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Sandra Despujos, the engineer who moves pedagogy at the university

Sandra Despujos is an engineer and educator. Educational engineer. ” People who have gone through engineering school have the feeling that I am usurping their title. But it is indeed engineering, in the sense that we have to find solutions, adapt, manage projects by mobilizing technological skills. », Underlines the one who heads the educational diversification service within CY Cergy Paris University.

The heart of my work consists of helping teachers – with or without digital technology – to script a course or a training module to make students actors in their learning. », Shares this forty-something.

Help teachers

This is all the more essential in the current context. From the start of the school year, CY Cergy Paris University limited its gauge to 50% to limit the risk of contamination. Before having to, with the new confinement, reconnect with everything distancing, already experienced last year from March.

For Sandra Despujos’ team, which has six other pedagogical engineers, it is about helping teachers – not always comfortable with digital tools – to adapt their courses so as to maintain student engagement, whether it be live or according to the pace of each person’s learning via a platform.

Convert a lecture into a distance learning module

This work has been widely anticipated for months. But we still need to help some teachers convert an hour of lecture into an e-learning module capable of capturing the attention of students.

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If we choose the solution of a virtual classroom to which everyone connects at the same time, we can, upstream, make available written, audio or video documents, presenting the main elements of the course that we would have done in amphitheater. Then, at the beginning of the session, plan a survey or multiple response questionnaire to allow students to determine if they have understood them. We can then, always remotely and live, divide the students into sub-groups and ask them to propose a contribution to the debate… To then speak again in a more traditional way in order to introduce a new concept. Before asking a few students to identify the main messages of the course », She unrolls.

Admirer of the pedagogue Maria Montessori, Sandra Despujos is convinced that ” the educator is there to guide, relying on the appetite, autonomy, psychology of the person learning.

Change the teacher’s posture

I have the feeling of moving the university, of changing the teacher’s posture “, Confides the one who has long taught German and French as a foreign language outside the borders of France, before providing professional training, including in business.

In a few years, the profession of educational engineer has established itself in the university landscape. ” Most universities use their services. Many also offer masters in educational engineering », Observes Sandra Despujos.

For the time being, this breakthrough does not directly concern colleges and high schools. Even so, the question becomes more acute, with the prospect of a possible closure of these establishments. ” This culture could still infuse little by little in the first and second degree “, hopes Sandra Despujos, who works within the National Higher Institute of Teaching and Education to train teacher trainers.


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