The Dual Consequence of Discursive Practices on both the Learning and the Education in University’s ...


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The Dual Consequence of Discursive Practices on both the Learning and the Education in University’s Evaluation Practices


Humanities Department, University of the French West Indies and Guiana, Schœlcher, 97232, Martinique


This article is about the observation of a French institute of high education, the one of University of the French West Indies and Guiana. This institute is based in the American-Caribbean area and composed of three universities, based on three different French territories: Guiana, Guadeloupe and Martinique. The reflection concerns a discourses’ corpus within training in Master’s degree (MA, MS/MSc), that is also specific to the European higher education system. The discursive exploitation refers to the analysis of both the results of assessments that students obtained during the period 2009-2013 and the discourses of students and academics that intervene in the Master. The reflection enables to apprehend the uneasiness resulting of the gap between the ideal expected profile and the actual profile of the student in postgraduate training. Face this fact, we hypothesize that failures and even the lack of certain knowledge that appears at the necessary prerequisites to the two years of Master undertaken. The fact remains that in terms of results, various verbal reactions proceeding of the students’ language practice from one year to another, between 2009 and 2012, converge towards a same discourse namely that the operated investments, then the efforts realized have a low and even an absence of impact on the respective learning paths but also on the results obtained at the end of the assessments. Moreover, this discourse is not specific to the students that obtained the more disappointing results and therefore are referred. Actually, it is also the discourse of the students that are admitted. This can be explained by the fact that, indeed, notes given are beyond 10/20, the average note; however they are closed to it. This implies a success that appears very modest compared to the excellence expected.

Cite this article:

  • DISPAGNE, Michel. "The Dual Consequence of Discursive Practices on both the Learning and the Education in University’s Evaluation Practices." American Journal of Educational Research 3.1 (2015): 54-61.
  • DISPAGNE, M. (2015). The Dual Consequence of Discursive Practices on both the Learning and the Education in University’s Evaluation Practices. American Journal of Educational Research, 3(1), 54-61.
  • DISPAGNE, Michel. "The Dual Consequence of Discursive Practices on both the Learning and the Education in University’s Evaluation Practices." American Journal of Educational Research 3, no. 1 (2015): 54-61.

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1. Introduction

This article develops our reflection about the observation of an institution of higher education, one the French speaking universities which is the University of the French West Indies and Guiana. This University is based in the American-Caribbean area and has three university centers situated on three French territories: the University of Guiana, the University of Guadeloupe and the University of Martinique. Usually, each start of academic year, it welcomes numerous classes of students desirous of pursuing higher education and investing/throwing themselves into levels’ learning which were defined by the reform of French higher education system in 2005. Ultimately, this organization - that was requested by the highest levels of the French state and imposed in all French universities - falls within the general setting of standardization of higher education degrees, regarding the European norms established in accordance with the L, M, D ternary system. Each of these letters refers both to a level of education and a diploma:

L: Bachelor’s degree (BA, BS/BSc)

M: Master’s degree (MA, MS/MSc)

D: Doctorate (PhD)

In the observation conducted at first sight, we intend to aim statistics taken from a document (July 2013) [1] of the institution, specific to the major Educational Science concerning classes of students who gained the professional master over several years. We defined them as starting-point of a research task questioning two discursive sources in order to shed light on what can explain the results furnished by students at the end of their training in one the UFR of the university of the French West Indies and Guiana, the one located on the university center of Martinique: the Education and Research Department of Humanities. The exploited data relate particularly to words heard from students enrolled in M, precisely in the Master degree of Professional Specialty – Engineering of Integration Actions and Local Development of the mention Education and Training, and to the words said about the students by the academics taking part in the training.

Education sciences only combine a third year of Bachelor (L3) and a Master with the major “Education and Training” declined in two specialties, the first one is the Master of Research Specialty – Learning Training and Integration (AFI); the second one is the Master of Professional Specialty – Engineering of Integration Actions and Local Development (IAIDL). Each of the specialties of the Master includes two years of training (M1 and M2). Moreover, the statistics on enrolments of the Education and Research Department of Humanities display information over four academic years (2099-2013), and about each of the both level of training. The symbols “NA” means “Not Available”. In other words, figures were not provided by the administration of the Education and Research Department of Humanities.

