Strengthening students’ creativity, their critical-thinking skills, and the ability to research and synthesize information properly, are just some of the objectives at France’s Kedge Business School. This institution goes beyond imparting knowledge, as it is also heavily focused on helping students discover their own potential and motivating them to work towards it.
“We live in a world where there’s 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 at Kedge Business School.
Given that Kedge Business School is the largest business school in France (in terms of research and student population of 50,000), and it’s overall global standing, applying the right teaching methods to cater a diverse student body has been of significant importance.
Improving the Student Experience
Kedge Business School employs two main methodologies to improve the student experience.
- 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, networking, speaking about their projects, organizing budgets, and planning tasks,” says Guillaume.
This methodology propels students to become part of a team and develop adaptability and self-confidence skills in order to be capable of measuring their own progress.
- Be-U: A personal and professional coaching scheme that helps learners understand themselves, and others, in order to plan their professional life. According to Guillaume, this methodology is utilized to “develop students’ self-awareness to help them better understand how their courses and their way of seeing and thinking about the world can change.”
Kedge Business School also focuses on the following experiental learning methods:
A new and more effective way to assess: Beyond measuring knowledge, Kedge Business School is convinced that assessments are an alternative way to learning.
In this way, “Events related to the courses are organized – in crisis or economic management, for example – to make them experience, through simulation, how to be agile and adapt in order to successfully manage a situation in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world,” Guillaume explains.
This helps them understand that often times communication and human emotions are more important than the issue at hand, as well as the appropriate answers they need to come up with. In fact, tests are created with the goal of helping them think and organize knowledge.
Appreciative Inquiry: This coaching and team-building methodology is used to help students build teams effectively. “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 in the same way,” says Guillaume.
The main objective of this approach is to help students collect the information they need in order 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 Ideal Partnership to Improve Learning Experiences
“We used Moodle before the merge. But, after the merge of Kedge Business School’s campuses, Marseille and Bordeaux, in 2013, which had different LMSs, we decided in September 2015, that it was time 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.
He adds, “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 improve the student experience both inside and outside the institution.”
Kedge Business School uses Blackboard Learn to develop interactivity, as it breaks away from traditional schemes. “When we use tools such as the Blackboard Learn Forum to create interactivity, a student can say they have an idea, while another one says they could add ‘this or that’ to that original idea. We create something collaborative and we are not ruling ourselves just by individual and traditional work,” Guillaume explains.
There is a saying about Kedge Business School that goes, “Whoever studies there is different than the rest. It improves their experience and opens their mind.” Blackboard Learn helps enhance this experience.
*Guillaume Laurie, Experimental Learning Designer of Kedge Business School
*Photos: AFP Franck Pennant