Student engagement and intercultural skills at the heart of IÉSEG’s new teaching and learning strategy

January 10, 2017

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_AGR7683 2“Flipped classes”, courses that are co-developed with students and companies, personalized curricula, and interdisciplinary courses… These are just some examples of the activities used in IÉSEG’s new teaching and learning strategy, which aims to create a unique student learning experience, and which is centered on intercultural learning and student engagement.

The result of an in-depth consultation with the IÉSEG community (students, teachers, alumni, companies …), the new strategy is aligned with the School’s mission:

  • To educate managers to be inspiring, intercultural and ethical pioneers of change
  • To create knowledge that nurtures innovative leaders
  • To promote creative solutions for and with responsible organizations

Intercultural skills

The student learning experience at IÉSEG is focused on the acquisition of knowledge, know-how, and on personal development, in order to nurture each student’s individual skills. At the campuses in Lille and Paris, the learning experience is intercultural by nature: more than 100 different nationalities are represented in the School’s student body and staff. Students also have access to internationally-oriented course content, and work in groups that mix different nationalities and profiles etc . However, the School recognizes that simply studying in an international environment is not sufficient.

This is why students are trained in intercultural management, for example: with courses during the Bachelor and Master cycles of the Grande École program; by participating in multicultural projects; the use of the buddy/ tandem systems bringing together French and international students; and the recognition of these skills through a Intercultural Certificate (at the Master level).

r20b8415The intercultural dimension is also an important element with regards the expectations of companies and our graduates’ career aspirations. For example, 38% of the last graduating class from the Grande École program began their careers abroad and two thirds have an international dimension in their work. In this regard, students at the Bachelor level must now validate an intercultural ‘passport’ in order to be able to go abroad on an academic exchange.

“This unique intercultural learning experience is at the heart of our new teaching and learning strategy, which is based on 4 pillars. Each pillars is associated with a set of varied and innovative teaching methods using new technologies, ” explains Caroline Roussel, Academic Dean.

The IÉSEG pedagogical strategy also places a strong emphasis on ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR). In parallel to the School’s various research activities in this field, students on the Grande École Management degree, for example, follow: an opening (integration) seminar on a CSR-related theme; a Business Ethics course in the 2nd year; a CSR project in partnership with companies in the 3rd year; a CSR course at Master level; and also have the possibility of taking a CSR certificate and winning a prize for the best CSR-related thesis/dissertation.

The CSR dimension is integrated transversally across all programs and is at the heart of the School’s 2025 Vision.

The 4 pillars of this new pedagogical strategy are:

  1. Active learning. Read more.
  2. A personalized curriculum. Read more.
  3. Interdisciplinary learning. Read more.
  4. Learning centered on the acquisition of competencies. Read more.

The School’s Center for Educational and Technological Innovation (CETI) plays a key role in implementing this new strategy by providing innovative learning solutions and resources, as well as training and coaching for academic and administrative staff. Twice a semester, it organizes “Pedagogical Cafés” during which innovations or experiments carried out by teachers of the school are presented and shared with colleagues.

The CETI also regularly organizes “coaching workshops” to work in small groups with teachers on very specific topics (for example, setting up a flipped classroom, promoting student engagement in the classroom) or technological tools used in teaching. All of IÉSEG’s courses use blended learning approaches and use the IÉSEG Online platform as technological support. The members of the CETI draw on their expertise in learning design to help the School and its academic staff to enhance their technical and pedagogical expertise. This implies that the learning solutions created by the CETI in collaboration with the professors should be specialized and differentiated from what already exists in the sector.

MOOCFor example, IÉSEG recently launched its first MOOC (massive open online course), which uses “gamification” (the use of game elements and design to stimulate learning) to teach infrastructure finance. Participants working in a fictive company are challenged (through a variety of tools including quizzes and different assignments) to progress through different levels to eventually become CEO. The School plans to launch new MOOCS/ SPOC (small online private course) in the next five years.

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