CUPID : Common Unified Programs for Instruction Delivery

CUPID :

Common Unified Programs for Instruction Delivery

(Project for Venture-Lab Class: “Designing a New Learning Environment” by Professor Paul Kim, Stanford University)

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Project Team:

CUPID http://venture-lab.org/education/teams/17372

Project Team Members:

Samir Dash (Team Lead)
Maryam Seyedjavadi
Opemipo Adebanjo
Saurabh Kale
Manoj Mahali
Sangeeta Dash

Stanford University

2012


Project team URL:

http://venture-lab.org/education/teams/17372

Public site of the project:

http://cupid.mobilewish.com/

GIT Repository address:

https://github.com/mobilewish/CUPID


Background

CUPID (Common Unified Programs for Instruction Delivery) framework stands for a framework for a new way of instruction delivery for self-paced learning modules/courses.

The importance of “self paced learning ” even in today’s new age of MOOCs and social networking based “learning for life ” concepts, is still applicable. “In remote areas and villages, the self paced learning is the standard when it comes to digital delivery of content. Mostly CBTs (Computer Based Training), downloadable learning materials on CDs/DVDs get most attention. We can’t expect good bandwidth in such a places where the user can take part in online interactive classes. So
after ILTs, the next nig thing is self paced learning through books, magazines, newspapers etc. When it comes to digital part
of such an approach, downloadable standalone digital learning materials win the case.So the fact is “self-paced learning” is a reality even in the age of social networking based MOOCs.” So one of the focus area of CUPID team is explore possibilities in the education sectors in developing countries, through exploration of new ways to improve the “self paced learning” domain.

And this is one of many reasons why CUPID focuses on “self paced learning”. In addition to that the focus areas in finding new ways to provide richer “meaningful experience” is what differentiates CUPID from existing approaches through conventional CBTs/WBTs.

We are not talking about replacing CBTs/WBTs with something new, rather improving the existing “self paced learning” approaches with new ways to improve user engagement and bring some reliability to it so that it can open new possibilities for certification courses to include “self paced learning” as a part of their certifications.

So it’s all about the “new and meaningful experience” that we are planning to bring into “self paced learning” through CUPID.

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Overview

The proposed learning environment/framework has the major goals such as :

New ways to improve the self learning experience.
Explore the possibility to get the user engaged with the course in the self paced learning in a way so that the training

experience is not just a one way learning. And of course we need to think beyond the basic interactivity that typical CBT/WBT

courses provide though multiple choice or drag and drop quizzes.
Find a solution to make a self assessment certificates reliable source to meet some organisational goal (where the

organisation has directed the employee to take the self paced learning to improve some skill sets. ).
The basic aspects of CUPID is given below:

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**For a clear view of the mind map please follow this link :

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/23073902/images_files/image006.png**

The Concept

The aim of this project CUPID is to conceptualize a new framework-cum-instructional design approach to define the best

possible solution for self paced e-learning experience.

The major goals of the framework are:

    1. To find new ways to improve the self learning experience.
    1. Add built in navigational components to support for physically challenged / disabled persons.
    1. Explore the possibility to get the user engaged with the course in the self paced learning in a way so that the training experience is not just a one way learning. And of course we need to think beyond the basic interactivity that typical CBT/WBT courses provide though multiple choice or drag and drop quizzes.
    1. Find a solution to make a self assessment certificates reliable source to meet some organisational goal (where the organisation has directed the employee to take the self paced learning to improve some skill sets.)

Based on the above said goals , there are 14 focus points which makes CUPID framework unique and helps in defining the

components of it. These focuses are defined in the section in the following.

Major Focus Points that makes CUPID unique

The proposed learning environment/framework focuses on:

Focus #1.Improving usability of the content and the interaction delivered through it.

Focus #2.Add built in navigational components to support for physically challenged / disabled persons.

Focus #3.Provide the user the ability to go through the course in both online and offline modes so that “any where any time learning” and be made possible to achieve.

Focus #4.Provide DRM to the course content so that it can be used for Intellectual Property (IP) protection and can be useful in commercial e-learning channels and related business models.

Focus #5.Provide features to make the two – way communication happen between the course and the user even in off-line mode.

Focus #6.Add a reliable way to make sure that the user has actually gone through the course.

Focus #7.Add a reliable simple certificate generator that will print the certificate to make the off line certification related course possible.

Focus #8.Make sure the content is compatible with well know e-learning specifications like SCORM / AICC etc.

Focus #9.Optional support for delivery of well known content package formats such as ePub, pdf, SCROM packages.

Focus #10. Support custom Markup language/ XML with custom DTD for building of content.

Focus #11.Provide components that can support the course content compatibility with Bloom’s taxonomy.

Focus #12.Introduce new age assessment engine that will help the user self assess and review the level of skill he has obtained.

Focus #13.Provide easy interaction between the course and the user for other features like bookmarking, highlighting, annotation, free hand annotations, text size and font type customization based on the user preferences.

Focus #14. Component based framework so different components/sub-components can be plug and play mode or can be enabled/disabled.

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The Design

The basic design of the CUPID framework is based on component architecture. Different functionalities of the frameworks comes

from it’s different components. New feature can be introduced through extending the framework by creating a new plug-in and

adding that to the framework.

So basically the different plugins function in sync and provide the whole user experience and features.

These details are discussed in the next section while detailing the innovative framework components.

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Framework Components

To fulfil this focus the concept learning framework has been designed in a component driven architecture.

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The different components of the framework (based on the functionalities/feature) are:

Human Approach for Device Specific Navigation Approaches (HADSNA):

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This is in line with Focus #1 we have discussed. The purpose of HADSNA component is to provide user friendly and simple

approach to course/content level navigation and interaction maps. For different devices, the device specific gesture s for

multi-touch support for touch enabled devices and mouse driven UI level approaches for PCs and desktops.

