1 VIDEO CONFERENCE SYSTEM FOR CLASSROOM TEACHING ZAFIRAH BINTI SALIM This report is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Computer Science (Network Computer) FACULTY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITI TEKNIKAL MALAYSIA MELAKA 2008
2 ABSTRACT The project that had been developed is allowing the lecturer and the student to communicate through the system for education environment. This project will be known as Video Conference System for Classroom Teaching. There are three major module included in the Video Conference System which is the Video and Audio Configuration Module, Whiteboard Sharing Module and File Transfer Module. This report contains the introduction, methodology, analysis, design, implementation, testing and project conclusion. Video Conference System which allow two or more locations to interact via two-way video and audio transmissions simultaneously. It has also been called visual collaboration and is a type of groupware. Video conferencing technology provides a video link between two or more people, which allows them to see and hear each other at the same time. It works like two-way TV. It digitally reproduces your image using IP (Internet Protocols) technology, a standard set of rules to enable data transfer, and Local Area Network (LAN) connection. The project methodology used in this project is Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Methodology. Video Conference System is developed using Java as the programming language and the MySQL as the database. To develop the real system, designs were made to covers the system architecture, user interfaces and database design. This system is hoped that the teaching and learning process will going smoothly and give many benefits to the users themselves.
3 ABSTRAK Projek yang telah dibangunkan adalah bertujuan supaya pensyarah dan pelajar dapat berkomunikasi melalui system dalam suasana pengajaran dan pembelajaran. Projek ini dikenali dengan nama 'Video Conference System for Classroom Teaching'. Terdapat tiga modul utama dalam 'Video Conference System' iaitu 'Video dan Audio Configuration' Modul, 'Whiteboard Sharing' Modul dan 'File Transfer' Modul. Laporan ini mengandungi pengenalan, kaedah, analisis, reka, pelaksanaan, menguji dan kesimpulan. 'Video Conference System' membolehkan dua atau lebih lokasi untuk berinteraksi melalui video dan suara dua hala penyiaran serentak. Ia juga dipanggil kerjasama visual dan adalah sejenis 'groupware'. Teknologi persidangan video menyediakan satu hubungan video antara dua atau lebih ramai orang, dimana mereka boleh melihat dan mendengar satu sama lain pada masa yang sama. Teknologi ini berfungsi seperti TV dua hala. Teknologi ini juga menyalin imej secara digital dengan menggunakan IP (Internet Protocol) teknologi, satu set teknik yang baik bagi membolehkan pemindahan data, dan Rangkaian Komputer Setempat (LAN), iaitu satu teknologi rangkaian. 'Video Conference System' dibangunkan dengan menggunakan bahasa aturcara Java dan MySQL sebagai pengkalan data. Sistem ini diharapkan akan dapat membantu proses pengajaran dan pembelajaran berjalan dengan lancer serta memberi banyak faedah kepada pengguna.
4 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1.1 Project Background A video conference is a live connection between people in separate locations for the purpose of communication, usually involving audio and often text as well as video. At its simplest, video conferencing provides transmission of static images and text between two locations. At its most sophisticated, it provides transmission of full-motion video images and high-quality audio between multiple locations. The Video Conference System for Classroom Teaching is a network-based project that mainly provides video conferencing for classroom teaching environment. Currently, the teachings were held traditionally in classroom at Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM). The problem will come out when the students miss some classes just because they have to travel here and there. Moreover, even the some of the lecturers also have to move from one place to another place just because they have only one class in one day. Besides that, there are three campuses which are Industry Campus (Ayer Keroh), Main Campus (Durian Tunggal) and City Campus (Hang Tuah). So if they want to attend a class, there will be some problems such as they have to travel from one place to another place that cause of wasting time and money.
5 By using this video conference system, the students or lecturers just have to go one place and yet the learning and teaching process still can operate smoothly. There will be no reason for the students to miss classes anymore. In addition, the lecturers and students do not have to waste their time and money to travel from one place to another place. The system will be as the medium to connect between the lecturer and the students. Some knowledge is gain in developing this video conference system such as video and audio streaming protocol, file transfer protocol and whiteboard sharing protocol. Problem Statements More places to go The lecturers or students have to travel from one place to another place which increases the pressure, stress and fatigue from travel. Time and money waste The lecturers and students somehow waste their time and money when they have to go from one place to another place to attend some classes. Missing classes The students might miss some class just because they have to go from one place to another place which might be pretty far and take some times to reach there. Time to provide class is limited The time for the lecturer to teach the class will be limited when the students come late to the class.
