20 July 2020

SMART LEARNING, La Salle-URL's response to the new educational normality

The new teaching model, which will be applied to all face-to-face programs for the next academic year, is based on flexibility, personalization, technology and interactivity

The arrival of the new normal in university teaching puts, in the short term, uncertainties and problems. To respond to them, La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL presents SMART LEARNING, a new revolutionary educational model that anticipates the possible scenarios of the coming months to offer students the certainty of a quality academic training. The classrooms on the Campus will be smart classrooms, with technology that will ensure academic training regardless of the specific circumstances of each student, thus ensuring the highest teaching quality and strengthening the Learning by challenge method, which enhances the differentiating elements of La Salle's DNA: technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, transversality and internationalization.

SMART LEARNING makes teaching more flexible and adapts it to the new social reality and the specific needs of each student. Thus, La Salle-URL has made a two million euros investment, adapting the classrooms and the Campus, to offer multiple options and combinations according to the needs of the program and the students. The installation of state-of-the-art technological solutions will allow offline presence without barriers, using the leading technology for videoconferences. These solutions will focus on providing the student with a top-quality teaching experience: audio systems with more than 8,000 virtual microphones per classroom, cameras equipped with artificial intelligence and smart boards to share content to and from the smart classroom, enhancing collaborative work.

For all programs

The innovative technology in the smart classrooms will make possible to broadcast the face-to-face session live, so that students who are not in the classroom will appear on the screens and interact naturally with the teacher and classmates. The conditioning of the classrooms to the new system will be completed during the months of July and August, being ready for the start of the new academic year. More than 60 classes, rooms and laboratories at La Salle-URL Campus will be enabled for smart teaching. “The new normal demands a new way of teaching and learning from us. With SMART LEARNING we attend to these new needs in a flexible and technological way, so that all our Engineering, Architecture, Management, Animation and Digital Arts students can live a quality educational experience wherever they are”, explains Josep Maria Ribes, Director of Academic Planning at La Salle-URL.

The SMART LEARNING will be applied to all La Salle-URL studies for undergraduate, master's, postgraduate courses, courses and executive education from September. With this revolutionary multimodal and multiplatform teaching model, the institution reinforces one of its highlights: putting the student at the center of the educational process. "With SMART LEARNING we combine methodologies and platforms to bet on a new way of learning without barriers, interactive, intelligent and technological", sums up Josep M. Santos, general director of La Salle-URL. National and international students who cannot attend the Campus in September will be able to start their studies from wherever they are, participating in the sessions as just any another student. Likewise, if any inconvenience arises during the course, the students will be able to participate remotely and have live classes, maintaining the same academic schedule and in contact with their classmates and teachers.

A Smart Campus for SMART LEARNING

At the same time of the implementation of this new teaching model, La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL is committed to the safety and health of its entire community of students, teachers and workers. Following the guidelines of the administrations, and with the evaluation of companies specialized in the prevention of occupational hazards in teaching environments, a maximum capacity has been established for each space of the center, routes and internal accesses have been drawn and special signage has been installed to ensure correct mobility. “We are committed to the quality of offshoring presence, ensuring the highest degree of security in the current context”, explains Josep M. Santos.

The Smart Campus also includes the implementation of temperature controls, the increase and modification of cleaning protocols, the installation of hand sanitizer and special soaps, among other measures. In this context, the Campus services will remain unchanged and La Salle-URL's creative and research ecosystem will continue to function. To this end, collaborative work is being carried out with research groups, partner universities, universities with which there are exchange agreements, startups located in La Salle Technova and collaborating companies.

La Salle-URL promotes SMART LEARNING and takes a further step in its innovative ecosystem, influencing all areas of the educational process: in the service to students, international exchanges, distance practices, the telework model applied to the internships with companies, the job market and research projects. This holistic view allows La Salle-URL to reinforce the human experience, enhancing social relationships and maintaining educational excellence. "The new method allows the teaching and learning experience to evolve from the basis of Lasallian pedagogy, proximity to the student, accompaniment in their personal development, training people with values, people who add up", concludes Josep M. Santos.