The unique features which give CUPID navigational system a fresh approach are :

    1. Automatic event binding depending on the environment:
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      All inbuilt components of the framework uses common event driven APIs for navigation and UI level interaction. e.g. content author can add simple API call such as onClick() and CUPID will ato matically sniff the environment to assign the correct event handler such as Mouse.click() or Touch events such as onTouchstart() and onTouchend()
    1. Multiple ways to trigger the same navigational event: The navigation of the UI is super simple and can be addressed using TAB Indexing g based navigation in an environment supporting only keyboard. Where as in the multi-touch gestured environments basic gestures will be used for navigation of the same content. Mouse driven environments anyway will support UI buttons and links for such needs. Example is shown in the diagram below:

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    1. Contextual help: Contextual help will be available in each state/page and sections of different UI of the content displayed in CUPID which can be accessed through single gesture, mouse click or key hit. The contextual help will provide context specific information along with what is applicable in general including the hint on the navigational options available . This will help even the first-timers to find their position in the whole system.
    1. Built in navigational feature for visually challenged and persons having hard of hearing: Another most important aspect of the CUPID’s navigational system is the built in Offline Text to Speech Engine (OTTSE) along with Media Caption Manager (MCM). These help the disabled persons easily navigate through the content of the learning material. More information on this has been provided in the next focus point related solution in the following section.
    1. Built in Pseudo Inference Engine (PIE): This is another innovative approach through which the course interacts with the user to hep him set his learning path and based on which the navigation happens in the course. In simple words PIE acts as a guide for the user who helps in deciding which chapter of the course or content section to move next and which media to play in order to quickly meet the learning objectives and complete the learning path successfully . More details of this has been detailed in the coming section dedicated to the solution prescribed for Focus#5.

Built in Offline Text to Speech Engine (OTTSE) along with Media Caption Manager (MCM):

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This is in line with Focus #2 we have discussed These components will allow built in audio captions displays for media elements like video, audio, Podcast and Flash items.

The basic flow for enabling features for disabled learners are given below:

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The basic structure of this component is shown below:

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The Offline Text To Speech Engine (OTTSE) will be helpful for the person having visual disabilities. Whenever the learner tries to run the course on a system that does not have the screen readers installed or enabled, he can easily use this OTTSE feature to navigate through the course as well as can listen to the TTS generated voice-overs to the provided text materials.

The OTTSE has 2 subcomponents:

    1. Offline real time text to speech generator for the navigational needs along with predefined audio clips. These will help in providing navigational hints to the end user on mouse clicks or tab key press, and multi touch gestures on tablets or mobile devices.
    1. Offline real time text to speech generator for course content having text . In case of any interactive media components like interactive Flash/HTML5 simulation, game or interactive, it will extract the text content from labels and process them for text audio generation.

The Media Caption Manager (MCM) has two sub components –
1. Authoring side sub-component: This will allow content authors to add textual captions for their media elements. Plus it will have an optional component for auto generation of caption from interactive Flash files, video and audio components.
2. User facing sub-component and rendering engine: this will be part of different media players in the framework such as video , flash items, HTML5 interactive objects, audio & podcast players.

The MCM will be helpful for the person having hearing disabilities. While they can watch the video , they can at the same time read the captions. Similarly, in case of the audio and podcasts , they can read the caption when they run those media components.

Offline Content Sync Manager (OCSM):

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This is in line with Focus #3 we have discussed. This will have sub-components like

    1. Content Downloader & Reader and
    1. Content Sync Manager.

This will help the content to sync the online store and catalogue of the courses and sync the titles available for the user as per their profile level access. Thecontent downloader component will download the offline content or course packages from the store and copy it to the local drive of the user’s machine. The reader sub-component will allow the content to render on the screen and provide the content level navigation. When the user becomes online, thecontent sync manager will check if any update is available and will sync the local storage/drive of the user with the user’s profile assigned online content store/catalogue. The first time content is accessed is used online; it will be automatically cached and will be used for future offline access.

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DRM Manager:

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This is in line with Focus #4 we have discussed. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is one of the important aspect of the

framework. The DRM Manager component will ensure the proper encryption and decryption of the content at the both server and client level. The component will also take care of prevention of unauthorized copying or printing of the content. It will also provide the content level control for limited printing and copying of the course content.

There are various stages where the content is protected through different DRM methodologies:

    1. At the point of downloading content: the user when downloads the CUPID course the course content are downloaded separately into it from the server in an AES encrypted form. That content is decrypted on demand when the user wants to run the course and wishes to go through any lesson.
    1. At the point of user interaction with the content: the user can not copy paste the content from the course , neither he can not print the content except for those lessons or sections that the content author has enabled for copying and printing. Along with this the user will not be able to view every options such as “view source” etc. as the right click will be disabled.
    1. Course life time: Course content can be made to expire based on some time stamp and or number of uses.

Pseudo Inference Engine (PIE):

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This is in line with Focus #5 we have discussed. The purpose of PIE component is to provide interaction based navigation, content searching and learning path decision making. This will be the component that will work on both offline and online mode. In the former mode, it will depend on a XML tree structured interaction map, to determine what kind of response it will give to the end-user to continue the two way interaction between the user and the course.

In the UI PIE is represented as a simple terminal like BOT or a guide or an assistant to help the user. Also it is more like an wizard type component that can show textual information, links, can trigger other CUPID components and events and do the search the content and enable or disable course settings for the user depending on the interaction.

PIE is actually one of the most innovative and unique component that is shipped with CUPID through which the course interacts with the user to help him set his learning path and based on which the navigation happens in the course. In simple words PIE acts as a guide for the user who helps in deciding which chapter of the course or content section to move next and which media to play in order to quickly meet the learning objectives and complete the learning path successfully.

An example interaction detailing the user interaction with PIE in a cooking related course developed in CUPID:

 CUPID PIE (Asks questions and infers)  : Hi How can I help you?

User (Gives Answers and gets help and info):Not sure which lesson to start with.

CUPID PIE (Asks questions and infers) : Ok. Are you looking for a quick solution for any particular problem or are you looking for understanding the whole concept and get a certificate?

User (Gives Answers and gets help and info):Quick solution only

CUPID PIE (Asks questions and infers) : Hmm.. please type your problem

User (Gives Answers and gets help and info):Really?

CUPID PIE (Asks questions and infers) : Yes. Please type your problem

User (Gives Answers and gets help and info): Hmm..ok. I want to know how to create a cake for my cooking class.Searching…please wait.