6 1.3 Objectives Make some research about the video conference for getting the idea and source for developing the Video Conference System. Analyzing the problems of the current situation and identify the requirements such as data, functional, non-functional, software, hardware and network requirements. Designing the system using the Java language as the source code and Netbeans IDE as the tool kit for developing the system. Developing the video conference system so that it can be implementing in Local Area Network (LAN). 1.4 Scope This Video Conference System project will be implemented in Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM). The project will be more focus on Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (FTMK), Bachelor of Computer Network (BITC) students who always use CCNP lab. There are 16 personal computers provided in the lab. Each personal computer will be installed with the web camera and the Video Conference itself. More further, this project will be developed using Netbeans IDE open source software as the platform for development, Java as the source code language, Java Media Framework (JMF) as the multimedia development toolkit and MySQL as the database server. Besides that, this Video Conference System will be applying in Local Area Network (LAN) connection.
7 1.5 Project Significance This video conference system gives many benefits and can be used by Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) to make the learning environment more attractive and exciting. Further more, this system will mark UTeM as a hub of new technology in world-class learning system so that it can be practiced anywhere in the future. Besides that, this system also will help to connect both the lecturer and students face-to-face virtually for learning and teaching without they have to move from one place to another place. Moreover, the system helps to reduce the time and cost for the lecturers and students to go to more places. By using this system, specialized courses that UTeM could not offer because of cost or limited student interest can be shared by several institutes or colleges to provide cost efficiency. Flexibility in scheduling the classes to meet either an individual student's or a group of students' need is another major advantage. 1.6 Expected Output The expected output from this project is Video Conference system. The user can use the video conference for the education activities in the classroom. Besides that, the user also can employ other applications such as whiteboard sharing, private chat and file transfer function. Moreover, this system allow the students to join the class that been created by the lecturer through the video conference.
8 1.7 Conclusion As the conclusion, this Video Conference System for Classroom Teaching will help the lecturers and students to communicate live face-to-face with each other for a learning process. Furthermore, video conferencing is a cost-effective way for educational institutions to deliver successful educational experiences to an expanded student population. The problem statements, objectives, scope and project significance output had been identified from this chapter in order to develop a good system which will be used by the target users.
9 CHAPTER I1 LITERATURE REVIEW AND PROJECT METHODOLOGY 2.1 Introduction A literature review is a summary and explanation of key studies relevant to a proposed project. The literature review is one of the slightest understood parts of a research project. Besides a part of significant report in a research project, literature review also can be a bibliography essay that is published separately in a scholarly journal. The purpose is still the same which is to evaluate the scholarly literature relevant to the topic studied for both ways. This review will help to design the methodology and help others to understand the research. In this chapter, the literature review is focus on the research of the current system and the new system. The purpose of a literature review is to explain how the question to be examined suitable into the larger picture and why this approached the topic. This section of a scholarly report allows the reader to be brought up the date concerning the state of research in the field and familiarizes to any contrast perspectives and viewpoints on the topic.
10 2.2 Facts and Findings This section will be discussing about the domain of this project, the existing system and finally the other techniques that applicable used in to develop this project Domain The domain of this system is Video Conference. A videoconference is a live connection between people in separate locations for the purpose of communication, usually involving audio and often text as well as video. At its simplest, videoconferencing provides transmission of static images and text between two locations. At its most sophisticated, it provides transmission of full-motion video images and high-quality audio between multiple locations. Videoconferencing software is quickly becoming standard computer equipment. For example, Microsoft's NetMeeting is included in Windows 2000 and is also available for free download from the NetMeeting homepage. For personal use, free or inexpensive videoconference software and a digital camera afford the user easy - and cheap - live connections to distant friends and family. Although the audio and video quality of such a minimal setup is not high, the combined benefits of a video link and long-distance savings may be quite persuasive. (Whatis.com, 2007a) Development Tools Integrated Development Environment (IDE) In computing, an integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally consists of a source code editor, a compiler andlor interpreter, build automation tools, and (usually) a debugger. Sometimes a version
11 control system and various tools are integrated to simplify the construction of a GUI. Many modem IDEs also have a class browser, an object inspector, and a class hierarchy diagram, for use with object oriented software development. IDEs are designed to maximize programmer productivity by providing tightlyknit components with similar user interfaces, thus minimizing the amount of mode switching the programmer must do comparing to loose, discrete collections of disparate development programs. Typically an IDE is dedicated to a specific programming language, so as to provide a feature set which most closely matches the programming paradigms of the language. (Wikipedia, 2007a) Netbeans According to Anglin (2007), NetBeans is the simplest IDE to set up, configure and use from the get go. The NetBeans IDE is a free, open-source Integrated Development Environment for software developers. NetBeans supports core java application, applet based application and SWT application development. The IDE runs on many platforms including Windows, Linux, Solaris, and the MacOS. It is easy to install and use straight out of the box. The NetBeans IDE provides developers with all the tools they need to create the professional cross-platform desktop, enterprise, web and mobile applications. Also the fact that it can connect to the Database through the Netbeans IDE which has a wonderful feature that allows dragging and dropping database into the application generating the database related code.
