Date of Award

5-2017

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Computer Science: M.S.

Department

Computer Science and Information Technology

College

School of Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Jie Hu Meichsner

Second Advisor

Qingjun Jim Chen

Third Advisor

Omar Al-Azzam

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

virtual teaching, online teaching assistant, screen sharing, distant learning, virtual tutor

Abstract

With the advancements in technology and popularity of online education, the need for virtual teaching assistance has suddenly risen. Students prefer to get virtual help from teachers and tutors at their convenience and time. A virtual tutor – web tool is an effective way to meet this requirement, which is convenient for both students and teachers.

The students at St. Cloud State University expect to have more one-on-one human tutoring, which is hard in regular classroom settings. Especially, this expectation seems more serious for students who take CSCI 201 – Computer Science I (C++). To solve this problem, a virtual tutor - web tool has been proposed to help the students. The virtual tutor is emotive, which can help distant students enhance their understanding of C++. Although this is a blueprint which is used to learn CSCI 201 at St. Cloud State University, this can be applied to any other classes. The tool allows the user to use speech recognition to ask questions to the tool which returns useful answers; to work online with others; and to interact with teachers. In addition, a screen sharing option is also offered to allow users to share the work with each other. Additional services are offered.

This tool introduces an easy and better approach to offer extra help to the students in need instead of relying 100% on the traditional approach. In addition, this might reach wider target audiences including senior students who are ready to offer help to the junior students without setting up any traditional face-to-face meetings. This could be a great tool for students with low self-esteem as well.

In this document, overall tool design is explained in details, and the major steps in building the tool are outlined. The steps include motivation, background, problem descriptions, scope, research and analysis, design and implementation and testing carried out to develop the virtual tool – web tool.

Comments/Acknowledgements

I would first like to thank my thesis committee: Dr. Jie Hu. Meichsner, Dr. Qingjun Jim Chen and Dr. Omar Al-Azzam of the Department of Computer Science at St. Cloud State University. The constructive feedbacks and suggestions were abundant whenever I ran into a trouble spot or had a question about my research or writing. I am thankful for their guidance, constructive criticism and advices during the project.

I would also like to thank all the students who were involved in the initial survey for this research project. Without their enthusiastic cooperation and input, the survey couldn't have been effectively conducted.

I would also like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to all my lecturers at the St. Cloud State University (SCSU), Minnesota, USA for providing me the best of practical knowledge such that I was able to use them while developing this tool.

I would also like to acknowledge Mr. Muaz Khan whose tutorials and online notes have assisted me successfully completing the project, and I am gratefully indebted to his valuable support to the overall virtual engineer committee in GitHub.

Finally, I must express my exceptionally significant appreciation to my friend Ritu Tamang for furnishing me with constant support and encouragement during my time of study and through the process toward researching, developing, and writing this theory. This achievement would not have been conceivable without her. Thank you.

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