(Testimony) Offering a hybrid university course

Background :

Every year, the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL) wants to offer first-aid training to the 2,000 students entering its IUT program, in partnership with the SDMIS and, more specifically, the GFOR. Up until now, this type of training was usually provided as a serious game for some, and in a classroom for others. As part of the INCLUDE project, a digital demonstrator in higher education (DemoES) supported by UCBL and dedicated to the inclusion of students via digital levers, a team would like to develop and evaluate an approach that aims to improve the inclusion of students. To do so, the team would like to develop an immersive virtual approach within activities outside the usual timetable. The study also aims to evaluate and improve our ability to support students living far from their university, due to difficulties with accommodation or travel. The aim is to test a hybrid teaching approach for training students in first aid. To carry out this project, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 relied on the Glowbl solution. And it worked! Loïc Druette, who piloted the experiment, explains how it went.

The challenge :

To build a learning path in which everything that could be done remotely would be done remotely, and in which training in the classroom would benefit from remote preparation. We also had to be careful not to give students who had gone through the Covid period a similar experience: isolation in front of the screen, working alone, with no interaction. What we wanted, on the contrary, was for learning, even at a distance, to take place in a group and in a spirit of sharing.

Why Glowbl ?

We set out with a clear idea in mind: to find a solution offering unity of place, time and action. We immediately ruled out metaverses as too technologically demanding, especially for mass teaching. Teams? Zoom? Kahoot? Slido? The Glowbl configuration soon seemed to be the most interesting. The fact of entering a ready-made virtual room with tables, of being able to move from table to table… The basis we were looking for was there, but everything had to be invented to put this qualitative tool at the service of our pedagogical approach: to make students want to sign up for a training course that is optional, to enable them to get involved and take action during the sessions…

Preparation time :

We have defined a learning path based on a skills-based approach, alternating distance learning phases, in groups of 12 learners, to acquire knowledge, in particular procedural understanding and follow-up, with face-to-face phases, in groups of 4 learners, to perform actions on a simulator. The final assessment phase takes place at the SDMIS Training Group (GFOR). The aim of this hybrid pathway is to increase learners’ skills in life-saving techniques.

 We relied on Glowbl for the knowledge and interpersonal skills phases, which can be adapted to remote group practice.

As the training was optional, and the activities took place after 7pm, we had to integrate a playful, challenging dimension into our pedagogy from the outset. The principle we adopted was to set up two teams of 6 learners playing against each other. A situation is presented to them, and questions are asked about the strategy to adopt to deal with the situation. The students consult each other and challenge each other to add spice.

To anchor their knowledge, the answers, right or wrong, are displayed, discussed and analyzed as a group.

Animation and functionality :

Once again, we opted for an alternative solution for the animation. We entrust it to learners who already hold the PSC1 certificate, and ask them to train the other students themselves. We organise an initial session beforehand to explain the contract and the learning environment, as well as how Glowbl works and how to use it. They also receive a vademecum by email.

At Lyon 1, first aid training is offered to all the university’s IUT departments. Once students have registered, department by department, we send them a schedule with pre-established student allocations by group of 12. Students can also organise their groups themselves. For example, in one of the departments currently in place, 24 groups of 12 students occupy three Glowbl rooms with eight tables that connect to play.

For this year’s 500 students, we are using Salvum, a game-based tool for first aid training, via the Glowbl platform. Students gather around a table and are presented with a situation and questions. Each situation is followed by an immediate debriefing describing the correct strategy to adopt.

 We realised, for example, that students rarely used their webcams, preferring to chat instead. We quickly discarded the screen-sharing feature, which was too technically cumbersome. Finally, next year we’ll be using interactive [360] Youtube videos, which will enable students to interact directly on screen with the situation they’ll be facing.

Feedback from Glowbl :

The tenacity of the teaching teams, but also that of the students who really played the game, made this experiment a success.

The idea we had in mind from the outset was to test the hybrid pedagogical approach on this course, to demonstrate and study its feasibility and efficiency before applying it to other disciplines and other types of teaching.That’s why, after each workshop, a survey was carried out among the students. A great deal of data was collected on attendance, absences, drop-outs, etc., and everything was analysed.

Broadly speaking, a large majority of students found the Glowbl platform easy to use and to interact with. The results obtained on pedagogy are also satisfactory: they feel more at ease with first aid and would be ready to intervene in case of need. Students are committed ! Even if the results show that the tool’s capabilities are far from being fully used, and even if the students reserve their opinion as to whether they would like to see the hybrid approach extended to other disciplines, they are promising.

They encourage us to continue and work even more closely with Glowbl to enrich the system.

Advice that other organisations can use to set up an equivalent system :

Make a cold, hard analysis of the tool in relation to your idea. What is the field of use?  What are the benefits ? Glowbl is an excessively virtuous tool that lends itself particularly well to an educational approach !