CUPID PIE (Asks questions and infers) : Found 2 results ..please see if you got the answer..I am waiting ..will try to help you if you are not satisfied…Search results: Link 1: Make plum cake..Link 2: Make chocolate cake

User (Gives Answers and gets help and info):** No I want vanilla cake recipe

CUPID PIE (Asks questions and infers) : Searching for Vanilla related recipe …it seems there is some some video you might be interested. Video1: How to add Vanilla to your cakes? .. Video2: Without vanilla make pies…Video3: Indian Vanilla flavors. Seems like video 2 is more similar .

User (Gives Answers and gets help and info): Hmm..right thank you. Please play this.

CUPID PIE (Asks questions and infers) : Sure. [PLAYS the video]

This is just a very basic simple interaction shown in the example. PIE can gather learner’s history and this personal details

to understand what can be most probable need of the user and based on that can determine the sequence of results/options it shows to him .

Creating PIE for the very basic and focused needs can be developed with the XML tree structured interaction map so that the

offline version can work without the need the user to be connected to the net. A sample XML based interaction map can be as follows:

<cupid-xml-pie>    

<welcome>    

<q=”hi”/>    

< q=”good morning[USERNAME]”/>    

< q=”hi [USERNAME]”/>    

</welcome>    

<post-welcome>    

< q=”how can I help you?” />    

< q=”You need some help?” />    

< q=”Welcome back!” />    

</post-welcome>    

<cupid-xml-pie>    

The interaction maps can be developed uing CUPID authoring modules.

Learning Path Status (LPS) and Progress Indicator (PI):

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This is in line with Focus #6 we have discussed. This component will provide reliable ways to ensure the actual progress of

the user in his learning path

LPS is made as an important feature of CUPID, looking at varying scenario of the user’s learning needs. Typically some users

just want to refer the course. Some just want to study the theory part to attend some exam. Some may want to have in-depth

study and generate a certificate. As all of these needs are different a single predefined sequence of lesson is not useful in

all these different scenarios. In such cases LPS actually helps in finding out what learning path is best fit for the user.

It will track how much the user has actually gone through both static as well as interactive and media contents. Based on the

progress of the user the component will ask in-between-questions to the user to keep the user engaged. This will also provide

optional controls and APIs to the content authors to determine if progress status based navigation locking will be enabled

for the target content in any course.

Learning Paths are one of the most important aspect of CUPID. The “learning path” is actually is the sequence of lessons or

sections the user needs to go through from any CUPID enabled course that is most effective for his needs/learning

requirements.
LPS actually is the component that interacts with the user (on his first run of the course by default and on subsequent run

of the course on demand) to help him determine the best fit “learning path” for his requirement. It helps customising the way

contents are to be presented to him.

Typically the PI will be having some pre defined instruction/criteria to determine the progress of the user in each type of

the course content/sections/media etc. For example one sample instruction can be if the user has at least viewed the 80% of

the video and has spent playing the video more than 5 minutes (dynamically calculated based on the video length), then it

should be marked as “complete” status. This kind of instructions help PI to determine intellectually if the user has really

viewed the video .

Now for the above example if the user has completed 80% of the viedo but has really spent 2 minutes in watching it then CUPID

can know that the user has actually skipped the video and can post some alert through PI and mark that video as “incomplete”

plus this information can be used in the learning path to give the score or points to the user based on some calculation,

where the time spent by user are taken into account. Even some assessment section can be disabled till the user completely

watches the videos , textual or any interactive content.

This way PI will actually help in :

    1. improving the reliability of the self –learning modules in e-learning domain – so that in organisations self learnimng

modules can be trusted for providing trainings.

    1. makes sure that the user actually go through each and every recommended lessons of the course before taking the self

assessment and generate the certificate.

There will be some additional sub components such as a face tracking camera which can be enabled (if available in user’s

system as a web cam ) that will keep an eye on the user to check if he is actually present to view the running course content

media/video. If the user is not present while a media / video is running, it can pause it and stop all activities of the

course in progress till the user returns to his seat and take some action to resume the course.

However this special sub component should be made mandatory only in case the user needs a certification from the current self

learning course. More details of this aspect is discussed in the next section.

Offline Self-certification Manager (OSM):

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This is in line with Focus #7 we have discussed. This component will have 2 subcomponents.

a. Self-certificate Assessment Mode Manager: The course will have a “Self Certificate Assessment Mode” which will

enable the learner to take the self assessment for generating a certificate from the learning framework for a target score.

By using this mode the user has to use a minimum set of pre-defined hardware such as a webcam , etc. This sub-component will

monitor all activities and user interaction of the user with the course and will take random photographs when needed to make

sure that the user has actually gone through the course and has himself attended the assessment.
b. Certificate Key Encryption: This component will take care of generating reliable “self learning completion”

certificates from the offline /online course. This component uses well known encryption alogorithms like SHA, Blowfish etc.

to encrypt the data to generate certificate information string and print in the certificate document, which the learner can

use as a reliable certificate of his learning status.
c. Online central Certificate Tracking : Whenever the user comes online, the certificate data is synced to a central

server of the home server of the framework and a key is assigned so that at any point of time the certificate can be tracked

.

Inbuilt SCORM/AICC Content Package Reader Components (CPRC):

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This is in line with Focus #8 we have discussed. To make sure that Make sure the content is compatible with well know e-

learning specifications like SCORM / AICC etc. the framework will have reader components which will allow to run SCORM 1.2

/2004 and AICC packages in offline mode. These components will provide related adaptors and APIs to track the user scores ,

learning status from the target learning framework.

There are 2 ways of implementation , depending on the need:

Make SCORM / AICC packages compatible with CUPID to run them as a standalone offline course in offline.
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Package CUPID packages as SCORM/ AICC packages so that they can be run in side an LMS compatible with SCORM / AICC

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The CPRC component helps in communicating with the CUPID reader APIs through a wrapper layer that helps integrating the SCORM

component with the framework so that other non-SCORM features of CUPID are also available in the same course.

The CPRC also uses SCORM/AICC APIs to track all the user features and saves them locally so that if needed at a later point

of time those data can be exported to other standard LMS which are compatible with SCORM / AICC.

e-Pub and PDF Reader components:

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This is in line with Focus #9 we have discussed. These will allow rendering of well know content package and file formats

such as ePub (2 and 3) and PDFs. The offline player will extract the epubs etc and by validating it’s spine will render the

pages. Similarly, the course will have independent PDF reader to render the PDF documents and integrate them to the whole

learning framework system. This will allow easy import/ migration of such content to this framework and will be a boon for

the content authors.

