A ‘course description’ (livret de cours) provides all the necessary information about a course. It outlines the teaching format, the course content, the intended learning outcomes, the grading system, the amount of ECTS credits allocated to the course and the language(s) in which the course is taught. You can explore many course descriptions by visiting IS-Academia.
Each teacher is responsible for defining their course’s description, which is then validated by the relevant section. Some aspects of the course can only be modified after agreement with the section (e.g., teaching language and ECTS credits). Ensure you know the expected deadline to submit a course description for a course.
If you need technical support for completing the course description, you can consult the page ‘Assistance in completing the course description’.
The process of accreditation for EPFL programmes requires that all courses are written in terms of learning outcomes, i.e. clear statements of what successful students will be able to do at the end of a course. If you need to know more on this topic, you can consult the Learning Outcomes Frequently Asked Questions.
Teaching Advisors are available to support you in this task.
Having an on-line course site can make it easy to communicate with your students. At EPFL, the common platform that is used is ‘Moodle’. However, teachers can use other platforms. Moodle is supported by EPFL, and all courses automatically have a site created for them. Due to its frequent use at EPFL, students are familiar with it.
As a platform Moodle has certain affordances:
- Active Learning: Moodle is designed to support interactive learning using a wide range of tools such as wikis, peer assessment workshops and chats. Please refer to our resources on flexible teaching to get more ideas and information on leveraging Moodle to promote active learning in your course.
- Organisation and flexibility: At EPFL, Moodle is automatically formatted by week for all courses to facilitate course organisation. However, as a teacher you can update your course Moodle site according to your course design and requirements. E.g. you can organise it by theme (contact the Moodle housekeeper for help with this). Additionally, you can choose to hide and unhide material as and when required.
- Communication (teacher – student): You can use Moodle to communicate with your students using your course’s ‘news forum’. Only a teacher can post to this forum and by default all enrolled students are registered for the forum, so it is a good way of getting a message to all students.
- Communication (student – teacher, student – student): Moodle can also be used to allow students to communicate with you or with each other. For each exercise session, you could establish a discussion forum, where students could post problems and get hints or suggestions from other students, or from you or your assistants. If you choose this option, it is advisable to set some ground rules (such as ‘give hints and suggestions, but do not give the answer’). You may also need to encourage students to use such discussion forums in the first few weeks of your class.
- Provide feedback: Moodle site can be used to provide feedback to students on their learning, through weekly or mid-term quizzes. An additional feature of Moodle is workshops, which allows students to give feedback to their peers.
- Managing student submissions: You can also use Moodle to manage assessment submissions. You could set up an ‘assignment’ within Moodle and students can upload their assignment through the site. This gives you a record of who has submitted what and when, and helps you to manage assignments electronically.
- Resource Bank: You could place course materials (such as slides, lecture notes, exercises, solutions or readings) on the Moodle site, so that they can be easily accessed by students. It is important to make sure the files you post are accessible from different types of devices (E.g. posting a pdf of slides is usually more useful than posting a PowerPoint or Keynote file.)
- To get more information on flexible teaching using Moodle refer to the flexible teaching guide.
- Example: How does a well designed Moodle page look like for students ?
- Quick Start Guide: How to use Moodle to schedule office hours
- Quick Start guide: How to use Moodle to get feedback
- The full range of student learning activities supported by Moodle are described here.
To learn more about Moodle and to access the EPFL Moodle directly, go here.
At EPFL each PhD student has to contribute one day a week to teaching. The Sections manage a pool of PhD assistants for the benefit of faculty members based on needs and priorities. They are also in charge of providing the necessary additional supervision resources.
You may also hire advanced (Master level) student assistants in addition to PhD assistants, particularly to supervise or tutor during the practicals (exercises, lab sessions, projects).
Please contact your section secretary for more information.