As a 'Societe A Mission' and a Business Lab for Society, Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM), has decided to share its GEMHyflex solution with all of its peers that wish to leverage it. This comprehensive solution, developed by GEM in 2020, enables teachers to simultaneously deliver classes to students in person and remote, providing all of them with the same possibilities of interaction and immersion. An innovation and success that has triggered interest among multiple establishments in France and abroad.
"Since March 2020, many institutions have put emergency solutions in place to deliver classes simultaneously to students onsite and remote. Among the most common limitations of these solutions are that students attend the classes in a very passive manner, teachers are obliged to be behind their computers to deliver the classes, and the solutions are often so complex continuous support and assistance are required. The GEMHyFlex classroom solution provides a quality response to the situation: the training required to use them is minimal, the teachers rapidly become independent and can create experiences similar to those of a traditional face-to-face setting. Remote students can freely participate and interact providing them with an in person experience too. This solution also provides extraordinary possibilities well beyond responding to the needs of the pandemic. Upon request, we have decided to share this innovation with our peers," explains Armelle Godener, Director of Pedagogy at GEM.
GEMHyflex, promoting Education for All
GEM equipped its 3 French campuses (Grenoble and Paris) with 32 GEMHyFlex classrooms at the end of 2020 and plans to add 50 more GEMHyFlex classrooms by the end of 2023. In addition to responding to the current constraints of the health crisis, this unique solution allows students that cannot physically be on the GEM campuses (for either a work-study program, an entrepreneurial project, an international experience, or a disability), to continue to attend classes.
Above all the GEMHyFlex design ensures that: Never again, will students that meet admission criteria to a program, be prevented from studying due to a disability, or any other obstacle that may not allow them to physically be in the classroom.
Loïck Roche, Dean and Director of Grenoble Ecole de Management.
GEMHyflex classrooms have been designed based on two guiding principles:
1. Open source and standardization.
While implementing an external ready to use integrated solution could have been quicker and simpler, at GEM we decided to create a custom and scalable in house solution. Not only did we not want to be subject to the restrictions and limitations of an external solution both in terms of needs and upgrades, we specifically wanted to respond to the needs of our pedagogy in alignment with our School of the Future education model. It was essential to us that the solution developed should be flexible and scalable to be able to respond to evolving user experiences and requests. For this reason, we decided to leverage standard software (Zoom or Teams) and equipment (Logitech cameras etc.).
2. Immediately operational
It was essential to us that that teachers feel as comfortable as possible with this solution. The transition to a hybrid education model was a challenge for all of our teachers. That is why we did all we could to make the transition and the new solution developed for teaching as intuitive as possible. GEMHyflex classrooms can be used in a variety of ways. At the most basic level, teachers can recreate their teaching scenario almost the same way they did in a traditional face to face setting. They can freely move around the room while teaching as needed, use the whiteboard, interact with the students, also present remotely if need, and more. Once familiar with the solution, the teacher can go further and use more advanced collaborative tools, create hybrid student workgroups, and more. Particular attention has also been paid to making the classroom as easy as possible for the teacher to set up: all of the laptops in the GEMHyflex classrooms require no login for the teachers, except for an internet cable for security reason; and in each room there is at at a glance user manual created for our teachers.
Despite the simplicity of setting up a GEMHyflex room, a dedicated support team and system has been put in place for the teachers at GEM:
- they start with short training sessions in small groups to get familiar with the with the rooms;
- each teacher was accompanied by two trained people to support them during the first two classes delivered.
GEMHyflex classrooms have been designed and rolled out by the GEM Innovation and Pedagogy departments.
Technical elements required to create a GEMHyflex classroom
Two or three 75" tactile Android touch screens depending on the size of the room.
OPS PC Windows
Equipped with a ZoomRoom license, integrated into one of the Android tactile screens. HDMI connections to the other two screens. Additional PTZ plenum camera connection
Logitech Rally Plus
Operates two microphones in plenum, two wall speakers and one Rally Central camera.
Logitech PTZ pro
Secondary wall camera –Public view
Tactile wall keyboard to switch between « standard » and « Hyflex » mode.