Project name

Optimisation of CERN tools & methods for e-learning

Project description

This project aims to help IT service managers and experiment experts to record mini-videos explaining their services to the users. To do this, a desktop camera and/or the CERN IT recording service will be used. The student's tasks are to:

  1. Evaluate and compare various screen capture technical solutions and document their relevance to our needs and a recommendation on the products for use by tutorial information owners.

  2. Enhance the IT and experiment documentation with short films (3'-5') for use by the CERN user community and/or experiment shifters and make recommendations on the process for future use. (Use Cases 1 & 2 - users of IT services and experiment shifters).

  3. Document the recording and make recommendations on the promoting procedure of technical mini-tutorials (5' per tutorial or episode) on CERN-specific technologies, to a larger community. (Use Case 3).

A number of Use Cases are listed below. A "CERN video content owner" is assigned to each, whose role would be to mentor during original content creation (during the student's work at CERN) and, at the end, take over editorial workshop for the whole series - including source files, graphics, video intros or sound-bites - so that the content can be maintained up-to-date on the long run.  Use Case 4, although each episode is short, it may be outside the scope of this project, if the CERN studio facilities are best suited for it.

The intellectual property related to the creative process of video editing belongs and remains with CERN after the student has finished their work at CERN.  

The full text of the thesis is in https://indico.cern.ch/event/571006/ with link to http://doc.rero.ch/record/277980

 Use cases: 

1."User-friendly" video series for IT services: 

Duration: Very short video clips (2-3 minutes) no specific order (e.g. 1-2 videos per service). 

Public: CERN users.  

Material: Recording of service manager describing a feature of their service, footage of a live demonstration of the feature, reference to comprehensive on-line documentation.  

Examples: Installing an application using the Mac Self-Service, Printing a document using Mail2Print, Getting Microsoft Office for home using the O365 subscription under the CERN Campus agreement with Microsoft, etc. Apart from documenting selected service features, these recordings would serve another purpose: they would add a human element to IT services and at the same time increase the engagement of IT service managers for their users, ultimately bringing users and IT service managers closer together.  

CERN video content owner: The IT Dept. Training Officer Michal Kwiatek, on behalf of the IT service managers. 

2. e-learning for LHC experiment shifters on computing tools : 

Duration: Small sequences  (5 to 7 minutes each) no specific order (e.g. a small film per software tool). 

Public: CERN experiment users. No pretty features required. 

Material: slides &/or screenshots. 

Lecturers: Experiment computing experts (the recording procedure should be easy and fast). 

Example: Procedure on when and how to open an ALARM ticket when LHC data transfer fails. 

CERN video content owner: Experiment computing coordinator or similar role. E.g. Simone Campana for ATLAS. 

3. Communication with volunteer project participants: 

Duration: Short films (3-5 minutes each) periodically disseminating updates. 

Public: Volunteer participants to our projects, individuals, collaborating institutes. 

Material: Screenshorts, commands. 

Lecturers: Project-related experts at CERN. 

Examplesatlas@homelhc@home, Grid middleware package installation/upgrade, indico/e-group/edh/hrt use... etc. 

CERN video content owner: The project manager. E.g. Claire Bourdarios for atlas@home, Nils Hoimyr for lhc@home

4. Tutorial-type presentation series for master classes: 

Duration: Series of short films or presentations with voice-over (3 minutes each) order is important (e.g. ALICE experiment example below). 

Public: High-school students participating in (international) masterclasses; also for high-school physics teachers participating in masterclasses sessions. 

Material: Slides. 

Lecturers: Physicists conducting the masterclasses sessions, i.e. experienced with general public audience. 

Example: Looking for strange particles with ALICE 
1. Introduction to first part of the exercise : what are strange particles, V0 decays, invariant mass. 
2. Introduction to second part of the exercise : strangeness enhancement; centrality of lead-lead collisions; explanation of efficiency, yield, background etc 
3. Demonstration of the software for the 1st part of the exercise - visual identification of V0s 
4. Demonstration of the software for the 2nd part of the exercise - invariant mass spectra - background subtraction and calculation of number of Kaons, Lambdas, antiLambdas. 

CERN video content owner: Experiment outreach expert. E.g. Despina Hatzifotiadou for ALICE, Claire Bourdarios for ATLAS. 

Persons and agreements:

  • Social security: To be ensured by the student. 

  • Access to the CERN site: CERN access card for status STAG (status name being investigated by the CERN supervisor) 

Required skills

Software installation competencies, formal documentation structuring of templates and editing, communication skills for interactions with the information owners, e.g. IT service managers and experiment contacts.

Learning experience

This project offers the chance to become involved with the various audiences providing/needing/using CERN educational material, to evaluate modern recording tools and to measure their cost/efficiency. Finally, to document the e-learning mini-tutorials most importantly of IT-related services, in a "portable" fashion for future use.

Project duration

6 months - March-August 2016

Project area


Contact for further details



The environment created by Maria Dimou to support the work of the project is listed below. The end-product Master's thesis full content and defense slides are on https://indico.cern.ch/event/571006/

  1. https://indico.cern.ch/category/7442/ Indico category for e-learning. Rehearsals and recordings to be put here, so progress in time abbreviation is monitored.
  2. https://e-groups.cern.ch/e-groups/Egroup.do?egroupId=10194791 The e-learning-interest e-group. Viewing the members requires a CERN login.
  3. http://cds.cern.ch/collection/E-learning%20modules?ln=en CERN Document Server (CDS) category for e-learning. Linked from the CDS homepage.
  4. https://indico.cern.ch/event/472461/ LHC@home rehearsals and material.
  5. https://indico.cern.ch/e/ITLT-7 CERN-made MOOCs Lightning Talk & EPFL MOOC factory material.
  6. http://moocs.unige.ch/production/ UniGe MOOC pages.
  7. https://it-student-projects.web.cern.ch/ Proposals for CERN IT student projects, where this document is.
  8. http://www.hesge.ch/heg/sites/default/files/formation-base/master/ID/m15... Master's thesis directives at the HEG Geneva.
  9. Archive of HEG Ge Masters' theses subjects.
  10. Application form for candidate students.
  11. CERN admin e-guide for a stage of maximum 6 months (requires CERN login).

CERN group



Student Information
Student name: 
Alexandre Racine
Haute Ecole de gestion de Genève - Filière Information documentaire - Campus de Battelle
CERN supervisor: 
Maria Dimou
Thesis type: 
Project started: 
01 Mar 2016
Project finished: 
15 Aug 2016
Defence date: 
14 Sep 2016
Defence status: 

Reference to the project tracker

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