Teaching Methodology

OUR APPROACH:

IFA Paris’ pedagogy is based on a holistic approach. We accompany our students in a journey of personal and professional self-discovery through a carefully crafted teaching and learning strategy. With more than 50 nationalities representing our student population, our teams are constantly evaluating any potential emotional distress that could be generated by a cultural shock. Therefore, we implement Social and Emotional Learning, as well as Trauma Informed Teaching, to ensure that any potential issues can be addressed.

We do not limit ourselves to deliver knowledge benchmarked against standardized outcomes. On the contrary, we leverage on our flexible organizational structure to ensure we stimulate students’ creativity and critical thinking skills by confronting them with unconventional projects. The past decades have taught us that the most important quality to have, not only as a future professional but also as an individual, is the capacity to handle risk and uncertainty. Therefore, within all our academic programs, and whether our students are in their junior or senior year, we challenge them with professional case studies that make them deconstruct the norms in order to develop innovative solutions to the fashion industry’s most pressing issues.

Our approach is structured around the following components:

Our academic programs are built around core modules. They represent the building blocks allowing students to validate industry specific competencies (ex: Pattern Making, Draping, Accounting…etc). Each core module is arranged according to pre-requisites to develop a logical progression in competences and skills acquisition. Core modules are also arranged with co-requisites. More specifically, assignments are programmed across transversal components to favour the utilization of a variety of transferrable skills.

In addition, with face to face teaching hours, our programs integrate self-directed learning activities, built on the concept of flipped classroom, to encourage our students to develop autonomy and responsibility in their learning experience.

Much too frequently, being enrolled in an academic institution equates to a disconnect with reality. Hence why most graduates are often going through a period of shock when they exit the lofty environment of their schools to go work for companies. This disconnect is the reason why we integrate in all our academic programs, regardless of their levels, projects, competitions and internships. They play a fundamental role in the promotion of students learning and motivation.

Projects are always done in tandem with our industry partners. Our students are given a professional brief with the client being involved in all stages of the project. Students must deal with teamwork and dynamics to ensure they meet the requirements of the client’s intermediary and final delivery presentations. Students are given the opportunity to learn from peer-interaction, external stakeholders’ evaluation and have the potential for earning esteem beyond the confines of the academy.

Competitions stimulate professional, commercial and industrial interests, press exposure, leading to greater understanding of the fashion industry while giving students the ability to test their work against that of scholars elsewhere.

Internships are directly built within the academic calendar of each program. Students have the opportunity to work during Paris Fashion Weeks in the backstage of the most famous fashion houses and/or in their showrooms. In addition to these short-term opportunities, all our students are asked to secure internships varying between 3 to 9 months in length in order to validate their credits.

Our students who choose to complete internships abroad are supported by administration in providing them with adapted internship contracts. It is important to note that certain countries do not allow foreign students to have the status of interns. In such cases, our academic team will replace the internship report with a report based on the analysis of a chosen fashion industry segment to ensure that all students will be able to acquire the necessary amount of ECTS.

Core competencies and skills are not enough to ensure that our graduates can ultimately become the industry leaders of tomorrow. Our academic teams have devised special seminars and workshops to broaden our students’ intellectual perspective. We cover themes such as gender fluidity, modest fashion, cultural sensitivity and inclusivity, people migration or even disability and fashion. Through these thought-provoking practical modules, our students develop an understanding of themselves, and their industry, that is not defined by restrictive and stereotypical frameworks.

Students are required to keep Personal and Professional Development notes, notebooks and e-portfolios in order to gauge and identify their own skills, to help them refine their interests and critically reflect on their progress. They are given the opportunity to rehearse and test out scenarios for future employment and enterprise and develop final collection look-books, specification sheets, CVs and e-portfolios to demonstrate their skills to prospective employers.

In addition to the traditional view on Personal and professional Development Techniques, IFA Paris provides students with sessions of personal coaching as well as an introduction to the concept of mindfulness. The main objective is to allow IFA Paris’ graduates to complete a theoretical “auto-portrait” that will ultimately allow them to project themselves efficiently into their future.

Our students are also encouraged to acquire micro-credentials through enrolment in additional modules that are not part of a set academic program. This concept allows them to acquire skills outside of their chosen academic specialization and to broaden their professional competencies.

The use of IT is an essential skill for education and employment. However, tech literacy is most of the time limited to acquiring competencies linked with traditional software suites. IFA Paris has decided to keep abreast of the digital transformation facing the fashion industry. We have launched in our Paris campus a dedicated Fashion Tech Lab named “Foundry”. Students from all programs can have access to the facility and explore cutting edge technologies related with digital pattern making, body scanning, virtual reality and even apprenticeship of Machine Learning for AI. The academic team has also integrated within all academic programs tech infused modules, seminars and projects addressing specific industry issues that can be solved through the adoption of a Tech perspective.

Students enrolled in our Online Postgraduate Fashion Tech and Innovation program benefit from remote access to Foundry’s Equipment.

In line with IFA Paris commitment to sustainability, we are committed to help our students transform in key drivers of change who will be able to make coincide 3 important components: Planet, People and Profit. Through a variety of lectures and ateliers, students will be introduced to environmental accountancy, biomass textiles, upcycling techniques, extending product lifecycle techniques as well as strategies aiming at “closing the loop”. For more information on our commitment to sustainability, feel free to read through our sustainability manifesto.

ONLINE TO OFFLINE (O2O) E-LEARNING STRATEGY:

When following E-Learning Programs students often feel they are deprived from a physical contact with their lecturers and fellow classmates. Creating an environment where opportunities to socialize abound plays a big part in optimizing students’ learning curve.

