Supporting Pedagogical Innovation

The research service of the Teaching Support Centre is available to teachers and sections who would like to:

  • understand aspects of teaching and learning, in order to better plan changes to courses or programmes
  • evaluate planned innovations.

We can work with teachers and sections on all aspects of the research/evaluation process:

  • the design of a research or evaluation project
  • identification and translation of psychometric tests or development of new instruments
  • data collection and entry
  • data analysis/ interpretation and clarifying the implications for teaching and learning. 

Please contact Roland Tormey, or the pedagogical advisor for the relevant section.

Our research service

In order to improve their practice, teachers need reliable and valid information about how to best help students to learn particular kinds of knowledge and skills. Internationally this kind of applied research has come to play an important role in innovation in higher education teaching and is referred to as the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), or Action Research.

Since such research is intended to be practical – providing realistic solutions to real-life challenges for teachers and learners – it is intrinsically linked with the content being taught. Here in EPFL that implies a focus on researching the teaching and learning of science and engineering, known as STEM education research.

In order to ensure the quality of this research work and to allow for knowledge and innovations to be disseminated, research findings are presented and published in national and international forums.

Supporting innovation

The Teaching Support Centre also supports innovations in the school either through managing innovation projects or through working with and supporting other units in delivering innovations. Examples of recent innovation projects include:

  • the development of resources for students learning to work in groups as a support for the ‘Global Issues’ course;
  • the review of the system for evaluation and promotion of teaching in EPFL;
  • the introduction of the Tutorat system in first year physics and math courses, which was an innovation led by CRAFT (the Centre de Recherche et d’Appui pour la Formation et ses Technologies), the precursor of the Teaching Support Centre.

Research & Development programmes and projects

Examples of the Research & Development projects undertaken in recent years include the following.

Our publications

R. TormeyC. HardebolleS. Isaac : The Teaching Toolkit: design of a one-day pedagogical workshop for engineering graduate teaching assistantsEuropean Journal of Engineering Education. 2019-02-26. DOI : 10.1080/03043797.2019.1584606.
N. V. S. CoboletR. GrolimundC. HardebolleS. R. IsaacM. J. Panes et al. : Five Concrete Collaborations to Support SoTL Across CampusThe Grounded Instruction Librarian: Participating in The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; Chicago: ACRL, 2019. p. 378.
P. AebyR. FongM. VukmirovicS. IsaacR. Tormey : The Impact of Gender on Engineering Students’ Group Work ExperiencesInternational Journal Of Engineering Education. 2019-01-01.


P. AebyR. FongM. VukmirovicS. R. IsaacR. Tormey : The Impact of Gender on Engineering Students’ Group Work ExperiencesInternational Journal of Engineering Education. 2019.
S. R. IsaacI. Le DucC. HardebolleR. Tormey : Chapter 13: Training and Development Needs for a 21st Century AcademicGlobal Perspectives on Teaching Excellence: A new era for higher education; Taylor & Francis Ltd, 2018-02-12. p. 204.
A. C. HolzerD. GilletM. LaperrouzaJ.-P. MaîtreR. Tormey et al. : Fostering 21st Century Skills through Interdisciplinary Learning Experiences. 2018. 46th SEFI Annual Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark.
R. ArandesT. Bornet Dit VorgeatL.-D. RenaudE. RichardP. Poscio et al. : How do science and engineering students approach revisions? A self-regulated learning tool for supporting the transition from secondary to higher education. 2018-09-17. 46th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, Danish Technical University (DTU), Copenhagen, Danemark, September 17-21, 2018.
I. Le DucR. TormeyC. HardebolleS. R. IsaacH. Fueger : Does gender-sensitive teacher training have a place in Engineering Education? Assessing pedagogical training as a step towards gender-inclusive curricula. 2018-09-17. 46th SEFI Conference, Technical University, Copenhagen, Danemark, 17-21 September 2018. p. 976-983.
C. HardebolleP. PoscioR. Tormey : How do students perceive academic success in secondary schools and in higher education?. 2018-02-02. SFDN Conference 2018, Lucerne, Switzerland, 2 February 2018.
T. M. MaltaA. SokolovA. J. GentlesT. BurzykowskiL. Poisson et al. : Machine Learning Identifies Stemness Features Associated with Oncogenic DedifferentiationCell. 2018-04-05. DOI : 10.1016/j.cell.2018.03.034.


