Fujitsu and The University of Tokyo Begin Joint Field Trial to Visualize Active Learning Processes, Invigorate Classes

The Center for Advanced School Education and Evidence-Based Research (CASEER) The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Education,Secondary School attached to the Faculty of Education, The University of Tokyo,Fujitsu Limited,Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

TOKYO, March, 2018 — The Center for Advanced School Education and Evidence-Based Research (CASEER), an institution affiliated with the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Education and the Secondary School attached to the Faculty of Education, the University of Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced the launch of a joint field trial to visualize students’ activities during active learning using Creative Digital Space User-Interface (UI) technology developed by Fujitsu Laboratories, which can digitalize an entire room. The trial will be conducted in classes at the Secondary School from April 10, 2018 through March 20, 2019.

Creative Digital Space technology turns shared spaces, including walls and desks, into wholly interactive spaces, enabling participants to discuss and share on large screens materials carried in smart devices or notes taken on digital sticky notes. For this field trial, Fujitsu developed new technology to visualize data for activities conducted in the UI technology space, recording the flow of communication during group activities in the form of time lines based on information shared on smart devices and the creation and operation of digital notes, as well as the number of people involved. This will enable teachers to review their lessons as they can understand, based on the activity status of each individual student, the process that led to their final results.

Through this field trial, CASEER and the Secondary School will develop new methods for cooperative learning, improving teaching quality. The Fujitsu Group will analyze data from this trial, including collected activity data, in order to develop technology to improve and invigorate in-person communication, delivering services that can be broadly used in educational or professional settings.
Photos: Using the Creative Digital Space technology in collaborative learning


On the front lines of education in recent years, as part of an effort to promote active learning in which students proactively express their own thoughts, classes have begun to incorporate collaborative learning, with groups working together on a problem. In collaborative learning, the process leading to the final result is also an important aspect of student evaluation. However, because the usual method uses tools such as paper, pencils, and blackboards, it has been difficult to capture the flow of the process that enabled the students to arrive at their final results.

CASEER and the Secondary School attached to the Faculty of Education have been researching methods for collaborative learning since 2006, and focusing on the effectiveness of utilizing ICT, they have been conducting collaborative learning lessons in classrooms equipped with Creative Digital Space technology since fiscal 2017. Now, by visualizing the communication in collaborative learning, teachers will be able to grasp the student’s individual actions and the entire process of the learning, which is expected to lead to the development of new methods for collaborative learning.

Details of the Field Trial

1. Trial Period

Planned for April 10, 2018 – March 20, 2019

2. Trial Classes

Classes with group work projects planned for third and fourth year students at the Secondary School

3. Objective

This trial aims to capture the process that led to the students’ final results by visualizing the flow of communication between students, and between students and the teacher during collaborative learning. It will use this information to discover new methods for evaluating collaborative learning, such as the optimal number of students in a group, group composition that makes use of each student’s characteristic, the ways classes are conducted, and training for teachers.

4. About Creative Digital Space Technology

Multiple sets of projectors and cameras will be deployed in a classroom, converting the entire space into a unified digital window system. Users can transmit information from smart devices they bring with them to the virtual screens projected onto desks and walls, and can take notes on digital sticky notes and share them between users. Moreover, using cameras to read the movements of digital pens, users can write on the virtual screens, and with a simple gesture, can send pictures projected onto a desk to a nearby wall.

Now, Fujitsu has added activity data collection technology to existing spatial UI technical capabilities, where the contents and creation/operation history of digital notes, as well as the number of people involved in such activities are linked into a time line. This enables the user to visualize the flow of communication on a dashboard.

5. Field Trial Details

The system will collect the information students look up on their smart devices, the notes they take in digital sticky notes, and the actions they take with such digital data during collaborative learning classes, and organize them into a time line. This will visualize such facts as who transmitted what sort of information and when, as well as how group members reacted in response.

Teachers will use this data to review their lessons, looking at student actions during the lesson that led to good results, the appropriate team composition, and teaching directions, based on the records of communication between the teacher and students, with the goal of invigorating collaborative learning. In addition, the trial will analyze the collected data, and use it to develop technology to improve communication and evaluate its effectiveness.

Future Plans

CASEER and the Secondary School will develop new methods for collaborative learning using the insights gained in this trial.

Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories will aggregate collaborative learning data from on-site in the school into the cloud, and use it to develop analysis technologies in order to increase activity on the ground. In addition, Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories will offer services that can be used in a variety of industries and fields, not just on the front lines of education, invigorating on-site communication.