IFA Paris – Learn Online, the dedicated E-Learning Offer of IFA Paris, is committed to recreate the conditions of a physical learning environment to provide every student with a fully immersive experience.

With its online to offline approach, IFA Paris – Learn Online aims to mix physical and online cohorts of students for its Bachelor and Postgraduate Programs. Every classroom in IFA Paris campuses are equipped with two cameras providing views of fellow classmates as well lecturers handling specific modules. The objective is to ensure that remote students can fully be integrated within class dynamics.

Our lecturers are specifically trained to handle this dual Online/Off-Line Environment. For theoretical modules, lecturer assistants are present to manage and coordinate interactions.

Group Projects are structured to allow a mix between students attending the program physically and those following it remotely. A virtual “makerspace” is available to our remote students through the access of various software and equipment.

NB: For the moment, the physical classroom environment concept is only available in Paris and Istanbul Regional Centres. Our centre based in Shanghai will implement this concept at a later date.

The most frustrating aspect of an online program can be the impossibility to interact live with lecturers and other students due to time zone constraints. How can a student following an online program in Sydney have the same experience as one based in Europe?

To ensure that all our students have a homogeneous experience, regardless of their location, we are leveraging on IFA Paris international network to create regional online centres. Our campuses in Paris, Istanbul and Shanghai will all be equipped to deliver the entirety of IFA Paris Online E-Learning Academic Offer.

Enrolled students will be assigned according to geographic zones as follows:

Paris Regional Centre:

North and South America
Europe
West Africa
Russia

Istanbul Regional Centre:

East Africa
Middle East
Pakistan
India

Shanghai Regional Centre:

South-East Asia
North Asia
Oceania

While all IFA Paris Online E-Learning Programs will be delivered uniformly, regardless of regional centres, students will have access to their dedicated Student Services Office in an effort to provide a swift and efficient support for everybody.

All students enrolling in IFA PARIS Online programs will be given the possibility to download the full Microsoft Pack Office for free. They will have access to Microsoft Teams, the Learning Management System utilized by all students registered at IFA Paris.

Microsoft Teams has the following characteristics:

  • Ability to view the lecturers and other students (remote and physically present in IFA Paris) through a video interface
  • Screen sharing capabilities to have access to the presentations show by the lecturers
  • Dedicated group chats to interact with lecturers and students physically present on campus
  • Access to teaching materials, project briefs, assignment feedbacks and grades
  • Access to Stream, a dedicated cloud space on which students will have access to all lessons on a VOD Format
  • Synchronization with the rest of the software available on Microsoft Office Pack

IFA Paris has built its reputation for excellence through its tight connections with industry shakers and movers. Students following our programs remotely will also have access to selected campus talks, Art-Club Sessions, seminars and job fairs.

Thanks to an adapted academic calendar, IFA Paris students have access to internship opportunities during the Fashion Weeks in Paris. Whether you are interested in working backstage or in a showroom, we have a plethora of offers readily available to our students. Our academic programs also incorporate long-term internships which duration can range from 3 to 9 months.

Thanks to our AlumnForce platform, students enrolled in IFA PARIS Online E-Learning Programs will have access, in real-time, to the same offers provided to our students on campus. Whether you live in New-York, Moscow or Singapore, you will always be given the opportunity to fly over to Paris in order to experience the excitement of working in the Fashion Capital of the World.

FLEXIBLE PROGRAM STRUCTURE:

Promoting a user-centric e-learning experience is an absolute necessity. At IFA Paris – Learn Online, we want our students to be in control of the way they manage their progression through our academic programs. Therefore, we have implemented a variety of initiatives allowing every student to take control over their own learning curve.

For our Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programs online, IFA Paris – Learn Online has 2 specific tracks:

  • Academic Award Track

Students are enrolled in a set number of modules allowing them to receive an academic award upon validation of all their credits (180 ECTS in Undergraduate Programs – 120 ECTS in our Postgraduate Programs)

  • Custom Track

Students have the option of choosing from a variety of modules within their assigned level (Undergraduate or Postgraduate) to fully customize their learning experience. Upon validation of each module, our students will receive individual certificate of completion

Should students want to migrate from an online program to a physical one, they can do so in a smooth and easy fashion thanks to our IFA Paris Online Switch System. Changes can be done after completing a semester for undergraduate students, or after completing a trimester for postgraduate students. Please note that all our physical classes have groups of maximum 25 students to ensure the highest possible academic quality. Therefore, should students wish to switch from online to physical programs, they will need to notify their respective student services office at least 1 month in advance. IFA Paris – Learn Online students enrolled in a specific regional centre will be able to apply for a physical program in IFA Paris Parisian Campus (please note that access to physical programs in our Parisian Campus is dependent on obtaining a student visa. Students will be supported in their visa application process by our partner Feel Francais).

Learning about Haute Couture in Paris, being exposed to Luxury Hospitality in Istanbul or discovering the thriving media industry in Shanghai. These are a few themes of seminars proposed within our IFA Paris – Learn Online Postgraduate programs.

Students following our programs remotely will have the opportunity to join their classmates in IFA Paris Campuses to experience the fashion and luxury industries first-hand!

Our IFA Paris – Learn Online students follow the same program structure and academic calendar as our students present in IFA Paris campuses. Upon successful completion of their undergraduate and postgraduate programs, they will be invited to join our global graduation ceremony held at the end of June, every year, in Paris.