L3, we have the following figures:

2009-2010: registered students 88; admitted students 51; referred students 37

2010-2011: registered students 60; admitted students 33; referred students 28

2011-2012: registered students 55; admitted students 28; referred students 27

2012-2013: registered students 40; admitted students 16; referred students 24

M1 AFI, we have the following figures:

2009-2010: registered students 63; admitted students 56; referred students 7

2010-2011: registered students 35; admitted students 22; referred students 13

2011-2012: registered students 20; admitted students 14; referred students 6

2012-2013: registered students 22; admitted students 7; referred students 15

M2 AFI, we have the following figures:

2009-2010: registered students 351; admitted students 288; referred students 63

2010-2011: registered students 61; admitted students 23; referred students 38

2011-2012: registered students 53; admitted students 19; referred students 34

2012-2013: registered students 39; admitted students 53; referred students NA

M1 IAIDL, we have the following figures:

2009-2010: registered students 58; admitted students 33; referred students 25

2010-2011: registered students 29; admitted students 16; referred students 13

2011-2012: registered students 37; admitted students 30; referred students 7

2012-2013: registered students 19; admitted students 13; referred students 6

M2 IAIDL, we have the following figures:

2009-2010: registered students 25; admitted students 11; referred students 14

2010-2011: registered students 62; admitted students 22; referred students 40

2011-2012: registered students 54; admitted students 20; referred students 34

2012-2013: registered students 45; admitted students NA; referred students NA

The observation and analysis of the figures published in the document have two aims. The first aim is to provide a data board related to the evolution of the numbers of the 1st and 2nd years of Masters of Education Sciences that covers a three-year period from September 2009 to July 2012 [2]. The second aim is to indicate percentages level of admitted students and postponed students in relation to the total of registered students.

We could have focused on the follow-up to the variational curve of the number of the students’ admissions in the Master of Professional Specialty provided in the Education and Research Department and on the numbers movement since one’s talk much about the decrease of the numbers, amongst others, in this French university located in the American-Caribbean area, considering the university centers of the three regions: Guadeloupe, Guiana and Martinique.

Although the issue related to the numbers in this institution of higher education, located French-Caribbean context, is significant and serious, and concerns the three university centers, we have preferred to submit the data board to another type of exploitation and then undertake another type of analysis focused on critical observation of the results obtained by students during that same multiannual period. This orientation is somehow motivated by a repetitive fact, noticeable in every deliberation that shows that, generally speaking, students do not have the required level when analyzing results from their summative assessments, particularly students from the first and second years of the Master of Professional Specialty – Engineering of Integration Actions and Local Development (IAIDL). Moreover, on reflection of professors and trainers, those results have almost identical meanings. They show that “most of students of the two years do not have the required level”, the prerequisites are not satisfying, “the examination copies are of poor quality”, they do not reflect a structured and assimilated and structured learning/knowledge”, except, “a low proportion of students that distinguish themselves in each of the years and that furnish a working study and research relatively acceptable”. Besides, they also notice that “each year, we face the same problematic situation revealed by catastrophic results that vary little from one year to another.” [3].

So that is that discontent and preoccupation expressed in the discourses of teaching practices trainers – university and professionals – that made us decide to focus our attention and our reflection to another subject of reflection and that constitutes the title of our article that we have untitled:

“The double consequence of discursive practices on both the learning and the education in university’s evaluation practices “

The question that first, marks the starting point of the direction of our thinking and then, that is going to serve its development is:

What kind of new observations can be made from the figures document “Evolution in the number of students enrolled between 2009 and 2012” and concerning each level of 1st year and 2nd year of Master?

The table of figures shows three important sections which are the three important parameters of our study, namely “registered”, “admitted” and “deferred.” It goes without saying that for the sake of clarity, some precisions are to provide about these parameters. The parameter “registered” covers double information. The student enrolls in two steps. The first one consists in an administrative registration and the second one consists in a pedagogically registration. The second registration is about the discipline chosen and the subjects he/she must pass during the two semesters which constitute one university year. The two other parameters are useful references for both the university administration and the students, in order to evaluate both the institute and the students. The parameter “accepted” may show that the student passed the whole semester of the academic training, or that he/she passed one of the two semesters if the compensation of a semester does not allow readjusting the student’s results in order to validate the whole university year during the deliberations. As the parameter “referred”, it denotes that either one of the semesters is not validated or the two semesters are not validated. In the table related to our study, the data analysis of each year of the professional Master IAIDL [4], and then of the two years at the same time, shows that:

Concerning the 1st year of Master IAIDL, the first year studied (2009-2010) shows that almost the half of the 58 enrolled students were deferred. And it is the same for the second year. However, in the analysis of the third year studied (2011-2012), one can notice that a few students were deferred, exactly 7 students on the 37 students enrolled. Generally speaking, a little bit more than half of the students enrolled was deferred which represents exactly 45 students of a total enrollment’s students of 124.

