Materials Education Symposia - Home

International 2016 Materials Education Symposium

« back | International : International 2016

 

Breaking the habits: the transition to reverse classroom in a French engineering school

Dr Alexandre Mege-Revil | Ecole Centrale de Lille, France

Breaking the habits: the transition to reverse classroom in a French engineering school

Download PDF Presentation:

IN16AMEG IN16AMEG (555 KB)

Students of the Ecole Centrale de Lille mainly come from "classes preparatoires", a two-year syllabus that prepares them for the competitive exams giving access to the French engineering schools system. The major difficulty for the pedagogic team is to transform students who work for a mark into engineers who work to overcome a problem. This transformation is still widely seen as an automatic process that happens via training periods in companies. Nonetheless, as every teacher knows, a student who works to learn is far more efficient and agreeable than a student who wants to reach a minimum mark. A usual way to counter the tendency of students to minimize their energy is to teach in reverse classroom. In this approach, the hours of presence of the teacher are spent answering questions submitted by students who have prepared the topic. Breaking the habits: the transition to reverse classroom in a French engineering school In the Ecole Centrale de Lille, an adaptation is needed. As the students follow courses of multiple disciplines, the mandatory syllabus for materials sciences only adds up to 32 hours in a 3 year cursus. Moreover, a typical student's week contains between 30 and 35 hours of face-to-face teaching. In this context, it is difficult to ask long, detailed work from the students. This communication aims at presenting the results - good or bad - of the first year of our reform. In the new Materials Sciences teaching unit, students follow lectures in an amphitheater and videos online, work at home on common exercises, come to reverse seminars to discuss the difficulties they encountered and finally practice in the lab. Additionally, the assessments of the student are also modified in a way that drives them to analyze and discuss their results. Indeed, from the scientific point of view, the aimed consequence is to improve their analytical skills and ability to summarise.