Reimagining the Basics of Pedagogy
The new Grenoble Ecole de Management learning model aims to train students to be inspiring, innovative, socially interactive leaders and entrepreneurs (INSIDE).
- The "digital generation" is prone to jump quickly from one subject to another, a style of thinking that does not fit well with traditional university lectures and memorization.
- Research demonstrates that learning is greatly improved when students are engaged and active (versus passive listening and note taking).
- Digital technology opens the door to new teaching methods (information is available everywhere and all the time: MOOCs, interactive class materials, etc.).
- Professors want to transform both their approach to teaching and the student's approach to learning.
THREE GUIDING PRINCIPLES
- Explain the reasoning behind what is being taught in order to capture the student's attention. When students understand why they are learning, they become actors in the learning process. By looking to the future and understanding why, students are made responsible for their learning experience and can help create it.
- See the professor as a coach. In addition to sharing knowledge, a teacher must also serve as a mentor. Professors and consultants accompany students to help them construct their knowledge base, their skills, their understanding of life and their career goals. As coaches, teachers help students develop self-awareness and guide them towards the goal of leading a professional life they are both responsible for and desire.
- Create transversal pedagogic content and methods that integrate the student. The goals are threefold: 1) develop a student's transversal skills; 2) explain the link that exists between all areas of business education; and 3) highlight the essential value of a transversal approach to solve complex problems.
FOUR FOUNDING PILLARS
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: SELF-AWARENESS, EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND CAREER GOALS
Right from the start, students are guided towards realizing their talents, motivations and values. They also dive deep into the professional world to discover possible jobs and begin outlining their career goals. This helps students identify the skills they will need to acquire and the path they should take through teaching, internships, work/study programs, volunteer experiences or any of the many opportunities that lie ahead.
Students regularly track their progress and become actors in their training experience by using tools such as the Grenoble Ecole de Management skills passport. Their engagement and the maturity gained from such introspection has a significant impact on their learning experience.
Management is an activity based on human interactions and therefore emotions. As a result, emotional intelligence is essential. When the situation allows it, students are encouraged to focus on self-awareness and expressing their feelings. They are encouraged to put themselves in another's shoes and listen. These activities help develop team spirit and cooperation in the place of the competitive spirit that is often observed among students. The School also offers workshops on topics such as stress management or mindfulness.
FLIPPED CLASSROOMS AND ACTIVE LEARNING
The GEM Learning Model helps students be active learners. Students partake in real-life situations before they begin learning theoretical knowledge. As a result, they realize the stakes, interests and importance of the pedagogic goals they are pursuing in class. As much as possible, the teacher calls upon the students' emotions and life experience rather than their intellectual reasoning.
Thanks to quality learning resources such as digital materials, MOOCs or publications, students discover and integrate new knowledge before their face to face sessions with a teacher. This allows for class time to be essentially dedicated to exchanges, interactions, explanations and action. The professor guides students to interact and exchange among themselves, to ask questions, to find and evaluate answers, or to role play situations. As a result, face to face class time helps students deepen their understanding of a subject, apply knowledge in concrete terms and develop transversal skills.
Group work is carried out throughout the year. Collaborative projects allow students to apply theoretical knowledge and skills learned during a unit to real or life-like situations. These projects help students consolidate their understanding of a subject and develop transversal skills such as team spirit, the ability to innovate, a willingness to follow leadership or the capacity to take initiative.
This group work context holds fewer risks than an internship and therefore encourages experimentation. Students can test various roles and approaches within the group. It is important to note that group work at Grenoble Ecole de Management can be very diverse thanks to a mix of degree levels, geographic locations, cultural differences and partnerships with other institutions. This helps develop skills for intercultural and long-distance cooperation.
Through these projects, student appreciate the value of what they are learning. They develop an understanding of how jobs and fields are interconnected. Mentors and experts provide a guiding framework for students to work in groups.
MANAGING THE UNEXPECTED
To help students learn how to manage complex issues and stress, projects benefit from scenarios that introduce unexpected developments. From a supplier going bankrupt to the reorganization of a team, students learn to manage the unexpected during role playing scenarios. This teaching method gives students the right to make mistakes all the while teaching them to take responsibility for their mistakes and adapt to overcome problems.