Innovative educational methods

Supporting educational innovation is one of the ambitions of Université Gustave Eiffel. This innovation depends in particular on the university’s Centre for Pedagogical and Digital Innovation (CIPEN), a service aimed at developing in-house expertise that supports teachers, improving the attractiveness and international reach of educational programmes, and fostering entrepreneurship and teaching of excellence.

The Centre for Pedagogical and Digital Innovation (CIPEN)

Part of the I-Site FUTURE project, the Centre for Pedagogical and Digital Innovation (CIPEN) reflects a desire to offer enhanced support for teachers in their efforts to bring about pedagogical and digital transformation. This department of Université Gustave Eiffel aims to encourage innovations in teaching methods. It brings together pedagogical and digital support services for teaching in order to assist the main players, i.e. teachers and teacher-researchers, engage in this development process in order to meet the educational challenges of the 21st century. A truly central player in the pedagogical transformation of the university, it is at the service of the component institutions of Université Gustave Eiffel and all the courses it offers.

CIPEN’s remit is as follows:

  • To support teachers and teacher-researchers in the implementation of their pedagogical projects by providing methods and resources
  • To create and manage digital pedagogical platforms
  • To present the university's educational offering
  • To implement the language policy for specialists in other disciplines (LANDAD)
  • To manage coworking sites
  • To promote teaching methods and disseminate good practices.
  • To train the teachers
  • To help improve the international reach of the courses
  • To play a part in popularising science

In order to meet the need for the development, deployment and support for teaching methods within the university, the CIPEN has a 6 department structure:

  • The administrative and financial department provides administrative and financial support for projects and all activities, including cross-cutting ones.
  • The digital and media department supports multimedia creation for the university. It provides audio-visual equipment for the classrooms and lecture halls and also implements innovative digital educational tools.
  • The teaching methods department supports the teaching teams in the implementation of educational packages and promotes them. It also engages in communication about the packages. This department manages and supports the implementation of calls for projects and expressions of interest as well as participating in the implementation of major projects.
  • The centre for the monitoring of pedagogical practices promotes, disseminates and evaluates pedagogical practices and supports the implementation of our quality approach in our courses.
  • The CAPLA (Centre for Linguistic Pedagogical Activities) develops cross-disciplinary language teaching for students and staff as well as languages for specialists in other disciplines (LANSAD).
  • The cross-disciplinary training department implements cross-disciplinary and experimental training courses.


The pedagogical approach at Éav&t: the project as a discipline

In a school of architecture, "the project" is not just a teaching method or an approach that is applied to study the discipline, but the actual purpose of the discipline. Architecture, as a discipline, is based mainly on knowledge and know-how about the architectural project (working on projects is dominant since it occupies at least 50% of teaching time). Moreover, the project is not a process which resembles problem solving, where the application of a method results in finding "the" right solution to the problem. It is a much more iterative and empirical process, which includes complexity and several levels of reasoning, and which is marked by doubts and the need to ask questions, and which can lead to very different, but equally valid, results.

It is within this framework that Éav&t students acquire the practical skills to shape projects at all scales, from a building, through a landscape, to a region. The project workshops are the places where all the teaching given at the school is consolidated and assumes a concrete and practical dimension. They are the primary space where ideas and practice come together.