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On 7 February, NEOMA BS took part in Think Education 2017, an event organised by News Tank to discuss innovation and debate the challenges faced by the higher education and research sector today: adapting to the transformations generated by digitisation, to new societal and economic needs, etc.

Marie-Laure MASSUE, Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre, and Alain GOUDEY, Professor of Marketing at NEOMA BS, took part in a panel discussion “Virtual Reality and Teaching”, alongside ESSEC and Grenoble EM. They presented the NEOMA Business School philosophy with regard to innovative pedagogy, the « Exe, Experiential Education: learning through action » project, and, in this context, the place of immersive virtual reality.

« The objective is to multiply the number of useful learning experiences for our students. To do so, we use different means, including internships, company visits and student societies, through which our students will experience a variety of situations in different contexts. Then, through various exercises, we make them look at these experiences more objectively. From this perspective of learning through experience, which is at the heart of NEOMA Business School pedagogy, immersive virtual reality technology provides us with an additional teaching resource. », explains Alain Goudey

Indeed, NEOMA BS is the world’s first business school to use the technology of immersive virtual reality in management courses.

« In business schools, we have to move our students on from knowledge to competence. IVR helps us do this work by bringing professional situations into the classroom. This enables student to switch between theory and practice during experiential phases, in the presence of the teacher », explains Marie-Laure Massué.

Many representatives of higher education establishments came to learn how this technology is used at NEOMA BS, the first school to include it in classes. They were extremely enthusiastic, asking many questions about the project, from its genesis to implementation. These included questions about its fashionable nature, the real benefits for students, and the profitability of such projects. Marie-Laure Massué answered : « We asked ourselves whether students learnt more effectively with or without virtual reality. So far, our experience has not shown that students learn better. However, what is certain is that they are more motivated: we don’t know whether they learn better, but they learn more willingly! This is already an answer to the issue of student commitment and motivation that we all face today. »

As evidence of the interest shown by both educational establishments and businesses, the demonstration stand was busy throughout the day. Our visitors were invited to experience a simulation and to test our case study of a sales outlet in the 6Netic network in immersive virtual reality, assisted by the staff of the NEOMA BS Teaching and Learning Centre in the use of HOMIDO virtual reality headsets.

« We are not just following the latest trend or introducing technology into existing teaching models, but developing genuinely innovative teaching methods using new technologies, to do things differently and prepare our students for the modern world. » concluded Alain Goudey.

Watch the video from the workshop on "immersive virtual reality to enhance student learning", Think Education 2017

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