Concerning the 2nd year of Master IAIDL, the first year analyzed (2009-2010) shows that 25 enrolled students were deferred, which represents more than half of the total number of students enrolled. It is the same for the second year (2010-2011) and for the third year (2011-2012). Generally speaking, on a total of 141 students enrolled in M2, there are 88 deferred students, which is well higher than the average (47).

Aggregating figures of the two levels’ training of the three years, we obtain a total enrollment of 265 students including 133 deferred students. We face two types of students, one whom the actual profile is in line with the thought or instituted or defined profile, which obtains the expected results that is to say the ones taking part of the success; and the other one whom the actual profile does not line with the defined profile which is below the expected results. The latter are marked by the failure. This gap should certainly not be generalized for it just concerns one part of the student population of the university. These students – marked by the failure – are the object of our concern. They are the object of our analysis and that our reflection intends to deeply clarify. Facing this fact, we advance the idea that some cognitive flaws, even the lack of certain knowledge remain in the prerequisites required for the education either in the 1st year of Master or in the 2nd year of Master.

2. Materials and Methods

From a methodological point of view, we precisely gathered three types of data and two observation levels related to the different promotions of students that we trained. We have restricted ourselves to the three years before the academic year 2009/2010, 2010/2011, 2011/2012. In addition, our function both as a teacher and head of the Professional Master in question, in our teaching and our sessions of discusses with students, we often were in contact with them and also the witnesses of the difficulties they expressed at times. Evaluative evocations emerged several times. They apprehended themselves at the beginning of a new course, at the approach of both formative and summative assessments and in the period following an evaluation. However, verbal remarks were not systematically written. They were rather following two modes: an immediate written record of the content of the exchange and a deferred one. Overall the three years earlier indicated we have benefited from these moments of exchange, in eighteen sessions of courses, of all masters. In the established methodological framework, the second level of recorded information concerns the discourse of the educational team whose members are involved in the 1st year and / or second year of the master. It also relates to the broader teaching staff working in the sector of Education, whose members deliver their courses from other masters in the same discipline of educational sciences. It appears that the times of information of the enlarged teaching team correspond to formal times, those within monthly educational meetings, those relating to semi-annual deliberations, specifically to the validations of the minutes’ notes referring to the two semesters following the European diagram LMD. Educational exchanges constantly focused on both the result of the averages obtained, especially those below 10 and the upstream analysis of the different grades obtained in the different subjects of the specialty of the degree. The synthesis of these moments of exchange follows a double movement. It is contained in a report (PV) by the head of the discipline, and then sent by email to all of the teaching team. This has been a significant corpus of information that we have added to our research for the period 2009-2012, and that corresponds to 24 minutes. The third type of data on which the analysis is based is oriented to the content of an evaluation administrative document released annually. We have already talked about it and exploited it. It is usually published at the end of the last semester of the academic year. Each time, it contains the same type of data on enrollment by degree and level. This data becomes meaningful precisely when they are entered into a whole, thus occurred over several years. This data are the ones found in the table of figures that were assigned by the administration, and that we used. It is entitled "Enrollment evolution 2009-2012".

