According to a study by Canvas on trends in business schools, 63% of business school leaders consider innovation in the way they teach their programmes to be a major challenge they will face in the next five years. Teaching methods that have been successful in attracting students in the past may not be sufficient to remain competitive in the future. Students are no longer satisfied with simply acquiring knowledge. They want to practice skills and achieve personal and professional fulfilment throughout their lives.
EmLyon business school has perfectly observed these trends and turned them into concrete actions. With its « early makers » teaching strategy, the school and its faculty have long been convinced that top-down teaching is no longer appropriate. The teaching teams are therefore constantly looking for new tools to make courses interactive so knowledge transfers are no longer a one-way street. With this objective in mind, the partnership with Wooclap was established. After having tested it in its Acceleration program in 2019, EmLyon business school trusted the start-up to offer a different pedagogical experience to both teachers and learners.
While the adoption of new technologies in educational programmes may seem like an obvious solution to meet this need for innovation, only 14% of MBA graduates believe that business schools are making good use of technology in teaching and learning. On the teaching side, major barriers to increasing technology in the classroom include the amount of time spent training in these new technologies. Two pitfalls that the EmLyon business school was able to anticipate by choosing a very simple solution.
Simplicity to facilitate adoption.
For Benjamin Chabrillat, educational Designer Factory at EmLyon business school, simplicity was a key factor in Wooclap’s rapid adoption. « The creation and setup of an activity can be done in less than 5 minutes, even for a beginner. On the participant’s side, being able to answer either by web or by SMS text is a big advantage which ensures greater participation by avoiding potential connection-related problems ».
That connection is made directly through students’ laptops or smartphones, which have been an integral part of the classroom landscape for some years now. Marketing professor Alice Riou replies « Gone are the days when professors debated the strict prohibition of mobile phones in lecture halls… I now invite all my students to connect to Wooclap with one click at the beginning of the course! »
85% student participation.
As far as the teachers are concerned, Wooclap has also responded to a growing need to adapt their courses to the great diversity of profiles in Business Schools. For Alice Riou, « it is necessary to adapt the content of the courses to the different profiles of the new recruits from the very first session. Our students in the “Grande Ecole” Programme now have much more varied profiles: they come from preparatory classes but are also engineers, historians, lawyers, or pharmacists! It is therefore necessary to find tools to adapt the courses according to the answers provided collectively as the new concepts are introduced. »
With lecture halls ranging from 150 to 450 participants, it can be difficult to get all students involved in a way that is both organised and…. productive! On average, « 85% of the participants used Wooclap to share their opinions », says Alice Riou.
One more tool to help boost students’ employability?
Beyond the student engagement in the classroom, which gives teachers a richer teaching experience, Wooclap allows students to work towards their future professional integration. For the EmLyon business school, which ranks among the world’s top institutions in terms of employability, that is an obvious asset.
« Considering the many controversies in marketing, using features like Wooclap’s closed questions, word clouds, and ranking of proposals has been very educational. Through the variety of answers, students could see the value of the heterogeneity of opinions in real-time! Seeing diverging opinions about the use of big data, social listening, or greenwashing shows the complexity of the decisions marketing managers have to make. »
For Sébastien Lebbe, Wooclap’s co-founder, « Working with an institution like the EmLyon proves that the use of Wooclap can also meet the challenges of colleges in terms of pedagogical innovation and digitalisation. We have in the past partnered with universities who first saw in Wooclap the potential of establishing a dialogue between professors and students, even in classes with large audiences. The pedagogical partnership we have just established with the EmLyon is only just beginning. »