Edith Cowan University, Western Australia in association with Khon Kaen University, Thailand and Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, Thailand.
Because of high demands for higher education in the provinces of Thailand, the school of Industrial Education and Technology at KMUTT has started off-campus courses since 2002. However, the major problem of operation is distance. To cope with the problem, a real-time virtual classroom system with two-way communication has been developed. The system has to overcome the bandwidth problem, which is the major struggle of web-based learning in Thailand, and to maintain the two-way communication between instructors and students. To cope with those problems, video streaming and live chat systems are used. The technique is the trade-off between two-way and low bandwidth communications. The system consists of video broadcasting, slides, and a live chat system. Instructors give lectures using the video broadcasting and slides, and students can use the live chat system to ask questions. Moreover, the instructor may ask a few questions via the live chat system. The questions are shown on the instructor‘s screen and stored in the instructor‘s database. The instructor has a choice to re-explain unclear topics, or to answer the questions after the topics. Students may ask questions or answer to other questions via the live chat system. This project used a PHP programming with MySQL databases for managing the data and databases of the website.