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Custom Course Authoring Markup Language Rendering Engine:

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This is in line with Focus #10 we have discussed. Apart from the importing content course from PDFs, EPubs, the framework supports a custom markup language named as “Cupid ML” ( with a file extension“.cml”) . Using this the authors can easily create content poages with built in features such as video players, media renderers, too tips, assessments, tabbed and simple pages etc. The CML language tags are self explanatory and content-author’s friendly to allow them to master it with in a few hours effort . By using the language the authors do not need to learn complex Java Script and/or any other programming skills to enable complex interactivity within the course. At a later point of time the course authoring tools can be developed that
will use this language to develop the courses. The CupidML markup language tags are simple meaning ful for content authors.

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The .cml document starts and ends with the and inside this node the cml specific tags meant for pages, tabs, menus, media components etc. are added to easily create the new pages, chapters, sections in the course and add centralized event listeners without the content authors requiring the knowledge of complex programming languages. The only thing the content author needs to know is which tag is needed for what kind of element of the course. There is a tag for everything the

content author needs.

For example the individual pages can be created with a just adding simple tag like

Now to add a heading in the page
To add complex items like a podcast 1 will add a full fledged podcast component with all the

captioning etc. and “1” represents the URL index number in the podcast array defined in the data file / configuration file.

A typical page in .cml will be much simple than the actual code that is generated in the runtime by CUPID to make things happen and provide qall the interaction and event propagations and API calls.

Instructional Design Compatible Components (IDCC):

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This is in line with Focus #11 we have discussed. There will be built in components that can support the course content compatibility with Bloom’s taxonomy. For example there will be default learning path creation components which will allow content authors to add “surprise” elements, in-between questions and “case studies” and scenario based task. The content authors can select predefined “Instructional Design” templates and then can fill up the place holders to quickly create the courses which will be compatible with Bloom’s taxonomy.

Different Instructional models fulfilling “creation”,” discovery”, “analysis”, “remembering”, “understanding” and “applying” phases in various degrees.

IDCC provides options for :

Scenario based training: where different scenarios are combined together with the assessment, guided tasks to the user, so that the user can actually.

Case studies : In this model the sample case is presented through real life scenes, and based on that case, related video, audio, interactive, media along with assessments can be grouped together.
Guided Tasks: In a guided task, the major focus is on providing the user a task to complete where the user assisted by some character/bot /or simple alert based instructions. Whenever the user makes any mistakes the system alerts the user and provides hints on how to solve or proceed with the task.

Now combining these sub-types, most of the course can be built to fit the need of any type of self learning modules including soft skills training, software simulation trainings to educational course materials.

So all lessons in side the course is grouped into 2 categories:

Textual Study Mode: In this mode the content types like text, hyperlinks, internal anchors, popup tool tips, quiz, assessments etc. will be available for the target course.

Interactive Media Mode: In this mode the content types like video, audio, podcasts, animations, interactive , game, simulation, guided task etc. will be available for the target course.

These two modes are inter switchable and the user can toggle between any these modes at any point of time of his learning. For any particular section/lesson these two modes will be available to the user so that user can him self decide which one he

needs to use for his learning at any point of the time.

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Innovative Assessment Engines (IAE):

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This is in line with Focus #12 we have discussed. The aim of this new age assessment engine is to help the user self assess

and review the level of skill he has obtained. This will include new kinds of interactive assessment types along with the

typically used “multiple choice”, “true-false”, “drag-n-drop” and “hot-spot” ones. The new kinds will include

(1) Guided tasks
(2) Interactive Scenario based question sets
(3) Basic simulators for software related trainings
(4) The “in-between” hit and click type question with special scoring.

The Guided Task is a kind of assessment, where the user can self assess if needed in a BOT/Wizard assisted simulated environment. This kind gives the hands on kind of experience when combined with simulation. Basically there will be a wizard or guide or assistant who will first assign a task to the learner based on the things he has learned and then help him on the way to complete his task by providing hints and task related tips to the users.

The Interactive Scenario based question sets are provided as a part of any lesson / logical learning chunk where the user is provided with a case scenario through a interactive/video/animation/slides. Then the user is asked to view some screen-cast or interactive simulated environments and then is provided with some interactive questions.

The Basic simulators for software related trainings are the sets where the user faces some software training related UI screens / simulated environment to hit and click different UI elements and provide input to complete the tasks. This will help the user in giving a first hand kind of feel of the target software on which he is getting his training.

The “in-between” hit and click type question with special scoring is a kind where the user is asked with some questions in random in the middle of any lesson. And these questions are related to the lesson the learner is going through. This makes sure that the user is actually going through the lesson with attention. Plus as these questions are having special scoring which will be calculated and be added to the final certification generated, this makes sure that the user can not ignore

these.

User Frequent Course Interaction Manager (UFCIM):

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This is in line with Focus #13 where the user needs to make bookmark any point of the course (a page or a tab), make some content selection and highlighting it in addition to adding a note or annotations. Plus free hand whiteboard type annotation of the course and customization of font size, font type and theme are taken care of by this component.

User is provided with standard UI with controls in the lesson area so that the user can avail any these functionalities with in single clicks.

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Component Based Architecture and Plug n’ Play Rendering Engine (PnPRE):

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This is in line with Focus #14 we have discussed. This is related to the technical aspect of the framework. The whole framework is a combination of multiple “Plug n’ Play” capable components. This component is responsible of allowing integration of new components with the core framework engine. This is also responsible for opening APIs that can be used by the developers to create and add new Plug an Play components for the framework.

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The diagram above, clearly details the process flow and how the core APIs are related to the different plugin or extension components. Any code chunk or package that is compiled as a component or plugin of the CUPID framework is consumed by PnPRE and then it process that code of the component to add that to the core CUPID framework in real time to provide the new plugin related functionalities /feature. This makes easy for any developer to extend the CUPID framework and / or customise it.

The Usability and UI Aspect

The CUPID framework basically targets all the standard digital devices from personal computers, desktops to net-books, small screen mobile devices and stand multi-touch tablets and the related hybrids.