R. TormeyC. Hardebolle : Creating a Smart Learning Space: Learning with and learning from student-generated data about learning. 2017-09-18. 45th SEFI Annual Conference, Azorez, Portugal, 18-21 September 2017.
R. TormeyC. Hardebolle : Apprendre à étudier – Guide à l’usage des étudiants en sciences et en ingénierie ; PPUR.
R. Tormey : Curriculum co-design using participatory rapid prototyping tools. 2017. 45th SEFI Conference, Azores, Portugal, September 18-21, 2017.
P. PoscioJ.-M. FuerbringerC. Hardebolle : Analyse de l’utilisation des ressources comme outil diagnostique de l’acquisition. 2017. Questions de Pédagogies dans l’Enseignement Supérieur (QPES), Grenoble, 13-16 Juin, 2017. p. 225-234.
P. PoscioJ.-M. FuerbringerC. Hardebolle : Mastering a problem-solving method as a critical factor for the transition between Gymnase and EPFL ; SFDN Conference 2017, EPFL, February 14, 2017.
C. Hardebolle : Développement de l’utilisation des clickers à l’Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). 2016. 29ème Congrès de l’Association International de Pédagogie Universitaire (AIPU), Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, June 6-9, 2016.
I. Le Duc : Key Note: Stratégies pédagogiques favorisant l’apprentissage dans l’enseignement supérieur ; CONGRES PEPS 2016: Didactique des Hautes écoles – sports et mouvements Nouvelles pistes pour un enseignement adéquat dans les Hautes écoles., Haute Ecole Pédagogique, Lucerne, August 23-24, 2016.
I. Le DucR. TormeyS. R. IsaacC. HardebolleI. Vonèche Cardia : Ready to face the world?Lessons learnt from applying a Multi-Professional Shared Learning Test tofirst year Engineering and Science students at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. ; International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED) Conference 2016 Ethics, Care and Quality in Educational Development, Cape Town, South Africa, November 22-25, 2016.
I. Le DucS. BennounM. FeixasP. ScherrerV. Guerra : Educational Development Practices in Switzerland or Conquering the Swiss Alps of Higher Education. 2016. International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED) Conference 2016 Ethics, Care and Quality in Educational Development, Cape Town, South Africa, November 22-25, 2016.
I. Le DucS. IsaacR. TormeyC. HardebolleI. Vonèche Cardia : Évaluation de l’impact des cours ‘Enjeux Mondiaux’ dans le raisonnement éthique des étudiants de première année à l’École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). 2016. 29ème Congrès de l’Association International de Pédagogie Universitaire (AIPU), Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, June 6-9, 2016.
A. HolzerI. Vonèche CardiaS. BendahanA. BerneL. Bragazza et al. : Increasing the Perspectives of Engineering Undergraduates on Societal Issues through an Interdisciplinary ProgramInternational Journal of Engineering Education. 2016.
S. CuendetR. Tormey : Supporting Teacher Decision-Making Through Appropriate FeedbackGrand Challenge Problems in Technology-Enhanced Learning II: MOOCs and Beyond: Perspectives for Research, Practice, and Policy Making Developed at the Alpine Rendez-Vous in Villard-de-Lans; Heidelberg: Springer, 2016. p. 21-24.


S. R. IsaacR. Tormey : Undergraduate group projects: Challenges and learning experiences. 2015. DOI : 10.5339/qproc.2015.elc2014.19.
R. TormeyI. Le DucS. R. IsaacC. HardebolleI. Vonèche Cardia : The Formal and Hidden Curricula of Ethics in Engineering Education. 2015. 43rd Annual SEFI Conference, Orleans, France, June 29 – July 2, 2015.
A. LoyaA. GopalI. ShuklaP. JermannR. Tormey : Conscientious Behaviour, Flexibility and Learning in Massive Open On-Line Courses. 2015. World Conference on Educational Sciences, Malta, Febuary 2014. p. 519-525. DOI : 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.686.


