Guest editorial

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Article publication date: 9 September 2014



Ketterl, M. and Schimanke, C.B.a.F. (2014), "Guest editorial", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 11 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Guest editorial

Article Type: Guest editorial From: Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Volume 11, Issue 3

Multimedia and e-learning

Multimedia has become a central fixture in higher education learning environments. From highly polished video produced for Massive Open Online Courses or the flipped classroom, to the extremely authentic recordings of lectures as they happen in lecture capture environments, instructional content is regularly delivered via video to learners across platforms, devices and contexts. Much different than video-based learning even a decade ago, the instructor is not the sole producer of video in the teaching and learning enterprise; user-generated content is regularly produced by learners themselves, a task that has been made easier by the prevalence of recording technologies such as cell phone cameras and low-cost video hosting platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo.

At a technical level, the creation of educational video content spans both the hardware and software domains. In the past several years, we have seen sustained innovation with the development of new kinds of video sensors, codecs and playback environments. For instance, many researchers have begun to innovate on top of the 3D mesh mapping provided through Microsoft’s Kinect to provide novel immersive environments. These environments offer increased interactivity in the video stream, allowing for objects to be detected relative to one another easily. Much of the innovation on the software side has taken place in deepening the connection between video artifacts and the rest of the learning environment. This allows video to be leveraged more holistically, with learners being able to cut, remix, comment on, annotate, reference and republish content.

The IEEE International Workshops on Multimedia Technology for E-Learning (MTEL) are held in conjunction with the annually IEEE International Symposium on Multimedia (ISM). This workshop series, now entering its ninth year, brings experts together from a variety of fields to share innovations in educational media. Three of the articles in this special issue of Interactive Technology and Smart Education are the revised and significantly enhanced versions of outstanding articles presented at the MTEL 2012 and MTEL 2013 workshops held in Irvine and Anaheim, California, USA. The fourth article is an invited contribution from the Opencast[#fn1] community, which is made up of scholars, engineers and educational technologists who collaborate to produce open source educational video systems.

Of the four articles in this issue, two focus on addressing the need for affordable and robust automated camera tracking systems for lecture recording in academia and present different approaches. The first idea relies on Microsoft’s Kinect technology, while the second solution presents an open source project for the automatic control of pan–tilt–zoom cameras. Both contributions elucidate technical details and present results from field tests and user evaluations, and both provide important contributions in moving lecture capture quality closer to the high-quality video today’s learners expect. The third article in this issue addresses spaced repetition learning games on mobile devices, and provides both a theoretical background for the issue and a prototype application. Early evaluation results and a design consideration discussion help to implement the spaced repetition approach in mobile learning games with a special focus on the stress field between motivation and spaced repetitions. The last article addresses the issue of user-annotation of time-based educational media, and the authors present a requirement analysis along with different didactic use cases in this area. Parts of the use cases are implemented in a prototype that is addressed in the technical section of the article.

These four articles represent well the diversity of submissions the MTEL workshop series receives on an annual basis, ranging from hardware implementations to software prototypes and design studies. We look forward to future meetings of the workshop, and know you’ll find the results presented here valuable in understanding the state of the art in research on multimedia technologies for e-learning.

Markus Ketterl, Christopher Brooks and Florian Schimanke
Guest Editors


About the guest editors

Markus Ketterl has studied Computer Science at the University of Applied Sciences and at the University of Osnabrück, Germany. He received his doctoral degree in Computer Science from the University of Osnabrück. His research interests are adaptive multimedia systems, human–computer interaction, social software, multimedia analysis and applications for mobile devices. He is working at Fraunhofer IAIS as a research engineer in the venture project Sofwired in collaboration with domain experts from the University of Southampton and industry partners. In the past, Markus Ketterl worked as a visiting scholar at Prof Peter Brusilovskys Personalized Adaptive Web Systems Lab (PAWS) at the University of Pittsburgh. He also is a founding member of UC Berkeley’s Opencast project, where he was one of the leading developers and part of the Executive Advisory Board. Besides further freelancing and advisory activities he is a program committee member of different IEEE and ACM conferences and workshop Co-Chair on Multimedia Technologies for E-Learning (MTEL) at the IEEE International Symposium on Multimedia (ISM). In addition, he is teaching Web technologies and Software Engineering at the university. Markus Ketterl is the corresponding author and can be contacted at:

Christopher Brooks is a Research Fellow in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He received his doctoral degree in Computer Science from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, where he applied analytics techniques to learning systems including lecture video-based systems. He is an active member in the learning analytics community, and his current research agenda centers around the application of predictive modeling techniques to scaled learning environments such as massive open online courses.

Florian Schimanke has studied Computer Science at the Hochschule Weserbergland University of Applied Sciences located in Hamelin and at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. He is currently a research assistant at the HSW University of Applied Sciences. In 2007, he started research in the field of e-portfolios before switching his focus on mobile learning and game-based learning in 2012. At the time he writes his doctoral thesis on this topic at the University of Osnabrück and is also a workshop Co-Chair on Multimedia Technologies for E-Learning (MTEL) at IEEE International Symposium on Multimedia (ISM). Besides his research activities, Florian Schimanke is teaching Server Systems and Computer Networks at the Hochschule Weserbergland.

The Editors wish to thank the reviewers of this special section for their detailed and thoughtful work: Michael Auer, University of Applied Sciences Kärnten, Austria; Jack Barokas, Tel Aviv University, Israel; Helmar Burkhart, University of Basel, Switzerland; Paul Dickson, Ithaca College, USA; Kai-Christoph Hamborg, University of Osnabrück, Germany; Wolfgang Hürst, Utrecht University, The Netherlands; Ulrich Kortenkamp, University of Education Karlsruhe, Germany; Fleming Lampi, net mobile AG, Germany; Ying Li, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, USA; Thomas Richter, University of Stuttgart, Germany; Jürgen Steimle, MIT Media Lab, USA; Daniel Stein, Fraunhofer IAIS, Germany; Dominique Vaufreydaz, Univ. Pierre Mends-France, France; Heinz-Dietrich Wuttke, Ilmenau Institute of Technology, Germany; Peter Ziewer, Munich Institute of Technology, Germany. They would like to thank all authors for their quick revision and extension of the articles presented at previous workshops and for their valuable contributions. Their commitment made it possible to publish this special section quickly at a high level of quality.