MEDAL is one of the many research projects being undertaken at the University College London Computer Science Department.

The aim of the MEDAL project is to investigate the enhancement of existing low-cost multiway multimedia conferencing facilities for use in more demanding applications, such as distance learning, and particularly remote language teaching.

To ensure that the distance learning experience does not merely provide a poor substitute for face-to-face teaching, the MEDAL team intend to improve the quality of existing multimedia conferencing facilities and incorperate the use of enhanced reality systems into them. It is our hope that these enhancements will result in a system that is both fun and attractive to use.

A pre-requisite of the research is that the facilities be developed for a range of heterogenous multi-tasking operating systems (especially PCs), with no extra specialist hardware. This premise will mean that higher education institutions can more readily acquire the facilities in order to offer distance learning services.

Seamless mobile access is a key enhancement that will attract businesses to seek education from HE institutions, since modularised courses and mobile access will facilitate learning at the rate and availability of the learner, rather than at that of the teacher.