R. Tormey : Critical Thinking and Development Education: How do we develop meta-cognitive capacities?Development Education in Policy and Practice; New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. p. 65-80.
T. J. BattesonR. TormeyT. D. Ritchie : Approaches to learning, metacognition and personality; an exploratory and confirmatory factor analysisProcedia Social and Behavioural Sciences. 2014. DOI : 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.611.
M. RacaP. DillenbourgR. Tormey : Sleepers’ lag – study on motion and attention. 2014. 4th Internation Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, March 24-28, 2014.


M. RacaR. TormeyP. Dillenbourg : Student motion and it’s potential as a classroom performance metric ; 3rd International Workshop on Teaching Analytics (IWTA), Paphos, Cyprus, September 17-21, 2013.
R. CorcoranR. Tormey : Does emotional intelligence predict student teachers’ performance?Teaching and Teacher Education. 2013. DOI : 10.1016/j.tate.2013.04.008.
M. LiddyR. Tormey : A question of knowledgeEducation that Matters: Teachers, Critical Pedagogy and Development Education and Local and Global Level; Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013.
S. R. IsaacC. DouzetB. BaillyJ. DouadyC. Durand et al. : Le réseau PENSERA, acteur du développement de structures d’appui pédagogique en France. 2012. 27e Congrès de l’Association internationale de pédagogie universitaire (AIPU), Trois Rivières, Québec.
S. R. IsaacE. Sylvestre : Pedagogical support services and academic developers at French universitiesHigher Education Research Network Journal. 2012.
P. J. WhiteD. SyncoxA. HepplestonS. IsaacB. Alters : Putting research into practice: Pedagogy development workshops change the teaching philosophy of graduate studentsCanadian Journal of Higher Education. 2012.
I. Le DucJ.-L. RicciP. Dillenbourg : L’analyse des commentaires des étudiants dans les évaluations de l’enseignement montre qu’ils sont plus sensibles au fond qu’à la forme.. 2012. 27 Congrès International de la Association de Pégagogie Universitaire AIPU, 2012, Université de Québec à Trois Rivières, Canada, Mai, 14 -1, 2012. p. 485-493.
R. CorcoranR. Tormey : Developing Emotionally Competent Teachers; Emotional Intelligence and Pre-Service Teacher Education ; Oxford: Peter Lang.
J. Demougeot-LebelJ.-L. RicciM. Romainville : Regards croisés sur des pratiques de formation à l’enseignement universitaireSavoirs – revue internationale de recherches en éducation et formation des adultes; Paris: L’Harmattan, 2012. p. 113-133.
J.-L. Ricci : Améliorer la réussite en première année par le tutorat en petits groupes. 2012. Congrès international de pédagogie universitaire AIPU, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada, 14 – 18 mai 2012. p. 606-614.
D. Ní ChróinínM. O’SullivanR. Tormey : Teacher educators’ perspectives on the implementation of beginning teacher standards for physical education in Ireland: developing and regulating the profession?European Journal of Teacher Education. 2012. DOI : 10.1080/02619768.2012.696191.
R. TormeyJ. Gleeson : Irish post-primary students’ attitudes towards ethnic minoritiesIrish Educational Studies. 2012. DOI : 10.1080/03323315.2012.676234.
R. P. CorcoranR. Tormey : How emotionally intelligent are pre-service teachers?Teaching and Teacher Education. 2012. DOI : 10.1016/j.tate.2012.02.007.
R. TormeyJ. Gleeson : The gendering of global citizenship: findings from a large-scale quantitative study on global citizenship education experiencesGender and Education. 2012. DOI : 10.1080/09540253.2011.646960.
R. P. CorcoranR. Tormey : Assessing Emotional Intelligence and Its Impact in Caring Professions: The Value of a Mixed-Methods Approach in Emotional Intelligence Work with TeachersEmotional Intelligence – New Perspectives and Applications; Rijeka, Croatia: InTech, 2012. p. 215-238.
D. Ní ChróinínR. TormeyM. O’Sullivan : Beginning teacher standards for physical education: Promoting a democratic ideal?Teaching and Teacher Education. 2012.


