List of Research Projects at TECFA up to 2007
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Research at TECFA - up to 2007

You will find here the complete list of past research topics and projects (in English or French). Warning: not all on-going projects have been moved into topics sections!

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Research topics
Past projects
Older past projects

Research topics

Help systems & Tools for learning

* Models of Learning & Computational Metaphors
* Help Systems for Learning
* Hypermedia & Learning

Distributed Cognitive Systems

* Human Computer Interaction
* Computer Supported Collaborative Learning
* Learning & Collaboration with Artificial Agents

Mediated Educational Communication and distance education

* Pragmatics in Educational Communication
* Semiotics in Educational Technology Products
* Distance Education

Information & Communication Systems

* Multi-User Virtual Worlds
* Virtual Campuses & Tools for Distance Education
* Interactive Web Pages


Past projects


Seed is an acronym for "Seeding cultural change in the school system through the generation of communitites engaged in integrated educational and technological innovation". Seed is a part of the 5th Framework European IST programme. In this project, we developped the TECFA SEED portal as well as a catalog of learning activities using ICT.

This research laboratory was created on 1 January 2001 inside TECFA. The Geneva Interaction Lab is funded by two companies based in Switzerland. The first one, Viviance New Education, has become a major global player in e-learning. Viviance raised research questions aiming at the improvement of learning environments. The second partner, Pictet & Cie, is the largest privately held bank in Europe. Pictet's eBusiness team has raised several research issues in the area of human-computer interaction that will be addressed by the Geneva Interaction Lab.

Interactive Storytelling aims to develop new media where the presentation and the evolution of a narrative can be influenced, in real-time, by the user. The IRIS (Integrating Research in Interactive Storytelling) project is a network of excellence grouping 10 European universities working together


Learn-nett est un projet européen destiné à  la formation des enseignants et des étudiants en sciences de l'éducation. Son but est de leur donner les moyens d'utiliser les nouvelles technologies dans leurs enseignements.


In the MICA project (Meta-Cognitive Incentive in Computer Assisted learning), we propose a method of confrontation aiming at supporting conscious awareness of regulation. It consists in confronting learners with the traces of another learner's activity (individually or with a peer-tutoring approach) in order to explicit the procedures they use to realize the learning task and to improve them.
Research on this topic is currently founded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (2005 -2006), in collaboration with Françoise Détienne (INRIA, Rocquencourt, FR), Ghislaine Chabert (Université de Savoie, FR) and Mathieu Quignard (LORIA, France). Further research project on this topic is in development in collaboration with Alain Mille (LIRIS, Université de Lyon, FR).


Le projet ACTEUR-TICE est un réseau de recherche interdisciplinaire (informatique, psychologie du travail, psychologie cognitive, sciences de la communication, sciences de l'éducation, sciences du langage, sociologie) représentant 10 partenaires institutionnels internationaux et 9 dispositifs de formation à observer représentant 2500 étudiants et 130 praticiens. La recherche vise à analyser et instrumenter des situations d'apprentissage collectives instrumentées (SACI) au sein des dispositifs de formation dans l'enseignement supérieur.


CLEAP is a FNS funded project (2003 - 2006) carried out in collaboration with CRAFT at EPFL. The originality of this project is to investigate learning from computer animation from two different perspectives, mental models and social cognition. In the first stage, this project will investigate three delivery features: the continuity of the information flow, the learner's control over the pace of animation and the permanence on the screen of previous stages of the animation. In the second stage, we will investigate whether the content of the animation should map the conceptual model or the events as they actually happen. Both the individual and collaborative setting will be used.

EQUEL is a European project that involves key researchers and e-learning practitioners from 14 European institutions of higher education. It is supported by the e-learning Initiative of the European Commission.
EQUEL stands for ‘e-quality in e-learning’ and is a virtual centre of excellence for innovation and research in networked learning in higher and post-compulsory education. The aim of EQUEL is to foster European knowledge and understanding of the effects of e-learning practice, theory and philosophy through building a research and practitioner network of experts working in the field.

Le projet universante regroupe des experts en santé publique, en éducation médicale et en technologies éducatives des Universités de Beyrouth, Monastir, Yaoundé et Genève.
L'objectif est de mettre en réseau des étudiants et des enseignants de ces différents pays autour d'un projet commun : la formation en santé publique.

