May 30, 2022 in Paris During a press conference, Excelia presented its ambitious plan for digital transformation. In the budget EUR 5.6 million over five years, except wages, the aim of this plan is to build the “education of tomorrow”. That means a a new “innovative” teaching model with “more interconnected, modular and immersive pedagogy “ a “dissemination of knowledge and skills in the” phygital “ (a term created by the contraction of the physical and the digital, ed. note) “.
This development is an opportunity for innovation, but also a necessity. “The Covid crisis has caused awareness and served as an accelerator”emphasizes Bruno Neil, CEO of Excelia, which has a business school, a digital school and a tourism school on three campuses with a total of 5,000 students.
“New 100% online players have come to market; students now want to experience new digital experiences; the demand for training and micro-certification is growing rapidly; when global risks require anticipating potential needs in learning continuity, ”explains Anthony Hié, Group Digital Transformation Director.
Excelia Group: new strategic plan to “rethink the future”
At the heart of this education we find tomorrow factory XL. This physical workspace possibly installed on each of the campuses, is open to all, professors, students and people outside the campus (companies, associations, etc.) “Think, create, research and experiment” with digital technology. It is in these areas that students will be able to take immersive courses or we will find here mainly a teaching laboratory. “Good experience comes from the clock factory,” concludes Anthony Hié.
Excelia also strikes and above all about immersive learning experiences through virtual reality. Serious games, escape games, metaversions, personalized educational paths thanks to data…. are some virtual learning content that can be found on the learning experience platform (LXP).
“Virtual reality makes it possible to design situations that cannot be created in the real world or are difficult to create,” emphasizes Bruno Neil. For example, students in tourism will be able to experience an experience in a foreign country, while others will be able to follow a public performance module in a meta-version that will allow analysis of services and progress using artificial intelligence.
The group also wants to prepare students for the professions of tomorrow (AI, data) and from 2022 will start deploying the first training modules that will build bachelor’s degree “virtual reality and metaversion” in September 2024.
Has everything formed in the meta-universe tomorrow?
Caroline O’Neil, a teaching engineer at Excel, is far from a trick these pedagogical innovations are based on neuroscience and psychoeducation. “Metaverse has a strong emotional impact that stimulates memory and attention,” he says. In addition, Excelia claims that it wants to use only “quality” immersive experiences. To this end, the group has created and registered an ILE (imersive learning experience, imersive learning experience in French) label to identify truly “useful” and “innovative” pedagogies.
However, the idea is not to provide 100% digital courses. “The experience will be hybrid,” warns the director. The course of the future will consist of physical courses on campus that promote coworking, cooperation and social affairs, ie about 80% of the courses. And extensive online experience with suitable routes.
Why is the time for immersive learning?
“HR is a cornerstone in this transformation,” says Laura Zdroui, director of human resources and transformation. To serve this ambition, Excelia planned to change the organization. A specialized transformation department and data lab were established. This will make it possible to improve data and help with management (strategic decision-making and personalized lessons). The group also recruited 40 digital experts (data engineers, virtual reality experts, etc.).
Finally, important work is planned on digital acculturation and change support to support all staff, including teachers. On the program: trainings (soft skills, modules focused on digital, data, etc.), Change Support Unit, ambassadors’ community, joint construction workshops, etc. In short, it’s a “holistic” change that the group wants to operate on. See you in 2025.