This new digital platform is accessible from a web browser on any device (laptop, tablet, smartphone). It is developed within the framework of the training program which is in close collaboration with China. It is therefore available to both students in Geneva and Beijing. It has high computing power and a large financial database. It allows students to experiment with the models and methodologies analyzed in class on real data. Thus, they can understand the practical scope of the tools studied and their application in a real environment. Moreover, the platform is fully bilingual English/Chinese, as is the entire program (courses with simultaneous interpretation, materials in both languages, etc.)
The platform offers very intuitive visualizations of complex problems. Students do not need to know or apply the underlying mathematical processes themselves to be able to perform the analyses they want. The module automatically tells the student whether the chosen analysis is applicable to the data. It was important that participants not have to program or use algorithms to work with the concepts and their application, as the theory required to manipulate the calculations is too complex to be integrated into the program. The theoretical foundations needed for the course are covered in a separate course. Only a brief introduction is given to the students of the doctoral program.
Its composition in thematic modules allows to adapt its use according to the needs of the course and the learning pace of the students. In concrete terms, they have a summary and support of the course in slides and small informative video capsules. In the classroom, they participate in seminars on the theory, after which they answer a series of questions in groups, which are then corrected on fictional cases. A guide to each exercise is available. During the group exercises, the teacher has a first-hand look at what the students are doing on the platform and what kind of mistakes they make in order to provide them with specific feedback. Students can then create objects to work on using the available data sets. The system automatically links the objects to the tools that can be applied to them or the features that can be used with these objects. The system can thus be actively tested.
Students also use the platform to deliver their presentations and track their activity.
Normally, courses are taught face-to-face and by screen broadcast for Chinese learners. With the move to distance learning in the 2020-21 academic year, the courses were held via video conferencing with simultaneous interpretation. The Zoom software allows the allocation of speaking channels with assigned roles for the interpreters.
Concerning the validation of the acquired knowledge, usually, the evaluations are done on campus, but with the online exams in 2020-21, the exams took place in oral mode. Note that the platform has a self-assessment tool.
Before and after each teaching module, all the participants take part in a workshop with the platform development team to make changes and suggestions for improvement.