Rouages: "Supporting teachers in their pedagogical and digital transformation

Savine Volland and Agathe Hubert are pedagogical engineers. Reporting to the Information System and Digital Department, they support teachers in transforming their teaching methods and in the use of digital technology. As part of the "Rouages" video series, produced by the University of Montpellier, they introduce us to their missions, true pillars of the modernization of higher education.

It was in 2015, with the merger of the universities, that the UM acquired a team of teaching engineers. Integrated into the Information Systems and Digital Department (DSIN), there are now six of them to support teaching staff in transforming their teaching methods through the use of digital technology. This team is reinforced by the presence of other engineers within the UFRs, schools and institutes. Our missions can be broken down into two main areas," explains Savine Volland. On the one hand, there's the purely educational approach, and on the other, the technological dimension.

Energize your lessons

From a pedagogical point of view, digital technology has, of course, revolutionized teaching practices and opened up new ways of teaching. Today, face-to-face courses are just one of the possible modalities: " We can transform these courses to make them available at a distance. We can imagine hybrid forms where one part of the course takes place in a lecture hall and another at a distance, or even offer a course in both versions - this is what we call co-modal ", explains Savine Volland.

But the use of digital tools is not always synonymous with distance learning. On the contrary, new mobile applications now make lectures and tutorials more dynamic and attractive, by creating more interactivity between the teacher and the students, or between the students themselves via chats or discussion forums. " At UM, for example, we have a Wooclap license, which enables students to answer questions or vote for proposals with their cell phones by SMS or via a browser, to take part in quizzes, to interact live with the teacher to ask for further explanations... "

From teaching scenario to online Moodle posting

Whether for distance learning or face-to-face courses, our pedagogical engineers are there to advise the teacher and help him/her set up a pedagogical scenario. " We'll work with him to determine his objectives, and the concepts and messages he wants to convey to his students. We'll also look at the resources available to him, and those he'd like to create, and with all this in mind, we'll build the course together," continues the engineer. The playfulness of teaching is also part of the teaching engineers' arsenal, with the development of increasingly popular serious games.

Videoconferencing, virtual classes, exercises, games, branching scenarios along the lines of the digital version of "A book in which you are the hero ", e-learning modules with Storyline, assistance with writing and structuring content with SCENARIchaine... "We also have communication tools that make it easier for teachers to contact their students via announcements on forums, for example", stresses Agathe Hubert. We also have communication tools that make it easier for teachers to contact their students via forum announcements, for example ," emphasizes Agathe Hubert. In short, a vast range of possibilities that more and more teachers are discovering via the Moodle platform.

" This platform enables them to put their teaching resources online, to create assessable activities such as tests or essays," explains the engineer. Today, there are some 2,500 teachers and over 44,000 students active on the platform. " A development that the confinement has only accelerated, since during this period the pedagogical engineers provided six times as much support as in normal times. However, as Agathe Hubert points out, " you shouldn't go digital just because it's fashionable. Our aim is to provide added value for both teachers and students .

Starting a mooc?

Our pedagogical engineers also support teachers and UFRs, schools and institutes in the design of Mooc courses, from the production of videos and support materials to their posting on the Funmooc national platform. When you say "Mooc", you inevitably mean "video", a new feature of the teaching profession that is not always easy to master. To support them at this stage, our educational engineers work in close collaboration with the DSIN audiovisual team. The department also provides all the necessary equipment: " We have a studio with a prompter, and a green screen for projecting documents. Teachers who wish to do so also have access to independent recording booths," stresses Agathe Hubert.

There are two ways to benefit from the support of the UM's pedagogical engineers: either individually and at your convenience, through the University's service center. Or by responding to the call for projects launched annually by the University to encourage pedagogical transformation.