variety of technical and practical limitations. LECTURE+ intends to research, design and evaluate a platform that improves decision support for teachers, room operators and learners, with the ultimate goal of enhancing learner engagement in face-to-face, remote and recorded lectures through mechanisms such as behavior tracking, AV processing and automated video direction. To this aim, the project will be carried out in three living lab settings.
Bringing learners together, enhancing the experience
Lecture-style teaching has remained the favored teaching method for millennia. However, an increasing number of scientists question its efficacy. Research shows that an active learning process that engages learners to use their knowledge to interact with their environments, called ‘cognitive activation’, results in more retained knowledge as well as longer attention spans and greater reflection. Other trends relevant to the project include more multicampus universities, more inter-university collaboration and an increased demand for upskilled employees with a view to realizing lifelong learning.
Creating an almost tangible virtual space
Developing a platform that enables cognitive activation comes with a number of challenges. It is crucial for lecturers to feel as if their audience physically shares the same space. Similarly, remote learners must also be involved in the learning process, cognitively and behaviorally, in the same way that face-to-face participants would be. From a technical perspective, the processes governing camera and microphone angles need to be tightly controlled to effectively measure engagement and enhance the learning experience.
Improving learning outcomes, tech adoption and tech accessibility
The LECTURE+ consortium has set forth three main valorized objectives for its platform:
- to boost and measure engagement in interactive lectures across a range of learning and teaching styles;
- to improve cost-efficiency and scalability of real-time interactive remote learning through the development of algorithms for smart video applications;
- to enhance more evidence-based use of tech innovations in interactive lectures.
Expanding an existing foundation
Experts in video processing and collaborative solutions, visualization, data analysis and cloud computing will pool their resources to achieve the innovation goals of the LECTURE+ platform. Barco, Televic and KU Leuven are already involved in a learning study focusing on the development of a collaborative platform with interaction-stimulating features, which meshes closely with LECTURE+ objectives.
“Building on existing cloud and BYOD platforms, LECTURE+ seeks to build an interactive lecture platform. Not only will it have to boost learning engagement across many types of learners, it should also be cost-effective and increase lecturer use of learning-enhancing technologies.”
Effective learning in remote classrooms through Technology-enhanced User Engagement
LECTURE+ is an imec.icon research project funded by imec and Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen.
It started on 01.04.2017 and is set to run until 30.03.2019.
- Televic Education
- imec - DistriNet - KU Leuven
- imec - ITEC - KU Leuven
- imec - PSI-VISICS - KU Leuven
- Project lead: Andy De Mets
- Research lead: Piet Desmet
- Innovation Manager: Steven Van Assche