12 Features The benefits of NetBeans are its can create professional-looking GUIs with automatic spacing and alignment. The NetBeans IDE comes with built-in support for GUI localization and accessibility. Besides that, the NetBeans profiler provides expert assistance for optimizing your application's speed and memory usage, and makes it easier to build reliable and scalable Java SE and Java EE applications. Eclipse According to Gallardo et al. (2003), Eclipse is a new open-source, Javabased, extensible development platform designed for nothing in particular but everything in general. Because of its roots, it is currently most popular as a Java integrated development environment (IDE). Eclipse ships with plugins for writing and debugging Java code. Additional plugins for more advanced Java development, such as JSPIservlets, are available from third parties. BlueJ According to Kolling (2005), BlueJ is an integrated development environment for the Java programming language, developed mainly for educational purposes, but also suitable for small-scale software development. BlueJ was developed to support the learning and teaching of objectoriented programming, and its design differs from other development environments as a result. The main screen graphically shows the class structure of an application under development (in a UML-like diagram), and objects can be interactively created and tested. This interaction facility, combined with a clean, simple user interface, allows easy experimentation with objects under
13 development. Object-oriented concepts (classes, objects, communication through method calls) are represented visually and in its interaction design in the interface. Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for NetBeans, Eclipse and BlueJ Table 2.1 : Comparison of Integrated Development Environment (IDE) (Wikipedia, 2007b) The system will use NetBeans IDE as the developer tools in this project. It is because the NetBeans IDE use Java as the platform and it is also an open-source IDE and free. Besides that, NetBeans also has professional-looking GUIs which easy to create the main interface for the video conference system.
14 Database Database Management System (DBMS) According to Christiansen (2005), a database management system (DBMS), sometimes just called a database manager, is a program that lets one or more computer users create and access data in a database. The DBMS manages user requests (and requests from other programs) so that users and other programs are free from having to understand where the data is physically located on storage media and, in a multi-user system, which else may also be accessing the data. In handling user requests, the DBMS ensures the integrity of the data (that is, making sure it continues to be accessible and is consistently organized as intended) and security (making sure only those with access privileges can access the data). The most typical DBMS is a relational database management system (RDBMS). A standard user and program interface is the Structured Query Language (SQL). A newer kind of DBMS is the object-oriented database management system (ODBMS). MySQL is a multithreaded, multi-user SQL database management system (DBMS). The basic program runs as a server providing multi-user access to a number of databases. (Wikipedia, 2007c) Because it is open source, anyone can download MySQL and tailor it to their needs in accordance with the general public license. MySQL is noted for its consistent fast performance, high reliability and ease of use. MySQL runs on more than 20 platforms including Linux, Windows, OSIX, HP-UX, AIX, Netware. (MySQL, 2007a)
15 Features The following features are implemented by MySQL:- i. Multiple storage engines allow choosing the one which is most effective for each table in the application. ii. Native storage engines. iii. Partner-developed storage engines. iv. Community-developed storage engines. v. Custom storage engines. vi. Commit grouping, gathering multiple transactions from multiple connections together to increase the number of commits per second. (Wikipedia, 2007d) Oracle According to Lemme and Colby (2000), Oracle defines a database as: A set of operating system files, treated as a unit, in which an Oracle server stores a set of data dictionary tables and user tables. The disk space corresponding to this set of files. A subset of database objects necessary to support a single database application.
