Graasp for open evidence-based research in digital education.

Graasp is an open-access, GDPR-compliant cloud platform for digital education developed and hosted at EPFL in the framework of national and international initiatives.

It is exploited worldwide by universities and schools for blended active learning or digital knowledge sharing and has currently over 165’000 users.

A driving feature of the platform is that—provided consent—it is possible to collect data regarding teacher and student (learning analytics), which can be used not only for pedagogical awareness and reflection, but also for evidence-based research.

ASPIRE is empowering researchers, beyond the current platform stakeholders, to access data generated within Graasp.

The project is carried out collaboratively by EPFL, HEIA-FR, and HEP-BEJUNE, covering as such 7 cantons and two linguistic Swiss areas in order to facilitate a national-wide adoption.

In addition, the project combines research competencies in human computer interaction, software engineering, data science, and education.

Denis Gillet -
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Jupyter Notebooks

Computational thinking in practice. We offer easy access to Jupyter Notebooks for students, and support instructors on the best designs and use in class.

Jupyter Notebooks are interactive documents that combine code, equations, visualizations and text. Versatile and flexible, they allow teachers to develop virtual demonstrations, interactive exercises or multimedia handouts very easily. 

While they can obviously be used to teach computer science and the associated programming abilities, their specific features make them worth considering for teaching computational problem solving and introducing computational thinking across disciplines.

With our centralized JupyterLab platform, which currently counts more than 4’100 users (among which more than 2’600 students), teachers and students can easily access, modify and run notebooks online with a simple web browser. 

Our pedagogical and technical support team has assisted more than 30 teaching teams in the development of educational notebooks for courses in varied science and engineering disciplines, from materials science to signal processing, including quantum physics or structural mechanics, to cite only a few. 

We investigate the impact of notebooks on students’ learning, identify the most promising pedagogical scenarii for notebooks and share best practices with teachers.

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MOOC Factory

In the span of a single decade, EPFL has produced more than 140 courses that have attracted 3’000’000 registrations. We now look at leveraging video resources produced in 2020.

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. It is a combination of video lectures, exercises and assignments, open for anyone to follow for free. 

Most of our courses require 5-7 weeks to be completed. They are open for a worldwide audience but are also used by our students in complement to on-campus classes.

The MOOC factory offers support for the entire process of creating a course. Starting from the design the course outline, based on learning objectives and working backwards to define suitable learning activities and relevant material. 

Once the course blueprint is ready, video production can start in one of our studios. Instructors first get to familiarize themselves with the studio, and work in close relationship with a studio host who guides and supports them. 

Studio hosts are also in charge of editing the video and they interact with the instructors through a revision process. 

Finally, once the course is ready, distribution is organized on a suitable platform.

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International Outreach

International outreach is part of EPFL’s DNA in many aspects such as its diverse community or its internationally recognized research. The Education Outreach Department (SPE) is committed to establishing exchange and double degree partnerships, strengthening EPFL’s international networks and sharing best practices.

With over 150 international exchange and double degree agreements, EPFL offers its students a wide choice of study abroad destinations. 

Students from partner institutions also have the opportunity to integrate EPFL for an exchange, a project in a lab, or an internship. 

The School’s activities at the international level are communicated through information and outreach events both on campus and at partner institutions, using dedicated promotional materials made available to the relevant audiences.

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Campus Analytics

Data science for education. We aim at using the power of machine learning and data science to uncover hidden patterns and paths in EPFL’s educational system.

Campus Analytics is an initiative of the Center for Digital Education created with the aim of federating the scientific and institutional research of EPFL, in particular with regard to academic data.

The objective of this project is to collect and enrich educational data at EPFL, and analyse it through the use of data science and machine learning techniques.

Applying data science principles to EPFL academic data can unlock secrets and provide insights that would otherwise be concealed from normal observation. 

It can show how students use different learning strategies to reach a common goal, how a specific lecture is causing students to dropout of a course, how a specific choice of courses can lead to better or worse results in future courses, how learning paths lead to different careers, and how well the general focus of the EPFL curriculum is adapted to the current reality of the academic and business worlds.

These are all questions that affect decision-making at EPFL, whether it’s decisions taken by students, professors, or policy makers. 

Our goal is to have at least some of these decisions be informed by data, by leveraging the research and brainpower from our research labs.

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