As the theoretical references that consistently fueled our research, they also helped to inform our thinking, especially on the issue of institutional partners, and a place was made to the actors of the university system and the various relationships they establish. And in the dual objective of transmission and acquisition of knowledge, so far as they involved in the heart of the system, some can provide training for the benefit of other partners, qualified learners. These actors in question are students and teachers. They allowed privileging, for instance, the notion related to “support systems” of students. In this regard, among other readings, we also looked into the synthesis article Michaut Christophe (2003) [5] about “the effectiveness of students’ support systems in universities.” In order to remedy difficulties faced by the student, the teacher is led to take the student’s cognitive level into account and modify his teaching method against improved learning methods. In this perspective, the concept of differentiated instruction used by the teacher was addressed and examined in the context of our reflection conducted in university context. As Bruno Robbes stressed in substance in his observation of “differentiated instruction” (2009), introduced by Célestin Freinet, this approach taken by the teacher seeks to adapt the individual learning method to the needs and level of the student. In the same article and on the same subject Robbes presents an issue which highlights the concerns of Philippe Meirieu that we think sheds great light on the debate of the question of “differentiated instruction”. It is interesting to note, based on what Robbes has said, the approach taken by different disciplines. From an anthropological perspective, differentiated instruction relies on an observation, and that is the heterogeneity among humans is a fact and thus well-founded. From a pedagogic microsociology, Philippe Perrenoud shows in his publication «La pédagogie à l’école des différences” (1995) that «no two students are treated the same way by a teacher» and that this phenomenon is a matter of daily reality. On the side of psychology of learning, Robert Burns in «Methods for individualizing instruction. Educational Technology, 11, p. 55-56» (1971) refers to the founding texts, which postulate that «no two learners learn the same way” and show that differentiated instruction is “focused on the student”. At the macrosociological level, Sabine Laurent, in the text cited earlier, focuses on the fact that differentiated instruction will attempt to address “the differences to be taken into account among members of the public in order to devise learning situations.” This concept of differences, according to Françoise Campanale, can be dealt with in two ways. Using a quantitative approach, “the individual differences are perceived as delayed development, shortcomings in learning in early childhood, flaws in personality development, all shortcomings” in relation to a socio-standardized school norm. “This quantitative interpretation leads to the differences being dealt with in a compensatory manner, that is, remediation in the sense of remedy, support.” Using the qualitative approach to the differences, as presented in the collective publication of Bautier, E., Charlot, B., & Rochex, J.-Y. «Entre apprentissage et métier d’élève: le rapport au savoir”. In Van Zanten, A. L’école: l’état des savoirs (2000: 179-188), one postulates that “by way of its norms, the school establishes a culture related to the one developed by the dominant classes in the society. (…) The differences are evidence of diversities and not shortcomings”, and “it is the failure to take these diversities of cultures of origin into account that creates those shortcomings.” Robbes noted that "this cultural distance in addition to difficult decoding of the implied educational conveyed by the teacher.» This design," he said, "then guess «treatment of the differences (...)» multicultural, (a) diversity of mediations and mediators, (the) involvement of the student in the assessment (the child must be able to take up the academic standards which are not necessarily those of the family environment), (la) enhancement of personal experience, (the) absence of value judgments...”. In other words, in the debate which is based on the questions "how to deal with the differences between students? '' How not to turn individual differences in inequality of school success reproducing social inequalities?”, the differentiated instruction is committed to provide answers.

Philippe Meirieu, in his book "La pédagogie différenciée enfermement ou ouverture?'' (1996: 1-32), is based on this approach to the differences and the tracking of the intentions and pedagogical implementations to distinguish between two theoretical currents of differentiation "priori diagnosis (or technocratic management of differences) and regulated inventiveness (or the voltage" invention/regulation"). It will prioritize the second. We take here the interesting synthesis of Meirieu transmits to us by Bruno Robbes (2009) and the comment he made. "According to him, the a priori diagnosis leads to an educational impasse: either streamline the learning situation in order to achieve a typology of mental operations which is more or less manageable, or one can conduct limitless investigations that take into account all the differences (symbolic, emotional, social). The impasse stems from the fact that in no way can educational remediation be mechanically deduced from the characteristics of subjects, which are 'as indicators of relevance to didactic proposals that can be applied elswhere" (p. 11). "In conclusion, Meirieu believes that" technocratic management of differences is part of this negation of the place of the subject in his own education, it mixes the training of persons with the manufacture of objects, it is unaware that nothing can be done where the student is concerned without it being bone by the student.”" (p. 13). "«On the contrary, the regulated inventiveness endeavors not to stay in a pedagogy of causes, but promotes a pedagogy of conditions. It "accepts as an "inescapable" reality the fact that I have absolutely no power over the will of another, and that I cannot activate his learning process in a mechanical way”. Thus, the teacher now has the ability to act, by developing methods, situations, plans, teaching techniques and tools, that will enable the students, though in fact different, to learn.

The pedagogy of conditions endeavours to create learning spaces, and to provide tools, enhance the learning environment and encourage expression ; great emphasis is placed on ensuring that the classroom is a safe place, with no constant pressure of being evaluated/tested, and not being made fun of either in the case of trial and error or failure. (...). The pedagogy of conditions measures the importance of a positive outlook, which doesn’t keep one confined, or frozen, but encourages the unpredictable.» It knows the urgent necessity of always finding new methods deep in one’s mind using one’s means by searching imagination, so that each student, with their differences, can discover for themselves, what makes them develop…" (p. 14). Ultimately, in the thinking of Philippe Meirieu, the issue of differentiated pedagogy makes common cause with the model of society to promote. This pedagogy is based on a rationalization of the human, to know more, to detect strengths and weaknesses of individuals and the differences between them can lead to predictions, plans, said Meirieu, but also marginalization.

