EM Lyon, ranked one of the four best business schools in France, has opened a virtual campus: [ em-lyon.net ]. Any of the school's students and programme participants can access the campus from a computer anywhere in the world. There, among other things, they can learn office applications with ENI's MEDIAplus eLearning
Created in 1872, EM LYON has an annual intake of over 2 200 students on its full-time MBA course and around 5 000 for its executive part-time MBA.
EM LYON's development strategy puts emphasis on added value. It is built around 3 poles:
- internationalisation, with multiple exchange agreements between the business school and partner universities, a large number of professors and instructors from other countries...
- entrepreneurship, with the creation of a unit dedicated to founding new companies, many courses geared to entrepreneurial leadership...
- the use of new technologies to enhance teaching.
It is in the context of this third pole of development that the virtual campus, [em-lyon.net], was instigated. The campus is open to students and participants in all EM LYON's programmes. It provides them with practical information: the list of the courses they are enrolled on, the timetable, the venues... but also with instructional material supplied by teachers as a compliment to their classes, and above all with online training in office software courtesy of ENI's MEDIAplus eLearning. These training programmes are also available to certain categories of the school's staff.
Formerly, students learnt to use office applications at lectures followed by practical sessions. "But with around 350 first-year students and just the one teacher, it was becoming more and more difficult to organise the lessons and to follow them up", explains the director of the e-learning project. "And it was not flexible enough, given the international nature of our student intake and their various levels and requirements" he adds.
A system accessible from anywhere, at any time
Each first-year student is given an identity code, with which he can access his training programme via the internet portal [em-lyon.net]. This code is valid for the three-year duration of his studies.
The head of training in office applications has created a set of customised training programmes. He now assumes a tutoring role. The training begins with an initial session which explains how to work with MEDIAplus eLearning.
The results of each student and the time he spends training are monitored by means of the administration platform supplied with MEDIAplus eLearning. "The MEDIAplus eLearning administration tools are really very useful and they make the job of monitoring the students' training much easier" explains the project director.
As EM LYON's virtual campus is fully accessible over the internet, students are free to train from wherever they want, whenever they want. This does not mean that they are left to their own devices. A month after the start of training, the students meet in groups to discern whether adjustments need to be made to their programmes. At the end of training, they are given a series of practical exercises to validate their new skills.
An effective way to self-train
The choice of self-training software was the subject of careful deliberation. After testing several candidates, EM Lyon selected ENI's MEDIAplus eLearning for certain unique advantages that made it, in the end, the only possible choice. Among these were the correspondence between learning environment and working environment, the flexibility of the administration, the accessibility over the internet...