The eTandem project is scripted according to the modalities of Design Based Research. The course is delivered entirely at a distance via Moodle. To register for the course, participants complete an initial questionnaire establishing their identity and language profile. Once registered, each student introduces him/herself in a forum and contacts a partner to set up tandems. Each French-speaking student studying Chinese is thus paired with a Chinese-speaking student learning French.
During a semester, the students meet each other virtually to exchange 30 minutes in Chinese and 30 minutes in French. The topics discussed (such as health, cooking, hobbies, etc.) are open enough to adapt to the level of the students of the three institutions. Students are also encouraged to suggest topics that interest them. One hour of exchange requires one hour of preparation. A whole series of documents in the form of images, pdf, audios or videos are made available to the students. Texts and lexicons can be worked on with memory aids such as Quizlet and Anki used by the learners.
In addition to their oral skills, students also work on written reception, as a summary of the discussions must be written in their respective mother tongues after each exchange and posted on a forum. This provides students with a bilingual written summary of their discussion. The use of WeChat and other exchange tools also allows for a small amount of electronic written production.
A second questionnaire on the quality of the exchange is completed individually by the students at the end of each session. A third questionnaire evaluates and closes the eTandem course at the end of the semester.
Students' questions can be discussed during the parallel face-to-face translation course or in the forum provided for this purpose. Feedback from the respective teachers at each institution is scheduled in person during the last week of the semester, followed by the completion of the online evaluation questionnaire. In Geneva, the teacher also provides individual feedback during the second semester, which finalizes both the translation course and the eTandem course she is in charge of in the 3rd year of the Bachelor's program.