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Flipped classroom – innovative teaching at the GSEM


Have you heard about flipped classrooms? This new teaching technique is a break from more conventional methods. Students learn the subject matter before the course takes place and then use the class time to apply the concepts and make sure they have understood them properly.

"Students do not learn well passively," explains Professor Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, who uses the flipped classroom approach in his Master's course on “Regional Disparities and Urban Economics”. He also uses aspects of the technique in his other Master's and Bachelor's courses – even in lecture halls. Referring to a study(1) which showed that a student's brain activity during a lecture is similar to that of someone watching TV , Professor Robert-Nicoud explained he proceeded to adapt his course material to flip his classroom. To do this, he received support from the teaching and learning support unit, which is tasked with assisting quality of teaching enhancement at the University and ensuring that conditions are ripe for learning.

With active learning, the professor no longer stands imparting knowledge. The students actively participate in the course, work in groups and assess each other – and they end up learning more. They also acquire soft skills that will be extremely useful later on in their professional lives.

At GSEM we are committed to constantly improving the quality of our teaching. Several years ago, our professors began introducing innovative teaching techniques – the flipped classroom is one way in which we go beyond simply transferring knowledge to our students. Our aim is to make sure that the students are in the driving seat when it comes to their education.


(1) Poh, Swenson, et Picard. “A Wearable Sensor for Unobtrusive, Long-Term Assessment of Electrodermal Activity”. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 57(5), Mai 2010.

June 28, 2019
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