In response to the pandemic, Grenoble Ecole de Management, turned innovations previously in the design stage to reality. The best of existing technologies and solutions were sourced to develop the GEMHyflex solution. 1,2 million euros were invested in the development of GEMHyflex classrooms and continuous support is provided for all members of faculty to facilitate the experience for them.
Students at GEM have been able to partially return to the classroom in person at since February. The feedback has been positive from both students and teachers.
What is GEMHyflex?
The GEMHyflex solution strives to provide the best user experience for students and teachers participating in a class on site and remotely simultaneously. This is made possible thanks to combination of technologies, quality sound and image solutions, features and functionalities brought together to respond to the students and the teacher's needs. For example, in contrast to existing platforms that require all users to sit in front of their PC, the GEMHyflex solutions enables all users in the classroom to move around freely. It allows all remote participants to benefit from the same quality of sound and image, to leverage all interactive and document sharing functionalities and enables an interactive, immersive and truly collective experience to be created.
Each GEMHyflex classroom is equipped with:
- Wall cameras that can follow the teacher and the students physically in the classroom
- A top-quality sound system that can identify whoever is talking in the classroom and provide a high quality experience to remote students
- Screens to allow the teacher and the students in the classroom to see those who are remote
- Tactile touch screens and a wall keyboard to be able to enhance interactivity between in-class and remote students
Positive feedback from both teachers and students
Grenoble Ecole de Management promised that if health conditions allowed, classes could be delivered in a face-to-face format as of February 8, 2021. This promise has been kept as the GEMHyflex classrooms allow the number of students on campus to be controlled. Both students and professors have taken this evolvement very positively.
Céline Foss, Program Director for MSc Management in International Business says:
" The GEMHyflex classrooms are a nice solution for both students and teachers as it combines face-to-face and online teaching. It is a great way to get back to some normality and be able to teach in a classroom with students present but also communicates with students online.
Teaching is easily prepared in advance as long as we know who will be in the classroom and who will be online. The interaction in class and with online students is perfect. Many things need to line up, including the technology, the course design, the focus on pedagogy and the engagement of the students and this is something GEM has managed very well. "
Bachelor of Business Student Maëlla-Flora Nimeskern thinks it is nice to be back in class and adds:
"The GEMHyflex course model enables us to freely interact with students online as if they were in the classroom. It allows us to choose our preferred learning style: online or in-class. This system is very versatile and has many options."
Her peer Zishan Ahmad thinks that the GEMHyflex classrooms have allowed him to feel like a normal student again:
"In the online version, the interaction with the teacher is more natural than the regular Microsoft Teams format but the big plus is being able to see the students present in class. Psychologically, it played a role for me; I was more focused and active. Regarding the face-to-face version, it is a joy. The course is more dynamic, the contact with the teacher is better as well as the retention of information. Thanks to the GEMHyflex classes, my classmates and I can finish the program as we started it, in the same classroom."
Touleen Wazani continues:
"In such uncertain times, it was great to see the immense effort put into the production of GEMHyflex classes, such as having an assistant to aid with the technicalities of the process. The professors were able to maintain momentum with online and on-campus students, expand on interactions, and assure their presence for any further need of aid. "
The GEMHyflex teaching model is used on both Grenoble and Paris campuses. Beyond managing the challenges imposed by the pandemic, the GEMHyflex solution can be further developed for students that cannot physically be on the GEM campuses, to continue having high-quality education and experience. This is why Grenoble Ecole de Management is now ready to share to share the GEMHyflex solution with all of its peers that wish to try it.