SynergE-Learning: A PaperPoint-Based Lecture Capturing and Annotation Tool

Student Name
Tom Antjon
Thesis Type
Master Thesis
Thesis Status
Academic Year
2010 - 2011
Master in de Toegepaste Informatica
Beat Signer
Beat Signer

Nowadays, we get in contact with presentations on a daily basis. They show up in business meetings, at conferences and even for school lectures, presentations are used to assist the speaker. In most cases, PowerPoint is used for giving these presentations, but instead of assisting the speaker, the software often limits the possibilities to convey the real message. Listing facts by bullet points, being restricted by the size of a slide, being forced to use a linear way of presenting or being confined behind the computer, are only a few of the shortcomings of current presentation software.

In a school environment, these limitations cause a depersonalised feeling to students, where it should be more important to challenge students and keep them active. In an attempt to solve these issues, several alternative presentation tools have been proposed, each providing a different approach in presentation style, from predefined paths through slides to free-flow presenting. Lecture capturing tools have also been introduced to give back a part of the interaction to the student.

PaperPoint is a paper-based presentation tool that enhances existing software to overcome some of the issues mentioned above. By using a digital pen and specialised paper, it becomes possible to navigate through the presentation via printed handouts or add annotations to slides.

In this thesis we have built the SynergE-Learning Web Portal, a website that can read the logfiles made from the input devices used during a PaperPoint session. This lecture capturing tool is able to re-enact whole presentations from logfiles, making it easy for students to review a recorded presentation, view a missed lecture or add their own annotations to slides and share them. It is a lightweight tool in the way that it only needs a logfile, a presentation and optionally a video or audio stream. The recording of lectures will allow the students more flexibility during classes and allow them to review it afterwards, making annotations and sharing their knowledge.

To enhance the student's educational experience, the portal allows students to personalise their own settings for reviewing lectures. To achieve this goal, several slide views can be chosen, different annotation methods are provided and several interaction methods are available. We make students the centre of attention again, giving them the opportunity and flexibility to take control of their own education.