It is this that led us to both an informative halt in the reflexive space of Laure Endrizzi and an informative read of her file “Learning how to teach in higher education: A matter of excellence” (2011) [6]. This pedagogical approach aims to make this requirement by allowing those who have incomplete knowledge gaps and achieve the success expected. Excellence lies in the strategies developed by the teacher to facilitate access to knowledge of the student who lag behind. The essential contribution of Pierre Pastré (2011) [7] on the passage of "tacit" to "explicit" in his book "The professional didactics" which questions the process of appropriation of knowledge in the learner rather puts emphasis on the importance of conceptualizing / formalization of knowledge internalized. Tacit knowledge in the meaning of Ariel Doulière (2006), is a practical knowledge that is not explicitly formulated and which is transferable only in direct contact, in an imitation of one the one who doesn’t know (the learner) compared to one who knows (the teacher). Of this contribution, we note that opposite to the observed public, restoration of the knowledge that is little by little its formalization serves mostly developer, an evaluator to the teacher. It indicates the degree of mastery of the transmitted knowledge the trainer or reveals aspects of this knowledge that are not controlled and are working with other strategies. Furthermore, in her memory of Master, untitled “If employees knew all the things they know”, Ariel Doulière (2006) [8] makes of it a significant explanation. In this intellectual operation, the ability to control the explicitness talks (Pierre Vermersch, 1994) [9] is perfectly justified in the relationship constantly between the teacher and the learner. This reflection is relayed in the presentations of Henri Boudreault on "La didactique professionelle" (2010) [10] and also in the reflection developed by Isabelle Vinatier (2013) [11] where the professionalism of the teacher is required for efficient support of the learner to achieve the learning with the skills expected. Even if this skill is required in face-to-face teaching, admittedly, not all of the trainers not have this expertise. In addition, Romain Meltz (, 2008), in the his review of the book by Isabelle Vinatier & Marguerite Altet, "Analyser et comprendre la pratique ensegnante" notes like Gilles Vigneaud, prompt to conclude the work that "the words [of its practices] is difficult for the teacher, but it is difficult for the researcher, as it is true that the predicative form of knowledge expressed by a person only very partially reflects the operative form that it implements', in situation " (p. 186). In fact, these aims focused on the concept of “skill” introduce us, among other readings, into the reading of two books, the Jacques Leplat one (1997) [12] and the Guy Le Boterf one (2000) [13]. We notice that Jacques Leplat leaned more on two disciplines, psychology and ergonomic. They both focus the attention on the activities of formative work and their analysis. As such, it is interesting to share the reflection of Guy Leboterf between "having the competence" and "being competent". Professional, he said, can have many skills and be not competent. The approach given to talk of "act with competence in a situation" through the mobilization of "a combinatorial of personal and external resources" where the Professional is the creator. But, we associated to these disciplines, a third one which is sociolinguistic where discourse and representations also play a significant role in the apprehension of human, education and training situations. That is also why the collective book of Isabelle Vinatier and Marguerite Altet, untitled “Analyzing and understanding the teaching practice” (2008), was again cited. The reflections of the authors also contributed to question our own teaching and learning university context. We will go back to it, in detail, in the discursive part reserved to this purpose.

3. Results

Two types of reactions, formalized by two types of discourse will form the main points of this part.

The first series of discourse gathers various responses that we collected nigh the students enrolled from one year to another, between 2009 and 2012. These converge towards a same student discourse, namely that investments operated by them – therefore in the context of their own training – the efforts they made to succeed had, they say, a weak and even lack of impact on their respective learning and training progression. And, the state of the results obtained at the end of the assessments is an evident indicator. It is not good. Moreover, the analysis of the investigations reveals that the terms of this discourse is not specific to the questioned students, in particular the ones who obtained results well below the average note, and are consequently deferred. This discourse is reinforced by students who have validated they year of training as well. They think that their respective results are disappointing. The explanation is that, although the notes they obtained are superior to 10, they are too close of 10, which involves a very average success that has a strong impact on their employability. Remember that the Professional Master followed by these students, have a purpose recognized through targeted skills which are recorded in the Referential of the university institution that is available on the platform PARI [14] of the UAG.