16 Microsoft Access Microsoft Office Access, previously known as Microsoft Access, is a relational database management system from Microsoft which combines the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software development tools. Access can use data stored in AccessJJet, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, or any ODBC-compliant data container. Skilled software developers and data architects use it to develop application software. Relatively unskilled programmers and non-programmer "power users" can use it to build simple applications. It supports some object-oriented techniques but falls short of being a fully object-oriented development tool. (Wikipedia, 2006e) Database Management System (DBMS) for MySQL, Oracle and Microsoft Access Table 2.2 : Comparison of Database Management System (DBMS)
17 The system will use MySQL as the database management system. This is because its speed, reliability, and flexibility. Besides that, MySQL also is open source, anyone can download MySQL and tailor it to their needs in accordance with the general public license Programming Language Java Java is a programming language expressly designed for use in the distributed environment of the Internet. It was designed to have the "look and feel" of the C++ language, but it is simpler to use than C++ and enforces an object-oriented programming model. Java can be used to create complete applications that may run on a single computer or be distributed among servers and clients in a network. It can also be used to build a small application module or applet for use as part of a Web page. Applets make it possible for a Web page user to interact with the page. (Whatis.com, 2007b) Java generally refers to a combination of three things: the Java programming language (a high-level, object-oriented programming language); the Java Virtual Machine (a high-performance virtual machine that executes bytecodes on a specific computing platform, typically abbreviated JVM); and the Java platform, a JVM running compiled Java bytecodes, usually calling on a set of standard libraries such as those provided by Java Standard Edition (SE) or Enterprise Edition (EE). Though coupled by design, the language does not imply the JVM, and vice versa. (Java.com, 2007a)
18 Features The Java programming language has been thoroughly refined, extended, tested, and proven by an active community of over five million software developers. These are some features of Java :- Write software on one platform and run it on practically any other platform Create programs to run within a web browser and web services Develop server-side applications for online forums, stores, polls, HTML forms processing, and more Combine Java technology-based applications or services to create highly customized applications or services Write powerful and efficient applications for mobile phones, remote processors, low-cost consumer products, and practically any device with a digital heartbeat C++ is an object oriented programming language created by Bjarne Stroustrup and released in It implements data abstraction using a concept called classes, along with other features to allow object-oriented programming. Parts of the C++ program are easily reusable and extensible; existing code is easily modifiable without actually having to change the code. C++ adds a concept called "operator overloading" not seen in the earlier OOP languages and it makes the creation of libraries much cleaner. C++ maintains aspects of the C programming language, yet has features which simplify memory management. Additionally, some of the features of C++
19 allow low-level access to memory but also contain high level features. (HitMill, 2007a) Visual Basic According to Mabbutt (2007), Visual Basic is complete object oriented architecture. Visual Basic was mostly object oriented but lacked a few features such as inheritance. One of the big innovations introduced by Visual Basic was a way to split a program into two parts. One part is written by the programmer and does everything that makes that program unique, such as adding two specific values. The other part does all of the processing that any program might need such as the programming to add any values. Programming language for Java, C++ and Visual Basic Table 2.3 : Comparison of Programming Language (Wikipedia, 2007g)
20 After doing some research on programming languages, the system will use Java. This is because the language is more compatible with the video conference system which intended to use for application. Moreover, Java also provide Java Media Framework API (JMF) which enables audio, video and other time-based media to be added to applications and applets built on Java technology Existing System Video and Audio Conference (VAC) AChat is open source application for your LAN and easy to install and run. It simply detects other AChat users without additional configuration. It allows you to chat in public and your own channels. You can also share files, which other users can easily find via Search feature, but you can also send specific files to other users, show them images you just captured and send messages even to users which are currently offline. Achat is very easy, accessible and reliable to the average users. You can simply click on available online user and have videolaudio conference with them. Features Some additional features in Achat are ignoring users. The user will be unable to send you private messages, images, files, beeps. Checking Ignored in user actions menu. Achat also have sending image edit image without affecting original image. Transferring file is available in this software. User can send or receive files with this feature. Another feature is creating new channel. After creating new channel, user will be able to invite users to their channel. Some limitations of features provided are those only files that are not larger than 1fX~lB can be previewed (previewing uses HTTP protocol). For sending offline message, the limitation is offline messages are delivered when user joins AChat or changes hislher
21 status to Online, this feature works if there are other users using AChat on their computer if you exit AChat. Functions AChat supports three types of messages:-quick messages, private message session and offline messages. Quick messages are shown as bubbles in AChat and are a good way to get someone's attention. Private message session is useful when you need to talk even more privately and you have much to say. Private messages are also logged so you can view them later. Lastly is offline messages that allow message to be send to users which are currently offline. These messages are interchanged between AChat clients, so your message will be delivered even if you quit AChat. Figure 2. 1 : Screen shot of the main GUI of AChat application
22 elpop Video Conference Software pop is a state-of-the-art, secure video conferencing software solution. It was designed for multi-office company networks (LANslWANs) and general conferencing over the Internet. elpop is clientiserver software, it requires a Windows server platform with a static IP address; users and participants need only their web browser. It's easy to start a video conference: new users simply select 'play-all' and the video conference is on. Advanced users can select among multiple video devices, size, quality, frame rate and more. Features Elpop goes far beyond traditional boardroom video conferencing equipment and provides complete multiparty PowerPoint presentation sharing as a standard feature. There is no need to pre-process your presentations, just select Share PowerPoint. There are features such desktop sharing and collaboration and Quickstart (start conference with one click) and Outlook Integration for checking . elpop also supports web and video conferencing record and playback. You can record your online meetings using several (Flash, QuickTime, AVI and WMV) formats. Functions The software automatically makes adjustments when the user's PC or network connection affects video performance, allowing everyone to enjoy the video meeting instead of turning knobs. elpop offers security, ease of installation (it takes only minutes), and if needed, comprehensive controls to keep your network running smoothly. elpop video conferencing system is visibly superior, multipoint video conferencing which mean it's not limited to one presenter, or four presenters, anyone and everyone can use video.
