European Space Agency



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 establishment of new communication relationships between students and professors, promoting the shift from a one-way communication (typical of the first distance teaching models), to a two-way communication exchange in real time via distance.
  • The end of the previously one-way communication of knowledge and the beginning of a new line of communication that allows the student to access dynamic knowledge that can be enriched by himself or herself, and made accessible to others.
  • The use of an Internet via satellite PC as the focus of a system where different contributions from different media converge, allowing for the creation of a truly integrated and "open" multimedia model. The PC allows a direct transmission from the University to the student's desktop for the following; lessons, multimedia products, database, tutorials, practice work, evaluation and auto-evaluation systems.

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 central role of the teacher to that of the student,
  • The transmission of knowledge to the creation of knowledge,
  • The integration of theory and practice.,
  • A passive and competitive learning experience to an active and collaborative learning process.

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The Hamlet platform's will consist of:

  • Orientation Portal
  • Videoteque
  • Virtual Library
  • Virtual Laboratory
  • Didactic Cyberspace

Orientation portal
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:

  • TV screen with the controls (play, stop, forward, rewind) that allows users to manage the lesson in a customized way
  • Synchronized text of the lesson
  • Indexing
  • Bookmarks
  • Slides
  • Bibliography
  • Sitography

Virtual Library
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.

Virtual Laboratory
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:

  1. Individual modality according to which the student/user selects the exercises available, connected to a determined video lesson, carries out and send those to the teacher/tutor for the evaluation.
  2. Interactive modality according to which the student can carry out an exercise followed in videochat by the expert who observes the exercise carrying out, systematically follows the student and sends feedback on the intermediate processes, the achieved results and the made mistakes.


Didactic Cyberspace
A true interactive process takes place. User/students are able to activate on - line collaborative and cooperative learning through:

  • Videochat
  • Face to Face
  • Chat
  • Discussion forums

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:

  • Shared electronic whiteboard
  • Textual chat
  • Audio chat (using Voice Over IP techniques)
  • Document exchange


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:

  1. The Service Centre (SC), located in the Nettuno premises in Rome. It consists of two major elements: the first solely linked to services management, the second connected to all supervision and control functions which have to be considered common to all applications. Into the latter category can also be included all the elements needed to handle the end user and the interactive channel interface. Main subsystems composing the SC will be: SkyPlexNet Up-link Earth Station, IP/DVB Gateway, Service Scheduler, Data Casting System, Streaming Server, Interaction Manager, Library Archive, Virtual Laboratory Archive.

    The Hamlet SC is part of SkyPlexNet platform and operates interactively with the following two stations:

    • The Network Operation Centre (NOC) of Alenia Spazio, whose main role is to offer a set of services to manage the SkyPlexNet system so that the appropriate transponder quota is guaranteed to each uplink station. Basic services include the monitoring and control of the sub networks as well as a customer management system.
    • The Transponder Management Station (TMS) of Eutelsat, which takes care of the transponder mechanisms and IP/DVB Gateway monitoring and maintains the database of the DVB enabled services.


  2. The DVB Client Platform, at the end user premises, which consists of:


    1. PC with a multimedia kit, powerful enough to support the services.
    2. Data Browser User System, with navigation Software and the DVB data receiving PCI board
    3. Modem to access the Internet.


    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.

  1. Elaboration and implementation of the didactic platform upon a course to be developed in the multimedia environment. It shall be accomplished adapting and developing the educational contents to the Hypermedia Educational Model, creating an advanced technological and didactic tool. It allows for the use of the integrated system, to gain a high level of interactivity and greater collaborative learning environments.
  2. Elaboration and implementation of learning software modules for the planned multimedia areas
  3. Developing of the SkyplexNet Service Center in the frame of Hamlet environments.


Phase 3: Where platforms will be integrated together and test validated.

  1. Integration and validation of the developed platform and validation tests of the complete network composed of:
    • Hamlet Service Center.
    • Six client users :(NETTUNO - National Center Rome, University of Rome-La Sapienza-Faculty of Psychology-Technological Pole, University of Rome-La Sapienza -Faculty of Engineering-Technological Pole, University of Milan-Department of Information and Communication Technology, University of Naples Federico II Faculty of Engineering Technological Pole, University of Venice IUAV-Department of Industrial Design).
  2. Evaluation of the pilot operations. The pilot and evaluation phase has been conducted according to the guidelines contained in the Evaluation Protocol, on a sample of 60 students belonging to three different categories (University students with past knowledge and experience in web design University students without past experience in web design, but with past experience in distance learning , University students of "face-to-face" traditional study courses).


    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.

Current status

The project has been completed and the Final Review was held in November 2005.

Fig1 Video lesson Environment

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Fig2 Virtual Library

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Fig3 Didactic Cyberspace

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Fig4 Videochat interface

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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.(


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 (

Status date

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 12:42