Virtual Reality and Telepresence

Welcome to the homepage for CMSC 828S Virtual Reality and Telepresence
at the University of Maryland at College Park.

VRTP was an experimental course taught by Prof. Ben Shneiderman in Fall 1993. It is an investigation into the state of the art in Virtual Reality and Telepresence systems. There were approximately 14 local students and 10 students who saw the class either via satellite or on tapes that are produced by the Instructional Television (ITV) facility on campus, and distributed through the National Technological University. A Course Overview is available online.

The course has been novel in its use of electronic mechanisms for distribution of information to students, and from students to the instructor. There is a mailing list which enables any person subscribed to it to easily send electronic mail to all of the people who are subscribed. The local students have also voluntarily taken notes on what has happened in class and distributed them electronically for the benefit of the remote students, some of whom have as much as a week of delay before they see the class.

All course projects have been collaborative work. The first major effort is the Encyclopedia of Virtual Environments (EVE). The second major project is the Journal of Virtual Environments (JOVE).

A videotape description of this distance education course is included in the HCIL Video Reports 1994 titled "Education by Engagement and Construction".