Kedge Business School: innovative learning in France

Ángela Palacios
02/06/17
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Marseille, France

Strengthening creativity in students, a critical perspective of situations, and the skill of finding good information and knowing how to summarize it, are some of the objectives of the French institution Kedge Business School. It is a business school that goes beyond delivering teaching on a specific topic. It is focused on discovering students’ potential and motivating their learning work.

“We are in a world where there is too much information, therefore it is important that they know how to browse and be certain of what they find,” explains Guillaume Laurie, Experimental Learning Designer of Kedge Business School.

Given that Kedge Business School is the largest business school in France (in terms of research and students, which are 50 000), it is been important, due to international visibility, to apply particular teaching methods that learners are comfortable with.

What is the formula to achieve it?

Kedge Business School has two methodologies to improve the experience of its students.

1. Learning by doing: “We think that students learn everywhere and through projects and experiences. So, we help them structure their approach and achieve their goals by defining their objectives, finding contacts, speaking about their projects, organizing budgets, and planning tasks,” Guillaume states.

This allows the students to become part of a team and build adaptability and confidence in themselves in order to be capable of measuring their progress.

2. Be-U: This is a personal and professional coaching scheme that helps learners understand themselves and others to plan their professional life. According to Guillaume, this methodology is utilized to “develop students’ reflective thinking to help them better understand how their courses and their ways of seeing and thinking about the world can change.”

In terms of experiential methods, the business school focuses on a few key points:

A new and resilient way to assess:

Beyond being a way of measuring knowledge, at Kedge Business School, they are convinced that assessments are an alternative to learning.

In this way, “Events related to the courses are organized (crisis or economic management) to make them experience, in a simulation, that they need to be agile and adapt in order to manage a situation in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world,” Guillaume explains.

This helps them understand that sometimes communication and human emotions are more important than the issue being negotiated and the answers that they need to give. In fact, tests are created with the goal of helping them think, criticize and organize knowledge.

Appreciative Inquiry:

A coaching and teambuilding methodology is used to help students build a team. “We want students to understand how unique they are, what they have achieved in the best moments of their lives, and that they see everyone else the same way,” Guillaume adds.

The main objective of this approach is to help the student collect the information they need to reach their own goals, and to help them create links between courses, projects, and experiences through their professional vision.

Blackboard Learn and Kedge Business School: The perfect combination to improve learning experiences

“We used Moodle before the merge. But, after the merge of the Kedge Business School campuses, Marseille and Bordeaux, in 2013, which had different LMSs, we decided, in September 2015, that it was the moment to choose a single LMS that had very good integration and automation on the technical side, ensuring that every course was available for every student,” Guillaume explains.

To this he adds that, “It was very important that this technical integration was perfect and that Blackboard Learn would contribute towards that, because it has good support and consultants to help us in whatever we need. E-learning solutions such as Blackboard Learn allow students’ experiences inside and outside the institution to be improved.”

Kedge Business School uses this LMS to develop interactivity, because it breaks away from traditional schemes. “When we use tools such as the Blackboard Learn Forum to create interactivity, someone says that they have an idea, while another says that they we could add this or that to the first idea. We create something collaborative and we are not ruling ourselves just by individual and traditional work,” Guillaume describes.

Thus, there is a concept in Kedge Business School that “whoever studies there is different than the rest. It improves their experience and opens their mind.”

 

*Guillaume Laurie, Experimental Learning Designer of Kedge Business School

*Photos by: AFP Franck Pennant

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