J.-L. RicciC. Ramseyer : Transformer les étudiants en acteurs: la mue d’un enseignement de 1ère année. 2011. 6ème colloque Questions de pédagogies dans l’enseignement supérieur, Angers – France, 8 – 10 juin 2011. p. 553-559.
J.-L. Ricci : Les pédagogies des enseignants à l’université sont-elles plus actives qu’on ne le croit?. 2011. 6ème colloque Questions de pédagogies dans l’enseignement supérieur, Angers – France, 8 – 10 juin 2011. p. 105-111.
N. NamaraR. Tormey : Women, Higher Education and Career Choice; Women’s experiences of higher education and career choice in Ireland and Uganda ; Saarbrucken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.
Teaching Global Perspectives: Introducing Student Teachers to Development Education ; Dublin: Liffey Press.


S. R. IsaacC. HoffmannJ. DouadyC. DurandE. Sylvestre et al. : Un outil de développement professionnel des conseillers pédagogiques dans l’enseignement supérieur : le réseau PENSERA. 2010. Association International de Pédagogie Universitaire, Rabat, Morocco, 17 au 21 Mai 2010.
R. Tormey : The silent politics of educational disadvantage and the National Anti-poverty StrategyIrish Educational Studies. 2010.
R. CorcoranR. Tormey : Teacher education, emotional competencies and development educationProcedia – Social and Behavioural Sciences. 2010.


J.-L. Ricci : La qualité de l’enseignement au supérieur : un vaste chantier qui déborde largement de l’opinion des étudiantsL’évaluation de l’enseignement par les étudiants: Approches critiques et pratiques innovantes; Bruxelles: De Boeck, 2009.
J.-L. Ricci : Une nouvelle approche du Guide de l’enseignant. 2008. 5ème colloque Questions de pédagogies dans l’enseignement supérieur, Brest – France, 18 – 20 juin 2008. p. 81-86.
R. TormeyM. LiddyH. MaguireA. McCloat : Working in the action/research nexus for education for sustainable development; two case studies from IrelandInternational Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. 2008.
R. TormeyD. Henchy : Re-imagining the traditional lecture: an action research approach to teaching student teachers to ‘do’ philosophyTeaching in Higher Education. 2008.


J.-L. Ricci : «Des projets collaboratifs de formation: pourquoi? comment? avec quels résultats? discussion et bilan de trois expériences en génie. 2007. 4ème colloque Questions de pédagogies dans l’enseignement supérieur., Louvain-La-Neuve, 24 – 26 janvier 2007. p. 591-593.
R. Tormey : Education and PovertyWelfare Policy and Poverty; Dublin: Institute for Public Administration, 2007. p. 169-200.
I. Le DucP. JermannP. Dillenbourg : An Analysis of Biases in the Teaching Assessment. 2007. SoTL Commons: A Conference for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Statesboro, GA, November 1-2, 2007.


J.-L. Ricci : L’évaluation des examens est-elle un sujet négligé de la pédagogie universitaire ?La pratique enseignante en mutation à l’université; Bruxelles: De Boeck, 2006. p. chapitre 2.
R. Tormey : The construction of national identity through primary school history: the Irish caseBritish Journal of Sociology of Education. 2006.




M. L. E. GOLDSCHMIDN. E. STAINIER : Actes du colloques international, 13 et 14 septembre 1995 à l’EPFL, [Lausanne] Ingénieurs et architectes ; Lausanne: Chaire de Pédagogie et didactique/EPFL.

Our conferences

SFDN Conference

2017 – Helping University Students Learn How to Learn