That is the reason, the usability focus is always on device specific and based on the context and environment the user is interacting.

The major flow that the CUPID follows to determine the kind of usability experience to provide are:

    1. Determine the host environment through browser and OS sniffing.Also sniffing made for available real eastet on the screen and resolution, color depth etc. to provide suitable UI layout.
    1. Also sniff for available hardwares like camera, speaker, mic etc. in the device so that the usability aspect can be determined.
    1. Sniff for input devices like multi-touch screen or mouse or keyboards, so that the user interaction types can be determined.
    1. Determine if the user/learner needs special assistance due to any visual or hearing disabilities. This will help in deciding if the built in offline voice-over features enabled or the captioning system to be enabled.

Depending on the above factors suitable user navigation, context menus, navigational links, meida types, layouts and the

customisation thresholds are determined and the best possible experience is delivered to the learner.


The Technology Used

The technology stack used in CUPID are based mostly on open technologies so that the framework can be easily maintained using open source (MIT licensed only) code , plugins.
will be economical /cheap to develop and maintain and extend in future
will be easy and economical to get the support on open technologies related online communities/ forums.
Will be low on budget
get more contributors from the community.

Based on these the key technology stack used in CUPID are:

Client Side:
Flash Action Script (Using Flasm/Ming/and Free Adobe Flash Builder SDK which is free)
HTML5 / CSS3/ JavaScript Frameworks – includes open source frameworks like jQuery, Dojo, YUI, Twitter Boot starp, Adobe’s
Edge Runtime (it’s free unlike the builder), Sencha SDK , Coffee Script, JSON
HTML4/CSS2 – for older browsers and low end systems
XML, XSLT – data and style rendering.
Java Script – Also CoffeeScript

Host browser specific (e.g. Safari specific, or google Play widget specific, Windows 8 app specific)
Platform /native specific: Objective C, Android, C, C++, Phonegap SDK, Sencha SDKs etc.

Server Side:
PHP (Scripting)
MySQL (Database)
XML and JSON (API format)

Specifications :
SCORM API
AICC API
TinCan API

Video Demos

LINKS TO BE ADDED


License and Business Models

The decision on the business model of CUPID has been taken into account the following goals:

The project should sustain in the currently competing commercial and open source worlds.The framework should available FREE of cost to the content authors from the under privileged or having financial challenges.

It should be available as an open source initiative while at the same time it should allow scope of the framework to be used commercially.
Any commercial firm can use the framework for custom development to develop or enhance it for commercial purpose by paying some licensing fees.

To make sure that all of the above applies to CUPID project, the project licensing is decided as follows:

The project will be MIT licensed so that the commercial versions are not bound to open source any modifications made on the framework unlike the GPL one. Any company/organisation can pay a license fee based on the volume of usage their commercial version will have, in order to develop/extend it for a commercial version.The content authors/teachers/developers/organisations/NGOs doing social service on education and would like to extend and use the framework non-commercially are free to do so without paying any fees. And their extensions will not be open sources if they wish.

For getting support on technical or behavioral aspect of CUPID, there will be an annual support fee to be paid, which needs to be renewed each year till the time the support is needed.


How this framework “re-innovates” the Self Learning e-learning domain

alt text

CUPID is the framework that actually attempts to rediscover in the “self-learning” domain of e-learning , which we think we have already discovered! CUPID, implements some fresh concepts and unique ways to improve the learning experience for the user and at the same time makes it easy for the content authors to quickly develop and deliver highly interactive and rich content without the content author to be worried about the technicalities.

CUPID also address the needs of the continuously changing world which is on a fast track pace in moving through the digital revolutions e.g from PC to laptops to mobiles and tablets. It provides unique way to create once and deploy in many platform.

Also CUPID goes beyond the standard limits of the Instructional Designs and provide new blends that can provide fresh way to keep user engaged with the course.

CUPID also mends the gaps between the MOOC based elearning trend and the “self paced ones” by adding ground breaking “course-user interactions” through the assistants, BOTS and the PIE component, so that always the user will feel like the being assisted and guided through his learning curve.

CUPID helps the user in finding the correct learning path to make his learning curve more effective and short.

Last but not te least, CUPID has built in features that supports visually challenged and persons with the challenges in hard of hearing by providing feature that work even in a case of screen reader is not present. Also it provides unique way of voice assisting navigation plus caption based (interactive text labels ) navigation and content media guidance for people with hard of hearing.

In a single line CUPID is all about re-innovating the “self-learning modules” for the next decade.

How CUPID can change the world

The approach of CUPID follows a vision that focuses on every aspect that a learning environment depends on.

It focuses on:

    • User, his taste, his learning requirements and assists him in all though the way of his learning curve for the self learning period on the topic from the target module.
    • Author and his needs on making it easy for integrating content, providing support for quick super-easy way to add content media, making content compatible with standard Instructional Design needs (The Bloom Factors), Also helps in protecting content (e.g. DRM)
      Certification needs: so that the user can go through self –learning and at the same time generate the certificate which is reliable and meaningful for authorities/organisation requiring certificates from the learner (an employee).
    • Commercial aspect/developers: provides options for extending the learning framework for a successful commercial product as well as for content producer companies who can reliably protect their premium content on the self learning modules through DRM feature implemented.
    • Open source communities: CUPID is a great contribution to the open source communities, as it SDK is MIT licensed. Plus it
      uses open technologies to support the “open source movement”
      Financially backward sections in the world: CUPID is FREE for financially backward sections/organisations/authors to develop and extend it for their use non-commercially.
    • Free Institutions: All NGOs, educational institutions, universities, non-profit institutions are free to extend it and allowed for keeping their extensions non-open sourced if they want . So that they can use it in exam needs etc. as long as they are not using it for commercial purpose, they can enjoy this freedom.
    • Physically challenged: Visually challenged and persons with hard of hearing can use CUPID without any extra screen reader or hardware/ software installed in their system.

