by Valérie Moatti, Professor at ESCP Business School and Emmanuel Abord de Chatillon, Professor at Grenoble IAE, Université Grenoble Alpes with the active contribution of Juliette Fronty, PhD ESCP Business School.
Translated from the French by Andrew Beresford
The forced acceleration of university-level business education due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 has highlighted the limitations of existing systems for measuring and managing the teaching activities of professors. Although the subject is widely acknowledged, few studies or articles have been done on it.
Our study, based on an analysis of 25 qualitative interviews with experts from around the world, confirms the lack of innovation in this area, even though the importance of updating traditional measurement systems it is widely recognized. At present, there are two approaches: the Anglo-American model where teaching is mainly measured in terms of the number of very standardized courses and the continental European model based on the number of hours of in-person classes. With the digitalization of classes and the development of pedagogical innovations, the Anglo-American model seems to be much more robust. Although the majority of European actors recognize the importance of overhauling the metrics based on contact teaching hours – which are conventional but ultimately unsuitable – initiatives moving in this direction are rare and not entirely conclusive.
Our study also reveals a number of tensions that are generated or exacerbated by the development of digital teaching: distance learning vs in-person classes, synchronous vs asynchronous, individual vs collective, massification vs personalization, economies of scale vs time compression diseconomies, technology vs innovation, teaching vs research, communication (marketing) vs pedagogy, pedagogical innovation vs digital education, and the balance between permanent and adjunct professors.
It is in this context that we wish to put forward a set of proposals and recommendations to assist and guide faculties and schools of business in their transformation.