Teaching & learning @IÉSEG : an extraordinary mobilization in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

Since the School’s premises closed to students because of the Covid-19 crisis, IÉSEG’s teaching and administrative teams have been mobilized to ensure the pedagogical continuity of the School’s 20 programs (undergraduate, postgraduate & executive education, etc.) and to accompany each student in the best way possible.

In the space of one weekend (March 14 and 15) all of the School’s courses were moved online, making it possible to continue all teaching activities without interruption. Over 250 courses were thus given online on March 16 and 17 alone. All students continue to follow IÉSEG courses via the Zoom videoconference solution. This was made possible thanks to the anticipation and concentrated efforts of the IT team and the CETI (Center for Educational and Technological Innovation), who have worked tirelessly over the last few weeks.

The CETI team, who regularly leads themed workshops and trainings related to teaching remotely, developed a website where multiple resources are available for professors to guide them through this transition. The entire academic faculty was trained to use the Zoom solution. Around ten webinars, in which around 350 professors participated, were organized on the use of different technology, and the adaptation of pedagogical methods that differ from those used in classrooms.

coronavirus infographic GB

“I would like to thank all of our students, who adopted this online method in a very short amount of time, in the context of confinement, which is very complex for everyone. Our professors have done a remarkable job switching, in a few days, all of their courses and exams/evaluations online. They are impressed by the quality of the discussions and the engagement that the students have shown.

“The quality of the measures implemented to ensure the pedagogical continuity has also been highlighted by numerous parents and partner companies who have regularly sent us messages praising our School’s rapidity and adaptability, as well as its teams’ engagement,” Jean-Philippe Ammeux, IÉSEG Director, explained.

Between now and the end of the semester, more than 400 academic staff members will be using the Zoom solution to accompany students in confinement, in France and abroad, to continue their courses.

Loïc Plé, Director of Pedagogy and Head of the CETI, explained, “We have already had a lot of positive feedback from our students and professors about the quick deployment of this solution and the support they received to adapt to this change.

“The challenge for us was to put courses online, while remaining true to our pedagogical strategy, which draws notably on student engagement and active learning. Accompanying those involved as closely as possible in their technical and pedagogical concerns was a key to our success: the aim was to make them forget about technology in order to focus on pedagogy. The simplicity of Zoom helped us. The pedagogical formats used are well adapted to online learning, and the interactivity between and with our students is guaranteed by the choice of synchronous courses, as the professor and students are connected at the same time. Moreover, we also had to put all of our exams and evaluations online quickly. For the time being, we have relied on our LMS (Learning Management System), which is based on Moodle. A new technological solution will also be rolled out in the next days.”

Pedagogical continuity: students on exchange programs and the case of internships

In addition, over 550 students, currently on an academic exchange, are following online courses given by a partner university. Over a hundred other students have had their exchange program cancelled and have had to start a semester online with IÉSEG. Others have had their internships in France or abroad postponed or cancelled by the host company and are experiencing worry.

”All of the School’s teams are mobilized to help students in these troubled times. We will study each situation in order to make sure that students are not penalized,” Jean-Philippe Ammeux explained.

The IÉSEG Career Center, for example, organized a 100% digital career fair at the end of March. 450 students and 52 international companies participated. The result: 165 job offers were shared and 60 interviews planned in 24 hours!

In addition, IÉSEG accompanies all of its staff and students in this complex time of confinement, which can be difficult psychologically, with:

  • the launch of the website, which aims at providing resources to help the IÉSEG community collectively live as best as possible in confinement;
  • meditation and relaxation courses, led by a professor from the school;
  • and psychological support.
Student and professor testimonials

Constance MASSUARD, Master student, Grande École Program:

“For me, the transition happened fairly naturally. My habits have not really changed aside from the fact that everything happens remotely. It can sometimes be a little difficult to stay in front of the computer, but the adaptation went smoothly and IÉSEG managed to anticipate things very well. The Zoom application is built well and is easy to use. Personally, I have not had any particular problems. Sharing screens, the possibility to do surveys, and a chat are very useful tools.”

Deniz ERDEMLIOGLU, Finance Professor:

“I used Zoom last week for my course and I liked the chat option, which is useful for short question-response sessions or just to ask students quick questions (open-ended or yes/no). Interactions with students are very efficient, as the host has the possibility to create poles/groups and to obtain immediate feedback from students. The ability to share several screens is also a very useful option. My course lasted around three hours, and I saved all of it (after having notified my students). It is very practical, which goes without saying, especially for students who would like to look over the course again.”

Constance JOUANNEAU, Master student in the Grande École Program:

“I created a work environment for myself at home to encourage efficient learning in order to continue my Master courses in a completely different setting. I have set specific work times every day to stay as organized and motivated as possible. As far as the courses via the Zoom platform go, it took a few days for the professors and students to adapt to this new pedagogical format. As for me, I was able to experience online the ‘intensive courses’, which are sometimes challenging. The professor has to keep the whole class’ attention for a length of four 4 hours, and also has to create online work groups. However, the professor who taught the “Total Quality Management” course was able to adapt the content of the course, as well as the evaluation modalities, in a limited time.”