References

The MIT License (MIT)
http://mit-license.org/

Wikipedia entry on MIT license
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_License

Trends of Innovation in Education :

Technology, Content, Pedagogy, and Value


Appendix

Video URL :http://youtu.be/LfjlUX_lLUA
Slides URLhttp://www.slideshare.net/MobileWish/cupid-common-unified-programs-for-instruction-delivery


Project Presentation

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MobileWish Pocket Travel Assistant has been selected at World Summit Award Mobile Content 2010 as one of the few Outstanding Regional Achievement Awards

Here is another good news for MobileWish Pocket Travel Assistant!!!


MobileWish Pocket Travel Assistant has been selected at World Summit Award Mobile Content 2010 as one of the few Outstanding Regional Achievement Awards in the category of  m-Tourism & Culturehttp://www.wsa-mobile.org/sites/default/files/Press_Release_WSA-mobile_Winners2010_short_final_101109.pdf ]from Asia.

See the list at :

http://www.wsa-mobile.org/regional

ASIA

m-Tourism & Culture

Pocket Travel Assistant
India
Language: English
Producer: Mr. Dash Samir Kumar
mobilewish.com/pta/

The Pocket Travel Assistant is a one-stop solution for all traveller information needs. PTA provides information on any major city/town in the world. The application combines data from Google Maps, Yahoo, Flickr, Wikipedia, BBC, Reuters, Twitter, YouTube and much more.

Note that the Outstanding Regional Achievement Awards are given to those producers/developers participating in the 2010contest whose product was evaluated by the Grand Jury to be among the best in a category where thereis no winner from that global region. WSA recognizes 6 global regions of the e- and m-content industry:Europe, North America and Oceania, Latin America, Asia, Arab Countries and Africa

About the WSA-mobile:

Organised by the International Center for New Media (ICNM) in Salzburg, the WorldSummit Award Mobile is a global initiative within the framework of, and in cooperationwith, the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), incollaboration with UNESCO, UNIDO and the United National Global Alliance for ICT andDevelopment (UN GAID).

The WSA-mobile is the only ICT event worldwide, which reaches the mobile community inover 160 countries and is able to promote the best mobile content and innovativeapplications out of this huge selection.Abu Dhabi, as the city of the award’s key partner ADSIC (Abu Dhabi Systems &Information Centre), will host all WSA-mobile Awards until at least 2015.

For further information, go to http://www.wsa-mobile.org or contact wsa@icnm.net .For ADSIC, Abu Dhabi, write to Ms. Batoul Husseini at batoul.husseini@adsic.abudhabi.ae

December 6-8, 2010
Celebrating the richness and diversity in m-Content

This year, Abu Dhabi and ADSIC (Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre) will be generously hosting the first edition of the WSA-mobile Winners’ Celebrations.  The unique networking event showcasing the most outstanding mobile content from all over the world and organized in close cooperation and back to back with the Global Forum of the United Nations’ DESA GAID  will take place from December 6-8, 2010 bringing together a wide range if experts from the industry, governments and the UN, along with the creative community.

The Winners’ Gala

The Gala Celebration is the highlight of the entire WSA-mobile process 2010 and a unique ceremony to honor excellence m-Content and innovative application creation. The winning teams in 8 categories from all over the world will be present and handed out the awards by highest level international dignities. The Winners’ teams will be invited to personally receive their certificate and trophy from dignitaries of government, the private sector and the United Nations. The Gala is orchestrated as a two hour show, with music and multimedia elements. Global webcasts and TV broadcasting are planned to cover the event. By bringing together government, business and civil society, the WSA mobile supports the creation of synergies between suppliers and users of communications applications and assists in connecting practical applications and innovative ideas.

WSA-mobile Winners workshops
Sharing the expertise:  m- Content & innovative applications

For two days, the World Summit Award mobile (WSA-mobile) Winners teams selected from around the world, will take stage to present their awarded projects, meet each other in a panel discussion, share their visions on ICT, creativity and innovation, speak about their experience and ask and answer questions. Each session will be thematically dedicated to one of the WSA mobile categories and moderated by a member of the Grand Jury.
The workshops will be dedicated to Innovation and creative use of ICTs, which lack sustainable value if not driven by quality content. Using and working with technologies creatively can improve the lives of many – this shall be clearly demonstrated and showcased during the three days in Abu Dhabi on concrete examples of excellence from all parts of the world. Creativity is not bound to being rich in terms of material goods, infrastructure and access to networks: it is a “natural resource” of the human mind everywhere in the world. Bridging the digital divide is therefore a matter of content.
The WSA-mobile winners workshops will be a unique opportunity and an invitation not only see the best examples of taking the main challenges of the new Information Society, but also to personally meet those behind the best in the content industry, from m-Learning to m-Health and from m-Entertainment to m-Inclusion.

More details about WSA Mobile Content 2010 can be found out here :

http://www.iproa.org/Content/web/Newsletter/2010Newsletter_JUL/WebFiles/UpComingHighlight/WSA_Mobile_pr_annoucement_01A_100505.pdf

Click the link below  to register World Conference on m-Content, Dec. 6-8, Abu Dhabi

http://www.un-gaid.org/AdminTools/Surveys/tabid/988/ctl/TakeSurvey/mid/2540/PageNumber/1/SurveyID/186/DisplayHeader/Yes/Default.aspx

MobileWish Pocket Travel Assistant wins at mBillionth South Asia 2010 held on 23rd July 2010.

MobileWish Pocket Travel Assistant (PTA) finally made it to the winners list at mBillionth South Asia 2010 held on 23rd July 2010 under the category in m-Travel & Tourism. PTA was named among the 4 winners in the m-Travel & Tourism category in the award gala held on 23rd July 2010 at New Delhi. The other 3 winners in the category were : SMS 139 Railway Enquiry ,  AWATAR Mobile Booking, Suruk .
samir_mbillionth by you.

Another Good news is that another m-news application MobileWish NewsBox was appreciated as a shortlisted finalist in the awrd in the category of m-news & Journalism where the mobile application from Thompson Reuters was leading the winner’s list.

The event continued from morning 8.30 am till night 10 pm with various mindblowing panel discussions, idea sharing sessions related to mobile and possible ICT development and its imapct.It was a nice oppertunity to be face to face with mobile industry leaders and developers across South Asia.

