True to its tradition of innovation in the educational field, Grenoble Ecole de Management has chosen the MEDIAplus eLearning system from ENI to train its students in the use of office applications. Particularities of the project: to validate the skills required, students will take the internationally recognised Microsoft Office Certification, and the results count towards their assessment.
With over 4300 students all over the world, Grenoble Ecole de Management is a French grande ecole which is considered among the best business schools in Europe.
Grenoble Ecole de Management has built up considerable expertise in the management of business technology, with all the changes it has undergone in the years since the school's creation, and has carried through several initiatives in the use of technology in teaching.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Grenoble Ecole de Management, and in particular one of its schools ? the ESC Grenoble- became interested early on in adopting an e-learning system for training in office software applications. Faced with big differences in software skills from one student to another, the school needed to find a way of providing personalised training courses.
"We first looked at ENI's MEDIAplus eLearning because it is a system which is easy to implement," explains Beatrice Nerson, assistant head of ESC Grenoble, "but the element which motivated our final choice is that MEDIAplus eLearning is the only system where learners work in a real environment. All the software functions are available; there is no one response path proposed. The learners are free to make mistakes, and this is a real factor in their progress," she explains. "I have known ENI for some years now and I know that their training material is of very high quality," adds Beatrice Nerson.
After several years of service, the e-learning system for training in office software has grown and evolved. At present it proposes preparation for the certification exams required of all ESC Grenoble's students.
During the first year of the syllabus, students work through MEDIAplus eLearning programmes presented in three cycles: beginner, proficient and advanced. The results obtained count for 20% of their marks in the computing, methodology and tools module.
They retain access rights to MEDIAplus eLearning over the next years of their studies so that they can consolidate the skills they have acquired. "The students very much appreciate having access to MEDIAplus eLearning whenever and wherever they want it. It puts them in control of their progress," explains Beatrice Nerson.
Innovating further, Grenoble Ecole de Management decided to validate the software skills their students acquire by a certification exam, as this would be an advantage in the eyes of future employers.
"We looked at all the certifications which exist for office software and we chose Microsoft Office Certification because it accurately measures office software skills. What is more, the standard is high," observes the assistant head of ESC Grenoble.
All students take the Microsoft Office Certification and they have at their disposition the right tools to help them prepare. "We provide them with a special Microsoft Office Certification programme in MEDIAplus eLearning. The questions are timed to replicate exam conditions," she explains. To optimise their preparation, the students also have access to an on-line manual specific to the certification, also from ENI.
"We are very satisfied with the preparation we propose for the Microsoft Office Certification. Every year, we participate in the world championships organised by Microsoft, and every year one of our students is selected to represent France, on the basis of his or her results," she remarks.
The feedback received concerning the e-learning project is very positive. The students appreciate being able to work at their own pace, whatever their starting point. "MEDIAplus eLearning is very intuitive, the students get used to it in no time at all," comments Beatrice Nerson. "We think that it is very important to give each student control over his or her training. The autonomy it teaches them is a quality which will stand them in good stead in their future career," she concludes.