The second series of discourse includes exchanges from the educational team whose members (academics and professionals) intervene in the professional master of the 1st and 2nd years. These discusses happened in formal moments that we designate by the phrase “educational meeting”. We collected them in a formal way, in the transmitted minutes. We face the same conclusion that echoes the words said by the students. Unanimously, the notes are catastrophic, they say. Although some students obtain an average note, the teachers of the discipline notice that they have important methodological and theoretical lacks which overburdens the various courses of the university curriculum of the level M of the LMD. These lacks are easily identifiable in the formative and summative assessments. Moreover, the teaching team clearly points out that the tutorials focused on cognitive, practical and interactive activities and to clarify and reinforce theoretical contribution, do not cause significant changes in terms of both evolution in the learning practices and written productions of students concerned. The different members of the educational team (academics and professionals) emphasize that the level of comprehension is hazardous for most students in Master, therefore it is insufficient. The literacy of some students shows visible flaws through their different written productions within their assigned evaluations. In the end, the improvements are not substantial given the results displayed. Neither the education provided by the academic, nor the appropriation of the expected knowledge from the students get to reach their final purpose, which are their own success and the one of the effectiveness and the efficiency of the means deployed by the teachers without any “assistive devices” formalized to that level of education.

4. Discussion

From the previous ascertainment, we go back to the comparison of the “defined profile” of the student by the university and the Master, with the “actual profile” of the student who reveals himself/herself through the various activities data during that university program. The gap between these two profiles is obvious. Yet the admission in the program of the first year and second year of the master is not done haphazardly. The training system is clear and the admission requirements are well defined in all French universities in general and the University of the West Indies and Guiana in particular. In this regard, during discussions with the teaching staff, the issue of the admission of students into the program was asked. Given their level, how could they be admitted in the program?

The examination of the enrollments’ conditions was addressed and the staff questioned on the flaws that made the entry filters ineffective. The following conclusion made is that the student just needs the Bachelor diploma to be admitted in the M1, while one can neither know if he/she had a training course without difficulties, nor predict if the student is going to pass the examinations. Furthermore, local initiatives, considered as informal tutorial from some teachers, do not really impact the success of the students. As Magali Danner (2000) [15] said, taking account the tutorials during the Bachelor degree, the ones who benefit more from them are the tutors and not the students. Unlike the tutorial for the students of Bachelor degree in instituted in France since 1998 – in the context of SBP (Success Bachelor plan), based on a methodological educational accompaniment in order to allow the success of these students – nothing has been done to accompany students during their Master degree. Moreover, this help plan for the success of Bachelor degree’s students does not really give the expected results. Then, should one reject it as an adapted mean for the Master degree’s students?

In the University of French West Indies and Guiana generally speaking, and in the Department of Education and Research of Humanities specifically, the SBP fails. This ascertainment echoes to the evaluation of this support device done by Christophe Michaut, and points out in his article that the non-significant effect of this device in the research which was conducted in the first cycle of just one university. Of course, he says, such a research must be confirmed by some other ones. The theoretical and methodological gap emphasized during the last educational meeting in the end of the year, in June 2012, provoked a pedagogical spurt in the discipline of the educational sciences, in the academic year 2012. It led to the settle of research seminaries directed towards the second year students. The aim was first selective for it had to develop methodological automatisms in order to facilitate the students’ research step for they have to write and defend a memory in the end of the year. Each member of the educational team has to present his/her research didactically and use the discuss space to explain in detail some steps of the research. The purpose was to help the students understand better the mechanisms.

The assessment of this action shows that from the academics’ side discourse, few students are assiduous and among the most persevering students few questions are asked. The students’ side discourse shows that they do not understand the different themes addressed during the seminaries. The scientific discourses made during the seminaries do not echo the audience of students for they are obscure to them (the students), so they do not understand them (the discourses). Therefore, the so-called purpose is not reached for the teaching team. The question is to know if the different aims, as they were first transmitted, are able to be understood by the targeted audience. Are they enough transposed to be teaching objects? Can one explain this ascertainment by the fact that the postures to have and the methodological protocol in the seminaries of research were not discussed by the teaching team? This leads to the following question:

How do the academics work nigh this audience? Which analyses one can deduce? And from them, one can answer to the following question: What can the educational team do to reach a real efficiency nigh the students?

The file presented by the French Institute of the Education (IFE) through the article of Laure Endrizzi (2011) [16] is very informative, especially because she rightly points out both the solitary character of the educational team in universities and its lack of coordination. I quote Endrizzi who she quotes Alain Coulon and Saeed Paivandi (2008) [17]:

“The pedagogical work remains, however, a solitary activity, uncoordinated. Multiple conflicts are capable of reduce the possibility of a collective educational reflection.”