About m-Billionth Award:

m-Billionth Award is a dedicated platform to explore the latent potential of mobile sector across South Asia. These Media phones/mobile, handy gadgets can now do anything from allow physicians to review patient records on-the-go, to alert drivers in any city of nearby parking spaces while looking for spot, in addition to the texting, surfing and calling on many of today’s phones.
The m-Billionth Award South Asia 2010 is first of its kind in the region recognising and felicitating mobile innovations, applications and content services delivery. It is to honour excellence in mobile communications across South Asia spread over 9 core categories. The m-Billionth Award is designed as an annual South
Asia’s leading mobile content’s award platform towards larger regional Mobile Congress in media and policy advocacy.
OBJECTIVES:
Recognise mobile innovations and creativity.
Provide a platform for the innovations into benchmarking in the mobile industry.
Provide a wider forum for strategic networking, alliances and partnership building.
Provide a South Asia Congress to exchange ideas, practices and policy strengths & mobile advocacy.
Facilitate in building a South Asia network towards campaign and advocacy in mobile for mass empowerment and inclusive growth.
mBillionth Award Partners
The event was sponsered by Department of Information & Technology , Govt. of India, Digital Empowerment Foundation, Verisign, Intel, The World Summit Award Mobile (WSA Mobile), One 97 Mobile, The national Internet Exchange of India (NiXI), MobileMonday  and many more.

Here are some pics from the event:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I will be uploading some videos and more pics along with good details shortly.

Let’s Meet Tomorrow at MBillionth

All set from my side for tomorrow’s mBillionth event where I will be showcasing Pocket Travel Assistant  application. Will take the flight from Bangalore around 6 am so will have to start for the airport from morning 3.30 am.. hopefully I should be at NewDelhi by 8.30 am. The event starts from 8.30 am onwards.

So if you happen to be at New Delhi,  let’s meet. You can register for the event at http://mbillionth.in/reg.

DEF Announces on the spot prizes at the mBillionth ceremony

In mBillionth its not the nominees only who will be excited to hear the final results that will be declared at the event…but it is also all the participants who have registered for the event to experience the great ideas in mobile developers’ world as DEF Announces on the spot prizes at the mBillionth ceremony!!!!
DEF Facebook Page Wall Post

[h&p://facebook.com/defindia]
– Best Post – 1 Prize
– Highest No of Pos%ng – 1 Prize
Twi&er Handle: mbillionth
Hashtag: #mbillionth
– Best Tweet – 1 Prize
– Highest No of Tweets – 1 Prize
Blogging

– Best Blog Post on mBillionth – 1 Prize
– Highest number of Blog Posts on mBillionth – 1 Prize
Photography

– Best Photograph of mBillionth Award Event – 1 Prize
– Highest Number of Photos on mBillionth Posted on the Web – 1 Prize
Video

– Best video on youtube – 1 Prize
– Largest number of videos on youtube – 1 Prize
Per Session Feedback

[Total Sessions 5 including Inaugural & Award Ceremony]
– 3 Prizes per session
– Feedback form must be fully filled
– Drop in filled feedback form in Drop Box
Overall Feedback
– Best overall feedback, sugges%ons and recommenda%ons

MobileWish Pocket Travel Assistant has been shortlisted as a Finalist for MBillionth Congress & Awards 2010

Great News! My Travel application Pocket Travel Assistant has been shortlisted (in Grand Jury held in Colombo during June 10-13, 2010.) as a finalist in MBillionth Congress & Awards Gala to be held at New Delhi on 23rd july 2010.The projects have found place among 160 “Successful Quality Nominations” received from countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and MaldivesMBillionth Awards South Asia Mobile Congress is organised by Digital Empowerment Foundation, , WSA MobileContent, Department of Information Technology , Govt of India with partners like Nokia Siemens Network, MobileMonday etc.

Pocket Travel Assistant was nominated under the category m-Travel & Tourism which focused on “se of Mobile and complementing applications and embedded services for enriching the information society by aggregating digital content pertaining to travel and tourism thus help creating knowledge rich information society; offer of travel and tourism related information and services like real time travel bookings, location and transport information, including through GPS and GIS.”

There wetre other categories also like m-Environment, m-News & Journalism, m-Inclusion, m-Health, m-Education & Learning, m-Entertainment, m-Governance, m-Culture & Heritage, m-Business & Commerce/Banking.

Following are some details from the MBillionth website:

M-Billionth Mobile Congress is going to be held at NewDelhi 23rd, July, 2010:

An exciting lineup of speakers from the mobile industries, as well as other industries and sectors will be touched by the mobile market, including entertainment and education. Conference will be held in multiple parallel thematic sessions in all 10 categories with panel of speakers, presenters and participants will be from mobile world of application, service delivery and content. The recommendations from the sessions would be used to analyze the growth of mobile application in the respective category.

ABOUT m-BILLIONth SOUTH ASIA 2010

m-Billionth Award is a dedicated platform to explore the latent potential of mobile sector across South Asia. These Media phones/mobile, handy gadgets can now do anything from allow physicians to review patient records on-the-go, to alert drivers in any city of nearby parking spaces while looking for spot, in addition to the texting, surfing and calling on many of today’s phones.

The m-Billionth Award South Asia 2010 is first of its kind in the region recognising and felicitating mobile innovations, applications and content services delivery. It is to honour excellence in mobile communications across South Asia spread over 9 core categories. The m-Billionth Award is designed as an annual South Asia’s leading mobile content’s award platform towards larger regional Mobile Congress in media and policy advocacy.

What is m-Billionth Award?

21st Century World could be a cellular age going by the phenomenal increase in cell phones worldwide. The cellular age is fast accelerating with cell phones magnifying our larger identity in both individual and collective domains and in various social, cultural, economic contexts. This tremendous growth of mobile penetrations is a scene to be witnessed worldwide especially in developing countries with larger population concentration. Thus, the power of cellular technology is evident. And South Asia is and cannot be left behind.

The amazing picture is this. India has reached 600 million mobile penetrations. Other countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in South Asia also showing great results as mobile users. The population percentage coverage of mobiles in the region is such – India with 46.37, Bangladesh with 31.11 , Sri Lanka 51 and Pakistan 59 and the trend is moving upward each day. South Asia is bearing witness to the power of the mobile device to empower millions with information, content and services. The power of mobile in meeting knowledge, social and economic deficits is a challenge in these countries. On the contrary, the power of mobile innovations and applications in content and services delivery is amazing and exponentially on the rise.

