The Peer review has evaluated this group as Good
The research, aiming at building effective interactive multimedia applications, is developed in 3 types of activities: (1) methodologies, (2) tools and technologies, (3) building applications-services in real-life environments. Methodologies Pursuing the goal of developing more effective multimedia applications, the following research directions were pursued: - Requirements analysis and Engineering: a goal oriented method (for elicitation of requirements for information intensive interactive applications), AWARE, has been developed and refined several times. The innovative aspect is to emphasize “communication oriented” goals and requirements (with respect to traditional functional and generic “non-functional” requirements). - Design 1 – information intensive applications: a design technique (emphasizing quality, usability and accessibility), has been defined and refined several times. The final result, IDM, is a slim agile methodology, that has been proved effective for teaching design techniques (hundreds of students every year, in technological and not technological faculties) and for developing professional applications. - Design 2 – collaborative educational applications: a design technique (emphasizing pedagogical impact) for advanced educational applications, based on 3D Multiuser Virtual Environment, has been developed. This technique has been used for several very successful applications, in different educational domains (see below). - Usability/Quality assessment. General Usability: an innovative systematic methodology has been developed (SUE) and refined several times (to MILE+). The method has proven to be successful in teaching usability and for professional usage. Assessing quality of educational applications: the need of assessing the quality of our own educational applications has lead to the development of an original methodology for monitoring and assessing the quality of complex (eLearning and blended learning) applications. - Accessibility: an original design technique for interactive multimedia applications effective for blind users, has been developed has a variation (A-IDM) of the general design technique. Tools Tools and technologies are conceived not as an independent goal on its own, but as a bridge between methodologies and the need to build high quality applications. The following were the major directions (beside several others) of work: - Development of a set of “engines” to support the development of effective interactive multimedia applications. Their most relevant features is easiness of usage (for the developers), cost effectiveness (for the developers) and quality of the result (for the user). One of the engines, OneThousandandOneStory (besides being used for professional developments) is currently being used by nearly 3,000 students in 16 different Italian Regions, to develop their own narratives. - Development of an original engine (WebTalk 4 in the current version) for 3D multiuser collaborative environments. (see applications below) - An engine (FATE, eFATE) for interactive and collaborative “tales” for kids (see applications below). - An original technology, based on proxies and industry standard, for implementing highly accessible (Web and Mobile) applications; these technology has been used for research prototypes. 51 High quality applications and services A large number of real life developments have been carried on in two main areas of specialization. For lack of space only a few of them will be described. - Cultural Heritage: web, mobile and podcast applications have been developed. Some of the partners are State Museum of Berlin (Germany), Museo Archeologico (Milan), Pinacoteca Ambrosiana (Milan), Ministry of Tourism of Syria, Ministries of tourism of 8 Mediterranean countries, Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, National Israel Museum (Jerusalem), etc. - Technology Enhanced Learning: Blended learning using 3D collaborative environments: 4 different applications have been deployed (with subjects ranging from Dead Sea Scrolls, to European History to Italian Regional History and to Social Value of Sport), to more than 8,000 students in Europe and Israel. Partners have been several funding agencies, including International Accenture Foundation (with a grant of nearly 600keuro). Interactive multimedia tales for kids: deployed to thousands of kids and being licensed to a major National publisher for distribution in the market (an official draft of the contract is under internal discussion). In the next future the focus will continue on the existing directions, with 5 novelties: - Opening a new Usability-Accessibility lab (sponsored by and in cooperation with industries), in the Bovisa campus, before summer 2007. - Refining some of the tools, and putting them “on the market” as open source SW. - Starting work on reactive environments coupled with “intelligence” over mobile devices: a novel approach. - Development of a set of “engines” for “instant multimedia”, i.e. high quality applications developed at low cost and little time. - Development of a large repository of learning objects (>400 instances) for kids.
Paolo Paolini (full professor)
Franca Garzotto (associate professor)
Nicoletta Di Blas (assistant professor)