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Simulating face to face collaboration for interactive learning systems

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Author: Chan, John
Author: Arya, Ali
The use of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in medical education and other educational settings has escalated. PBL's strength in learning is mostly due to its collaborative and open-ended problem solving approach. Traditional PBL was designed to be used in live team environments rather than in an online setting. We describe research that allows for web-based PBL via geographically distributed physical locations that emphasize PBL's collaboration and open brainstorming approach using interactive web, gaming and simulation techniques. We describe Interactive Face Animation - Comprehensive Environment (iFACE) which allows for expressive voice based character agents along with Collaborative Online Multimedia Problem-based Simulation Software (COMPS) which integrates iFace within a customizable web-based collaboration system. COMPS creates an XML-based multimedia communication medium that is effective for group based case presentations, discussions and other PBL activities.
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