In the context of consideration and flattening of the educational activity and of the individual reflections that ensue of it, as Laure Endrizzi (2011) [18] says, one is both still “under the guise of the informal training and one remains below, which emphasizes Jean-Marie De Ketele (2010) [19] in the title of his article: “The university pedagogy: a booming current” and of what present Marc Romainville and Nicole Rege Colet (2006) [20] through the suggestive book namely: “The teaching practice changing in university”. The book speaks of ongoing changes at French universities where teaching practices do not only focus on research at the expense of teaching. In other words the teaching component takes an important place in the academic practice through new learning strategies in face to face teaching to increase the learner’s access to knowledge.

5. Conclusions

From these reflective elements highlighted and developed above, and assuming the hypothesis of settling a Master Success Plan (MSP) by the university, by the formalization of this device like the Bachelor Success Plan (BSP), some preliminary indices come to us, in order to give alternative and operational answers. The operability aimed in the descripted situations and in this article, is transposable in some other educational and training systems. This is the detail of two series of methodological devices namely:

-The first series, as a support system, is similar to the tools used in the device support of the Bachelor degree. We had spotted two types. One of them was suggested by Christophe Michaut (2003) [21]. The question of the efficiency of that new device from that first type remains in an old institutional posture through the answer to the following question:

How do the proposed means stem the students’ failures and consequently, how do they prevent their difficulties? This means that this device is to couple with another device that would evaluate at one point the first one.

The second type of support system has an integrative scope and also needs a constant readjustment. It is subject to the same questioning than the previous support system. It would be named: “Semester of Training to the Higher Studies of Humanities” or “Educational Teaching Contract”. From the methodological point of view, these devices remain obviously institutional resources that certainly can be relevant in our context, but also transposable in other contexts, in the first aim to allow a strong integration of the students in their university program. At the beginning, they were used for the Bachelor degree’s student, but they also can be adapted to the Master degree’s students, which have low potentialities of succeed, if the emphasis is on the help for the passage from the “tacit knowledge” to the “awareness and explicit knowledge”, as recommended by Pierre Pastré (2004) and where the device experimented and recorded by Pierre Vermersch in his book “Explicitness talks” (1994), or among other things, constantly provoked in the pedagogical support by the training-tutors in order to the devices used make their respective efficiency and lead the students to succeed.

-The second series of the methodological devices declines in the implementation of a “networks” university operation whose one of the levers “Resources” would ensure the defense and the operational of an “Online Resources Center” that would work with help operators would intervene both on the informative part and the guidance part. In the University of French West Indies and Guiana, this network establishment would enter in a dynamic of cooperation along with another lever “Resource”, the one of the “Interregional Observatory of the Professional Student-Integration” which is a resource that already works, but that acts an isolated way and with an insufficient number of professional operators. The purpose is to allow the different resources to federate pedagogical innovating and applicable actions, after adapting them, on the one hand, to some other educational and training spaces, and on the other hand, to develop in a sustainable way, didactical reflections considering the various social and anthropological contexts of local learnings. Ultimately, this research, by analyzing the teaching practices in the academic setting, seeks to better identify the problems encountered by teachers and students. Highlighting the information obtained in this research can contribute to the development of new strategies to enrich the educational and pedagogical actions and to improve face-to-face learning. The analysis done here is not for the construction of theoretical models, but to better understand educational practices, learning and training, and improve the teaching skills of teachers, and the impact of the teaching on the student. And most importantly, the student must play an active role in his education by becoming self motivated with regard to taking responsibility for his human and cultural development. This research can lead to comparisons with research of a similar nature to increase the knowledge in this filed.

Statement of Competing Interests

The author has no competing interests.

List of Abbreviations

UAG: University of the French West Indies and Guiana for ‘Université des Antilles Guyane’

LMD: the French high education diplomas: ‘Licence – Master – Doctorat’ respectively for Bachelor’s degree (BA, Bs/BSc) – Master’s degree (MA, Ms/MSc) – Doctorate (PhD) (p. 2)

AFI: Learning Training and Integration for ‘Apprentissage, Formation et Insertion’ (p. 2)

IAIDL: Engineering of Integration Actions and Local Development for ‘Ingénierie des Actions d’insertion et de Développement Local’ (p. 2)

M1: First year of Master (p. 2)

M2: Second year of Master (p. 2)

