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Press release

NEOMA Business School: an escape game to learn how to defeat fake news

Published on 20 April 2020 by NEOMA

In order to make its students aware of the scourge of misinformation, NEOMA Business School has designed an original educational programme. Plunged into the heart of an escape game on the theme of computer security, first-year students in the TEMA programme learned to identify the best sources for their documentary monitoring. With this device, the School continues its commitment to educational innovations at the heart of its programmes.

Ensuring the reliability of information thanks to a course with a new pedagogical format

This year, first-year students in the TEMA programme took part in an innovative experiment, an escape game in which Elizabeth Johnson, a professor at NEOMA, needs help to thwart a computer virus that is spreading on the Internet. The students had to solve, in one hour and by team, several enigmas around cyber security. Conceived by the NEOMA documentation centre teams, this escape game was developed with the help of several of the School’s departments. The scenario was developed with the support of the Innovative Pedagogy and Library teams*. “The new generation is ultra-connected”, explains Anne-Laure Herard, Director of the TEMA programme. “However, this does not mean that they have fully mastered the tools available to them and the mass of information to which they are exposed on a daily basis. It is our role to teach our students to identify and select quality content, a necessary step in their student career and in their future professional life. “The project was deployed with an audience that is sensitive to innovation: TEMA students. “The positioning of TEMA around the triple skill combining management, digital and creativity makes this course an ideal field of experimentation for the pedagogical innovations of the school” adds Anne-Laure Herard, Director of TEMA.

It is within the framework of the “Veille 4.0” course, which aims to initiate documentary monitoring based on solid resources, that the escape game was proposed. “I was interested in the idea of the Escape Game in the sense that, in this particular case, its pedagogical contribution is much greater than that of a face-to-face session. This real-life exercise goes beyond the usual teaching framework and has enabled students to learn to distinguish the reliability of a source“, emphasises Nathalie Fontaine, the lecturer who initiated this scheme. To go further, the escape game experience will be supplemented by digital modules to better understand the phenomenon of fake news and learn to fight against mass disinformation.

Experience and emotions at the service of learning

For the restitution of the fruit of their documentary research, the students have also been trained in the practice of graphic facilitation. The concept? To provide a simple, visual and drawn response to a complex problem. Each team presented a summary of its explorations in this innovative format, with the students’ strong commitment noted. “This Escape Game concept is a fun way to reinforce the attention and concentration of students in class“, explains Mathis Koralewski, a first-year TEMA student. Faustine Jacquet, also a first-year student, agrees. “I found this course extremely interesting and rewarding. The Escape Game allows us to learn to work as a team, to find alternatives so that everyone listens to each other and is interested in the answers of others. A fun concept that interests young people and is increasingly used by companies. Not to mention graphic facilitation, which allows us to capture the audience’s attention. This is something I am now thinking of using in several areas in order to present a project for example.

The course ended with a face-to-face session during which the students had to carry out a documentary research based on a problematic, thus mobilising all the knowledge gained from their previous experiences.