ACM DEV 2014
Conference paper

EduPaL: Enabling blended learning in resource constrained environments

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In developing regions, intermittent internet and high infrastructure costs are making it difficult to transit from assembly-line models of education delivery to effective technology enabled blended learning. This motivates the need for a low-cost system which can work with intermittent internet connection. In this paper, we propose EduPaL, a plug-and-learn solution which utilizes a low cost USB flash drive as a portable learning platform. Students can use the EduPaL client installed in the USB to download and consume educational content, including videos and quizzes. EduPaL tracks students' learning activities, and allows students to take notes and ask questions to the teacher. These learning activities are analyzed to create visualizations, in order to help teacher identify students, or topics that need more focus in the classroom. We conducted a semester long exploratory study with 30 students in an Indian university. EduPaL was found to be used by students at different times of the day and in different locations (hostel, home, lab), thus providing ubiquitous learning even without continuous internet connectivity. The teacher used visualizations to understand students' engagement, and inferred measures to improve student learning and video lectures.