The Distance Learning and Research Project is developing advanced learning and assessment technologies for students, instructors, and administrators at USC's Distance Education Network (DEN) at the Viterbi School of Engineering. These include integrated services for authentication, annotated discussion boards, management of courseware to support reuse, support for interactive exercises and virtual laboratories, and learning materials incorporating pedagogical agents.


January 1, 2005 -- The Document Annotation System (BBS) was integrated with DEN services and deployed for testing in December. We will be supporting two new classes on it in the Spring.
October 4, 2003 -- An extension of Blackboard supporting courseware metadata has been created. We are currently working on support for interactive exercises, in which instructors can assign simulation-based exercises and then analyze learner performance. We have designed a pedagogical agent persona for use in engineering applications, and are currently working to implement it.


pedagogical agents, electronic learning


  • W. Lewis Johnson
  • Erin Shaw
  • Eusebius Lai
  • Gunjan Kakani
  • Karanbir Jassar


  • The LORD Foundation



  • Erin Shaw, Assessing and Scaffolding Collaborative Learning in Online Discussions. In [Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED)]