Development of the Novel e‑Learning System, "SPES NOVA" (Scalable Personality‑Adapted Education System with Networking of Views and Activities)


  • Ken Takeuchi
  • Manabu Murakami
  • Atsushi Kato
  • Ryuichi Akiyama
  • Hirotaka Honda
  • Hajime Nozawa
  • Ki-ichiro Sato


blended learning, knowledge management, communication skill, small group instruction, laboratory training course


The Faculty of Industrial Science and Technology at Tokyo University of Science developed a two‑campus system to produce well‑trained engineers possessing both technical and humanistic traits. In their first year of study, students reside in dormitories in the natural setting of the Oshamambe campus located in Hokkaido, Japan. The education program at Oshamambe instills a rich appreciationawareness of humanity which especially enables them to empathize with nature. The faculty has been developing a novel e‑Learning system called SPES NOVA (Scalable Personality‑Adapted Education System with Networking of Views and Activities). SPES NOVA, which is intended to increase competency in communication skills, is based on a remote meeting system that is accessible simultaneously to multiple users via a Flash plug‑in on the Internet. To link users in separate locations, each user must have a headset and web cam attached to a personal computer with an Internet connection. At Oshamambe, the SPES NOVA e‑Learning system links the students to each other and to the professors. In one of the first applications of SPES NOVA, a student puts on a headset and sits in front of a computer equipped with a camera, and then accesses small‑group instruction of a humanity course based mainly on discussion. An electronic whiteboard is displayed at the center of the monitor, and live‑action shots of the users are arranged around the computer screen. The voice and picture data of the lecture are stored as educational materials on the server. Consequently, students can review an entire lecture as well as their own speech and behavior. The teacher can easily cut segments from the motion pictures of the lecture and combine them into teaching materials. SPES NOVA includes an e‑Learning system that distributes educational materials via a wireless LAN during instruction. The system has also been used effectively in an example of ubiquitous computing in laboratory training courses, which included small group instruction. The students are able to browse the systematic exposition of experimental techniques as well as learn the correct usage of experimental apparatus by using a portable video game player during experiments. The teaching materials contain not only the answers to possible questions, but also the lectures for the day. The e‑Learning system can record the laboratory training course lectures and then stream them back in video format. Furthermore, the portable video game player can save images as well as data from the experiments. This e‑Learning system is connected to the computer network on campus. Therefore, students can review the learning materials by using a personal computer before and after the laboratory training courses. When used during the small group instruction of the laboratory training course, this unique system effectively helps participants develop lecture note‑taking skills, hone communication skills, and learn the correct usage of the experimental apparatus used in liberal arts. Furthermore, with SPES NOVA, we can classify individual students not only according to their academic achievements, but also in relation to their behaviour, temperaments, and lifestyles. Subsequently, we can establish a recursive evaluation system for each student.



1 Dec 2009