23 Figure 2.2 : Screen shot of elpop Video Conference Software Windows NetMeeting v3.01 Windows NetMeeting is installed with Windows XP. NetMeeting gives you the tools to communicate with family and friends over the Internet. You can pick from text, chat, Internet phone, or even video conferencing to say what you want. NetMeeting is enable you communicate with anyone, anywhere, using your PC. Besides that, you also can communicate with several people at once and you can combine data conferencing with real-time audio and video. Features There are standard features in NetMeeting such Video and Audio Conferencing, Chat, File Transfer and Whiteboard. Other features which is Internet Directory. It is website provided and maintained by Microsoft to locate people to call on the internet. Program Sharing feature lets you flexibly share multiple programs during a conference and retain greater control over the way they're used. Remote Desktop Sharing lets you operate a computer from a remote location and lastly Advanced Calling that gives you the flexibility to send a mail message to a NetMeeting user or initiate a NetMeeting call directly from your mail address book.
24 Figure 2.3 : Screen shot of Windows NetMeeting Study Case Some researches have done about the universities that already using video conferencing as one of their learning tools or provide these facilities. Video conferencing has been conventionally used by universities in United Kingdom and other countries. For the literature review, the university that been chose are University of Manchester, University of Oxford and National University of Singapore as the research scope. In Malaysia, UNITAR is the pioneer university in the country (in fact in the region) that using video conference as their learning methods since September 1998.
25 Local universities that started distance learning which is popularly known as off-campus program was the University Sains Malaysia (USM) University of Oxford Figure 2.4 : Students learn by video conferencing in classroom In University of Oxford, they are using video conferencing for many purposes such distance learning, job interviews, teaching and lectures. In this program, the university has facilitated two rooms situated at MPU for 1-6 people. There are rooms spread through the University to cater up to 100 peoples, although some rooms incur an extra charge. There are also got Room Hire, Video Conferencing equipment, Technical Support, Refreshments, Stationary and Document Camera. Two programs available: - Program Tandberg 6000i Portable System and Program Tandberg For Program Tandberg 6000i Portable System, conferencing for up to 6 people on site, ISDN 2-6 (128k to 384k sec.), fully portable to be used off site (ISDN required) and Real time audio & video. For Tandberg 6000, these programs can conferencing for UP to 40 people on the site. IP as well as ISDN 2-6 (128k to 768k sec.). It also got multisided over IP & ISDN to include up to 10 video sites & 4 audio sites, video encryption and Duo video for Multisided and presentations. This program also got connections for a laptop, document camera, Video recorder and DVD player.
26 University of Manchester Figure 2.5 : Scene in the video conferencing studio Another University that provides Video Conferencing as one of their learning tools is University Of Manchester. This service called IT Services Video Conferencing is available to all staff and students of the University Of Manchester from , from Monday to Friday. It's provided from their studio G95 in the Kilbum Building on Oxford Road (building number 39 on the campus map, as known as Manchester Computing). Studio is multipurpose. It can be used for teaching such multi-site international seminars, with presenters at local or remote sites. This studio can be used for collaborative working and management meetings also. Besides that, job interview also can be done here for condition such local panel interviewing applicant at remote user venue, or vice versa. Vivas means overseas students or examiners at their local site and any prestige events can be held here in their studio. This service had facilitated seats approximately 12 people comfortably at the tables, with peripheral seating for approximately 30 people more. Many video conferences are one-to-one talking heads only, while many others involve presentations
27 from the studio. So, their studio offers presentations from a variety of sources. Example of facilities provides in the studio is Resident PC running Windows XP, VHS player, DVD Player and visualizer such OHP slides and paper documents. Laptop and wireless access are available in the studio. For contingencies, the studio have Siemens conference phone, and resident PC both Microsoft NetMeeting and Polycom PVX desktop conferencing. Connection methods used to connect to remote venues using either ISDN Lines or over IP, a combination of both National University of Singapore Figure 2.6 : Multiparty video conferencing
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