PARI: Plateforme d’Accompagnement Pour la Réussite et l’Insertion (p.8)

SBP: Success Bachelor Plan (p. 9)

IFE: Institut Français pour l’Éducation (French Institute for the Education) (p. 10)


[1]  The document of the university is composed of registered statistical tables of admitted and referred students coming from twelve courses (English, Spanish, French Literature, Creole, History, Geography, Infocom, Educational Sciences, FFL, ESL, plastics and Translation Studies Arts) representing two levels of training: L and M and providing figures on four academic years. The table does not provide data for all students enrolled in the Master 2 in the 2012-2013 academic year. This lack of data is due to the fact that most of students have not supported their memory and therefore had no note, which has prevent from knowing the exact statistics about the admitted students and the referred students of M2.
In article      
[2]  Document belonging to the administration of the Department of Humanities and published in December 2012.
In article      
[3]  This small corpus of words is a copy of what is constantly heard in many educational meetings of academics in the field and / or during deliberations about students’ assessments conducted at the end of the semester by the academics team itself.
In article      
[4]  Engineering of Integration Actions and Local Development
In article      
[5]  C. Michaut, «L’efficacité des dispositifs d’aide aux étudiants dans les universités”, Recherche et Formation»; N° 43, 2003.
In article      
[6]  Dossier d’actualité veille et analyse, n°64, septembre 2011.
In article      
[7]  «La didactique professionnelle”.
In article      
[8]  Les savoirs tacites: «si les salariés savaient tout ce qu’ils savent !”.
In article      
[9]  L’entretien d’explicitation en formation continue et initiale.
In article      
[10]  Course offered at UQAM (Université du Qubébec à Montréal) in a vocational and technical training.
In article      
[11]  «La didactique professionnelle et le travail de l’enseignant”
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[12]  «Regards sur l’activité en situation”.
In article      
[13]  «Construire les compétences individuelles et collectives”.
In article      
[14]  PARI: Plateforme d’Accompagnement Pour la Réussite et l’Insertion. It is a service of the Bureau of Assistance to Professional Insertion (BAIP) of the UAG. BAIP is itself part of SUIO (University Department of Information and Orientation). Available: [accessed 17.10.2013]
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[19]  Jean-Marie De Ketele, Revue Française de pédagogie, N° 172, p. 5-13.
In article      
[20]  Ouvrage collectif, Bruxelles, De Boeck.
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[21]  L’efficacité des dispositifs d’aide aux étudiants dans les universités, n° 43.
In article      
[22]  Coulon Alain & Paivandi Saeed, État des savoirs sur les relations entre les étudiants, les enseignants et les IATOSS dans les établissements d’enseignements supérieurs, Paris, 2008, Observatoire de la Vie Étudiante (OVE).
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[23]  Danner Magali, À qui profite le tutorat mis en place dans le premier cycle universitaire?, Les Sciences de l’éducation pour l’ère nouvelle, vol. 33, 1, p. 25-41. 2000.
In article      
[24]  Endrizzi Laure, «Savoir enseigner dans le supérieur: un enjeu d’excellence pédagogique”, Dossier d’actualité: veille et analyse, n°64. 2011.
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In article      
[26]  Knight Peter T., Tait Jo & Yorke Mantz, The professional learning of teachers in higher education, Studies in Higher Education, vol. 31, n°3, p. 319-339. 2006.
In article      
[27]  Michaut Christophe (2003), «L’efficacité des dispositifs d’aide aux étudiants dans les universités”, Recherche et Formation, n°43.
In article      
[28]  Le Boterf Guy, Construire les compétences individuelles et collectives, Paris, 2000, Editions d’Organisation.
In article      
[29]  Leplat Jacques, Regards sur l’activité en situation, Paris, 1997, Armand Colin.
In article      
[30]  Pastré Pierre, La didactique professionnelle: approche anthropologique du développement chez l’adulte, 2011, Paris, PUF.
In article      
[31]  Romainville Marc & Rege Colet Nicole, La pratique enseignante en mutation à l’université, 2006, Bruxelles, De Boeck.
In article      
[32]  Vermersch Pierre, L’entretien d’explicitation en formation continue et initiale, 1994, Paris, ESF.
In article      
[33]  Vinatier Isabelle & Altet Marguerite, Analyser et comprendre la pratique enseignante, 2008, Rennes, PUR.
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[34]  Vinatier Isabelle, La didactique professionnelle et le travail de l’enseignant, 2013, Paris, de Boeck.
In article      
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