DRLOCH is a scientific co-operation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland.
The main objective of the project is building an educational software system assisting the researchers, professors and students in the educational interactivity for learning the History and Theology of Romanian Orthodox Church.



eTeach-Net is a joint project involving 9 higher education institutions in Switzerland (UniGE, UniSG, UniBS,USI, ETHZ, SUPSI, BFH, FHNW, ZFH) and also training organizations.
The major objective of the project is to develop reusable teaching modules about technical, pedagogical and didactic concepts of e-teaching.


GIRAFE est l'acronyme de Groupe Inter-universitaire Romand d’Accompagnement et de Formation en E-Learning. GIRAFE est un réseau créé dans le but de soutenir une collaboration organisée et opérationnelle entre les centres de compétences en e-Learning romands. Les réseau se compose de partenaires spécialisés en technologies éducatives des Universités de Genève, Fribourg, Lausanne, et Neuchâtel. Ce mandat s'est terminé en Octobre 2005.

Computers for Health is a nation-wide effort to develop, to co-ordinate and to teach the essential content and aspects of medical informatics to medical and other students using Web-based "Virtual Campus" technology.

L'acronyme "IntersTICES" signifie : Intégration des Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication dans l'Enseignement Supérieur par la Recherche et le Soutien. Ce projet a pour objectif principal : d'améliorer la qualité des projets en cours, de capitaliser l'expérience pédagogique des projets impliqués dans le Campus Virtuel Suisse et d'établir les bases d'un cadre d'évaluation de l'ensemble des projets.

SWISSLING is a joint project with the major objective to develop an introductory course in linguistics targeted to university beginners in human sciences (linguistics; communication sciences; literature and languages).


Some even older past projects

National projects

National Research Program 33: Effectiveness of Swiss Educational Systems

National Research Program Home Page (in french and in german)
The NRP 33 aims to enhance the effectiveness of learning and the quality of evaluation. TECFA's project in the program consists in writing a trend-report on swiss research in the domain " NIT application in education".

Contact: Patrick Mendeslsohn or Patrick Jermann


Artificial Intelligence in Education

A brief introduction to the theme

GEOLAB: A learning environment fo reservoir volumetric characterization.

FSS Consultants is a company which provides geostistics courses, mainly for oil companies. We submitted a joint research proposal to develop an intelligent learning environment in which the trainees learn to estimate the uncertainty of their prediction when they have to estimate the volume of an oil or water reservoir. This software will be built around the existing geostatisctical package developped by FSS and integrated to their existing courses.
Contact: Pierre Dillenbourg

PUZZLE: An environment to study help tools.

The aim of this project is to study how people can discover the underlying regularites of a complex computer environment they have never seen before in order to propose new efficient help tools. The project includes the development of two different tools interacting with each other. The first one is a complex environment to learn visual computing concepts and artificial life fundings. The other one is a kind of multipurpose courseware manager.
Contacts: Silvere Martin-Michiellot or Patrick Mendelsohn .


The memolab research project is funded by the Swiss Research Fund under a special research program (PNR 23), intitled `Artificial Intelligence and Robotics'.The research team is multidisciplinary. It includes P. Mendelsohn (psychology), B. Borcic (computer science), M. Hilario (computer science), D. Schneider (political and computer sciences), P. Dillenbourg (educational and computer sciences).
Contact: Pierre Dillenbourg


SMILE stands for 'student modelling in interactive learning environments'. In traditional ITS systems, the role of student modelling is to select an adapted teaching strategy. This projects focuses on the role of student modelling in systems which are more open than traditonal ITsS. In such systems, the role of student modelling is not to select s strategy for the learner but to help him to manage his own learning. Therefore, this project tackles issues such as metacognition, open student models, reciprocal modelling, ... and tries to unify this work in a formal approach.
Contact: Pierre Dillenbourg

Learning in Humans and Machines

The mission of this recently launched programme is to advance our konowledge about learning from an interdisciplinary perspective, bringing togethere researchers from cognitive science, computer science (especially machine learning) and educational sience.
Contacts: Pierre Dillenbourg or Patrick Mendelsohn


Computer Mediated Communication, Information Systems and Virtual Worlds

Closely related to other research areas (e.g. Distance-Education), CMC, Information Systems and Virtual Worlds for Education & Research is a new line of research at TECFA (started in Summer 1994).
Look at the CMC Overview page for more details.
Contact: Daniel Schneider


European projects

The main goal of the project was to lead a research about the terms for the introduction of ICT in Higher Educations institutions. It was also about the building of an exchange tool between the partners and the creation of an epxerts network (from resources Centers essentially) on the use of ICT for teaching and learning in Higher Education.


Dernière modification: 17/03/2009 
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