Embedded Electronics Systems
The ResponseLink systems form a "Virtual Classroom". Originally, the voice and video presentation from the instructor to the classrooms was sent over satellite to remote classroom locations. Each student in a classroom would have a Student Keypad connected to a stand-alone Base Station. The Base Station was connected to the dialup telephone network. The instructor could hold quizzes, question and answer sessions and other direct interaction with students at remote locations with this system. Instructors, remote or local, could control ResponseLink with a PC. Classes or seminars that used PowerPoint presentations could control ResponseLink directly from PowerPoint slides.
Initiallly, ResponseLink used the Internet via dialup MODEM for data transfers from remote locations and used the telephone network for student to instructor voice connection. The whole system from lesson plan to the virtual classroom to tabulation of student testing was controlled by the instructor from a standard PC with Microsoft Office and PowerPoint slides.
Original ResponseLink Base Station and 2 varieties of Student Terminals
Left is the Telco/Satellite Interface. MC68331 digital board is on the right. This one uses Ethernet.
The classroom and instructor base stations were the same box. Which end it served was determined by configuration. The base stations used a MC68331 microcontroller and ran RGX68K RTOS operating system. It also used RDG&A's RGX TCP/IP module with both dialup and Ethernet support. RDG&A also designed the ResponseLink Protocol used for data transport.
Student Keypad with Microphone.
A student keypad could display a wide variety of question types (yes/no, multiple choice, numeric). These had a 'raise hand' button that show up on the instructor's control PC, The instructor could select a 'raised hand' and the student could ask a question.
This board could go in a PC or a Base Station. It can control up to 500 Student Terminals.
Other variations allowed Student Keypad control from a PC with an add in board and support for very large local classes. As higher speed Internet connections became available and PCs and operating systems evolved, later versions used Ethernet and moved voice over the Internet as well as data.
The final versions replaced the Base Station or add in PC hardware with a USB connected box that controlled student keypads and moved data and voice through a PCs Internet connection and USB/HID.
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