George Mason University
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George Mason University

An Architecture for Delivery of Distance Education in Developing Countries

by Khondkar Islam / Charles Snow

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  • Published Date: September 15, 2011
  • Publisher: ACM


Distance Education (DE) is becoming more popular due to the flexibility it offers to students of all ages, across varied professions, to take classes from any location in the world. In the face of the slow growth of education in developing nations like Bangladesh, DE can be leveraged to boost literacy rates there. Teaching staff shortages are a prime contributing factor to this slow growth. Numerous distance learning tools are on the market for delivering instruction to students in remote locations. The question is how effectively these tools can be used by individuals accessing instruction materials from locations in a developing country where there is limited network capacity. This is an important concern since distance learning tools are network capacity intensive requiring at a minimum 200 Kbps data bit rate per student, which is not supported by most of the Internet and cellular phone service providers of these countries. This paper discusses the design and development of a cost-effective, distributed, peer-to-peer, overlay multicast architecture to support DE using distance learning tools over wired and terrestrial wireless networks of limited capacity.