It is time that we in South Asia, the nations and governments in the region, as well as service providers, give a thrust on mobile for delivering meaningful services, especially that could empower and enable efficient day-to-day life for the larger masses. It is imperative now that a situation be created where we have the best of applications, contents, and services accumulated as examples to drive the government and industry to ensure they create meaningful opportunities in last mile mobile content and services. Governance and development is bound to be better with this.

Towards this objective, in order to make the content and services deliverable through mobile as a medium and means, Digital Empowerment Foundation has launched the m-Billionth Award SOUTH ASIA ON MOBILE CONTENT & APPLICATIONS FOR MASSES.

OBJECTIVES:

  1. Recognise mobile innovations and creativity.
  2. Provide a platform for the innovations into benchmarking in the mobile industry.
  3. Provide a wider forum for strategic networking, alliances and partnership building.
  4. Provide a South Asia Congress to exchange ideas, practices and policy strengths & mobile advocacy.
  5. Facilitate in building a South Asia network towards campaign and advocacy in mobile for mass empowerment and inclusive growth.

mBillionth Award Partners

For registration visit :  http://mbillionth.in/reg/

Article on Pocket Travel assistant on Mint News Paper

An article on my travel application MobileWish Pocket Travel Assistant has appeared in today’s Mint News Paper (by The Hindustan Times & The Wall Street Journal) titled “Travelling made easier with a pocketdigital guide“.

This section highlights some of the best nominations for this year’s MBillionth Awards South Asia Mobile Congress organised by Digital Empowerment Foundation, , WSA MobileContent, Department of Information Technology , Govt of India with partners like Nokia Siemens Network, MobileMonday etc.

You can check the online version of the article at :

http://www.livemint.com/2010/06/20211105/Travelling-made-easier-with-a.html?atype=tp

The scanned version of the story from the hard copy archive can be found at :

http://epaper.livemint.com/ArticleImage.aspx?article=21_06_2010_021_001&mode=1

You can Download the story from by clicking this link     (PDF)

Following are some selected sections from the article:

… Pocket Travel Assistant, or PTA, is a free-of-cost mobile phone application that promises to bring the world to the fingertips of travellers.

It compiles a range of information about places of tourist interest globally, including landmarks, history, culture, weather, street addresses and phone numbers.

This is beefed up with local news, maps and content such as mobile phone books to serve as a comprehensive digital travel guide.

“The initial motivation was to create a proof of concept mobile mash-up application of non-mobile data sources, and to make it available on mobile,” said Samir Kumar Dash, the entrepreneur who has created PTA. “The idea was to provide the traveller with a one-stop solution for all his travel needs.”

Using PTA, travellers can also directly access images or video clips of a particular destination available on websites such as Wikipedia, Flickr and YouTube.

The application uses the location of the phone to provide users with local emergency numbers, such as police helpline or the nearest clinic or hospital.

In places where language is a barrier, PTA links to the Google language translator page to help out with simple phrases in the local language.

It has its limits. PTA does not provide information about the remote villages of India unless they have a historical or geographical significance.

But with the use of the Ineternet rising in India, Dash is hopeful. “As the data PTA uses is based on Internet data, in time more and more information about the remotest places will be available,” he said.

The application is available for Flash Llite 3x-enabledmobile phones only. Users need a GPRS/Wifi connection that allows data transfer to use it.

“(Being) easy to download and free of cost with no hidden charges involved makes the product even more usable by a traveller, along with its additional features,” said Dash…

Presented “MobileWish Pocket Travel Assistant” at Nokia 900 Launch at Bangalore

Last night’s Nokia N900 launch was really cool , as Forum Nokia Team arranged for showcasing  of mobile apps by shortlisted developers/companies at the launch event. My little app “MobileWish Pocket Travel Assistant” was also shortlisted, so I presented it to the audience and the media presented at the event.

MobileWish NewsBox is now available for download at GetJar.com

MobileWish NewsBox is now available for download at GetJar.com at http://www.getjar.com/mobile/38956/mobilewish-newsbox-for-nokia-n97/

For details of the newsbox application refer https://samirshomepage.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/mobilewish-newsbox-news-app-for-n97-with-a-3d-cube-navigation/

BhoolBhulaya – Find Your Way Out in a 3D Maze (Flash Lite Game for Nokia Handsets)

BhoolBhulaya is my latest game for mobiles developed with Adobe Flash Lite (using Flash Lite 3.1 ).  The game is targets a wider screen such as that of N97/N97 Mini i.e. 640 x 360 screen resolution on landscape mode. Currently I have not implemented any touch interaction in this…may be I will do it in next release.

The of game can also be played on any Nokia mobile device having at least

                                  1. 240 x 320 px screen resolution or higher
                                  2. Adobe Flash Lite 3.1 (Distributable player) or higher 
                                  3. In such case it is preferable to play the game in landscape mode.

The theme of the game is about a real life maze where each cell of the maze is a room with 4 doors . The player of the game is the protagonist who is stuck inside one of the rooms (unknown cell) and he has to find his way out.

Even though the maze is a common theme in games, this game is unique as it does not gives you a view of the whole maze, rather it presents a real life view as if you are stuck in a room. The 3D like effect gives the user a simulated reality.

The user moves in the room using the LEFT, RIGHT, UP, DOWN keys. When the user reaches the door which blinks as Red color, the user can hit the SELECT key to open that door.

The user is provided with a compass and a radar that tells how closer or farther you are getting to the final room /door where you can get out of the maze. There is no way you can see the structure of the maze, or at which portion you are in. Each time you start playing the rooms are arranged in a random order and you are placed in a random cell, so each time it has a new challenge for the player.

The radar shows GREEN circle when user nears the end point, turns RED when the user goes farther from it and turns ORANGE-YELLOW when he is in someway between.

View the slideshare presentation at

BhoolBhulaya: Find Your Way Out in a 3D Maze (Flasah Lite 3.1 Game for Nokia Devices) 

 BhoolBhulaya: Find Your Way Out…

http://www.slideshare.net/MobileWish/bhool-bhulaya

 

 

 

 

 

View the video on YouTube at :