The Hamlet Project provides for the full integration of different media's didactic-pedagogical possibilities, and for the creation of an open and flexible learning environment, which is characterised by both a synchronic and diachronic didactic strategy. This strategy allows for:
The environments provided by the platform will be: the Orientation Portal, the Videoteque, the Virtual Library, the Virtual Laboratory, and the Didactic Cyberspace. Videochat with the teacher-telematic tutor, face to face, discussion forums, e-mail and links will be supported.
The Internet via satellite didactic platform of the Hamlet Project allows for the construction of a new psycho-pedagogic model that will be characterised by the switch from:
The Hamlet platform's will consist of:
User-students, acceding the Hamlet environment, are received by an Orientation Portal, (an intelligent system based upon neural networks) capable of creating a flexible path, adaptable to the User-Student's competencies in the field of Web Design.
It includes 35 digitised videolessons in the field of Web Design, realised by the most prestigious Italian and foreign academic experts. The videolessons are articulated in 10 didactic modules.
The user accessing the Videoteque can find:
The "intelligent query" of the system, thanks to the use of artificial intelligence techniques, based upon the use of neural networks, is able to interpret users' requests and to supply targeted and dynamic bibliographical references. In the virtual library, a student can consult bibliographies and sitographies, referred to the subjects treated, thanks to the intelligent query system. The virtual library is constituted by a database composed of 160 Learning Object, codified on the basis of a metadating sheet, articulated in 35 variables, by teachers experts in the Web Design disciplines and an artificial neural network.
In the virtual laboratory users are able to check and enhance knowledge according to a "learning by doing" mode, supported by a Socratic tutoring system. The Virtual Laboratory is accessible in two different operational modalities:
A true interactive process takes place. User/students are able to activate on - line collaborative and cooperative learning through:
The Videochat tool has been created for this project and is a tool giving the possibility of creating virtual interactive classroom, with a continuous exchange of information among teacher and students, using instruments such as:
The expected main benefit of the Hamlet didactic platform is the creation of a system which prevents the student-user getting lost in cyberspace. The student-user is guided and followed either by the artificial intelligence system or by the teacher-telematic tutor during the whole learning process. Each time the student-user accesses to the Hamlet environment, he is received by an Orientation Portal, an intelligent system based on neural networks, which can realize a flexible, tailored system, adapted to the student-user's competency. The student-user is guided step by step along simple, clear and well-defined paths; he receives the space-temporal co-ordinates that are appropriate for the retrieving and storing of data.
The Hamlet System Architecture is composed of the following two major elements:
The Hamlet SC is part of SkyPlexNet platform and operates interactively with the following two stations:
The Data Browser manages the user station content (both Broadcast and via the Internet), so that the user is able to navigate freely in a fully integrated environment.
The activities included in the Hamlet project can be summarized as follows. The Nettuno approach is based on three logical steps:
Phase 1: Definition of the System Architecture and elaboration of the Utilization Plan and Strategic Plan.
Phase 2: Definition, projecting and development of the didactic model.
Phase 3: Where platforms will be integrated together and test validated.
The evaluation protocol also contains the collection data tools: a data sheet related to the individual working sessions carried out by the sample subject; the questionnaire submitted at the end of the pilot activity, the interview conducted after the working session and the focus group discussion scheme.
The project has been completed and the Final Review was held in November 2005.
Fig1 Video lesson Environment
Fig2 Virtual Library
Fig3 Didactic Cyberspace
Fig4 Videochat interface
Pilot Phase Outcomes
With respect to the objectives set, a positive evaluation emerged concerning the student interaction and learning modalities with the technologies and learning methodologies of the Hamlet Project. Conceptions, emotions and attitudes of the participants towards the technologies and the psycho pedagogical model elaborated by the Hamlet Project are generally positive. The participants consider the learning environment able to stimulate their learning interest. In addition to this, the cognitive interface functionality has been designed with special regard for the comprehension, flexibility and personalization of the learning paths.
The success met by the Hamlet psycho pedagogical model and the positive outcomes generated by the evaluation process during the pilot phase, have represented the theoretical and applicative base for the Med Net'U Project as well as the International Telematic University - UNINETTUNO. There learning environments such as videotheque, virtual library, virtual laboratory and didactic cyberspace are developed and implemented in a different and more internationalized learning context.
The Med Net'U project (Mediterranean Network of Universities) involves 31 partners, from 11 Mediterranean Countries. They belong to traditional universities, distance universities and vocational training institutes and aim at creating the distance Euro Mediterranean University.
In the context of the project, the first common curriculum in Information and Mechanical Engineering has been created, according to the model proposed by the Bologna and Sorbonne process and the related didactic materials have been produced in four languages, Arabic, Italian, French and English.(www.uninettuno.it/mednetu).
The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO, created with a Decree of the Education, University and Scientific and Technological research minister, dated 14th April 2005, funded by NETTUNO, in December 2003, represents the structure devoted to concretize the Distance Euro Mediterranean University system. The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO issues academic titles that are acknowledged in Italy and also abroad; therefore it establishes strategic relations and agreements with the Mediterranean partners in order to create an international distance university system in cooperation with the Mediterranean countries (www.uninettunouniversity.net).