Crédits photos : VirBELA / Laval Virtual
For their back-to-school 2020, French schools have partnered with Laval Virtual to provide their students with a remote environment offering the most authentic and gratifying academic experience possible.
September 2020, it is back-to-school time. Within the current health crisis context, French schools are looking for digital solutions to address the new challenges that have arisen. Numerous distance learning tools such as videoconferences have been experimented. However, none seemed to replace the invaluable contributions of in-class experience.
Last April, rising to this same challenge, Laval Virtual decided to open the Laval Virtual World. This groundbreaking tool, developed by VirBELA, was originally aimed at transforming its historical event into a virtual exhibition. The platform allows its members to conduct meetings, attend conferences and socialize as they would in a face-to-face environment with the ultimate intent to animate the VR/AR community throughout the year.
Transposed into the educational world, the platform provides a virtual space where professors can deliver their lectures and students can interact, gather for group projects and have a student experience similar to the one they would have on campus.
A 100% virtual campus recreating a real campus life
NEOMA Business School is the very first school in Europe to leverage this innovative platform. They partnered with Laval Virtual to create their own virtual campus within the Laval Virtual World.
Other objective of NEOMA and Laval Virtual partnership is to create a unique opportunity to blend business and technology cultures, to encourage different combinations of skills sought-after by companies. The integration of Neoma Virtual Campus within the Laval Virtual World is a way to break down the walls and facilitate the dialogue between higher education and the labor market. It brings the two worlds closer together, opening the doors to new possibilities.
Arts et Métiers, a French engineering school, has also ridden the wave of digital transformation. They decided to offer their community (students, staff & professors) the same immersive and secure environment ripe for learning, discussion and productivity!
The Laval Virtual World: a virtual “melting pot”
Future talents from various academic backgrounds will therefore be able to virtually mingle with each other within the Laval Virtual World: a great opportunity to broaden their horizons and trigger innovation.
Hopefully, these types of interactions will represent the future of education. For now, students and professors seem to be generally satisfied with this innovative remote learning experience. Among the reasons:
- This new virtual campus is midway between remote tools and in-class experience, it combines the advantages of digital and physical pedagogic approaches by having them work off each other.
- The digital campus recreates the interactions and atmosphere of a real campus, thus avoiding feelings of isolation
Here is a testimony of an international student first impressions:
NEOMA and Arts et Métiers are not the only schools to benefit from the technological progress. For the next few months, several faculties and schools have also planned to conduct their own virtual events within the Laval Virtual worlds.
A virtual back-to-school for both students and alumni
For its back-to-school 2020, Grenoble Ecole de Management also adapts to the pandemic context and organizes, within one of Laval Virtual’s immersive campus, an innovative 10-days student orientation event.
On Monday September 14, 700 first year students gathered for a fun and educational back-to-school challenge that started with a virtual escape game. The objective of the game? To find out the theme of this year challenge: “New Deals to think and impact the world”.
During 9 days, GEM’s students will attend virtual classrooms and participate in workshops with the aim of developing a “new deal” project. Only one requirement: the proposal must meet at least one of many societal and environmental challenges identified during the pandemic. This back-to-school will culminate on September 24 with an exhibition composed of 144 virtual booths in which students will pitch their projects in front of a panel of professionals, visitors and six major corporations.
And last but not least, in late October 2020, EM Lyon, a major french business school, will offer its alumni network the opportunity to reconnect with their school by organizing an immersive and interactive two-days #VirtualAlumniCamp.