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Breakdown of a week of online learning with EDHEC Online

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Choosing your online programme can sometimes look like a real challenge: format, objectives, teaching approach and choice of curriculum… the variety of options is enough to make your head spin! And, what’s more, the methods differ enormously depending on the programme.

To help you see more clearly and make the right choice, we met with Suribey Chamorro Plaza, who has been Director of the Master of Science (MSc) Programmes at EDHEC Online for almost 2 years. Let’s see what a typical week on EDHEC Online campus looks like!

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The main ingredients of online learning at EDHEC

When asked what makes EDHEC online learning approch unique, Suribey Chamorro Plaza answered without hesitation: “All our programmes are structured around two main building blocks: online classes and the interactive aspect.”

Online classes to adapt to the pace of learners

By online classes, Suribey means all the educational video modules which are accessible to students at any time. As she explains,“they allow everyone to manage their learning and time at their own pace. In order to make these classes more dynamic, we have also integrated many activities that you can do yourself. The classes are made up of micro-videos which are a few minutes long and systematically supplemented by an activity, such as a case study to complete or a quiz.” 

The activities allow you to consolidate theoretical insights and strengthen the teaching approach of “learning by doing” which is so characteristic of EDHEC Online training!

Interactions to consolidate and maximise online learning

The second characteristic building block of EDHEC training is interactions. As Suribey explains, “We favour learning by doing, but also with peers. We rely on several tools to encourage interaction between our students.” 

The following digital tools are designed to be complementary:

  • Zoom and Slack for conversations with classmates and teachers;
  • Coaching sessions (group and individual) with academic mentors. All students have access to a Career Path, a programme through which they receive help to formalise their career plan and set up an action plan to find the job of their dreams! Students are supported by coaches in this course;
  • A second support system, the Consulting Project, which aims to strengthen the interactivity of the training. Each student is invited to choose a consulting topic related to their career ambitions so they can practice with a concrete project and gain expertise quickly. Unlike a very academic approach, this consulting project feeds knowledge about a market, industry or product in a very concrete way.


Differentiating features compared to online learning competitors

For Suribey Chamorro Plaza, the main feature of EDHEC online training is support!

“We place a lot of emphasis on the role of support and coaching during the courses. No one learns alone at EDHEC! For example, students have the opportunity to meet their teacher on Zoom every week to ask questions about the course and speak live. It’s a format that is generally very successful because it allows students to challenge themselves and be inspired by their peers.”


Coaching and peer reviews: Effective methods

Group work is frequently organised alongside the coaching sessions and exchanges with the teachers. These practical workshops may take place in the form of either coaching groups or individual classes depending on the requests of the teachers. “It’s extremely important to us that there is a support group throughout everyone’s journey to draw strength from numbers,” Suribey said.

“For example, when we teach students to pitch, before doing it in front of a recruiter, we encourage them to do it in front of their learning group! It is often thanks to their peers that they can free themselves from their fears and progress.”

Various forms of group activities have also been set up, including business cases and peer reviews. Peer reviews consist of inviting students to evaluate their classmates against an evaluation grid given out by the teacher and give them feedback. This makes it possible to strengthen mutual help and solidarity between students!

Student coaching: A powerful tool to support careers

At the beginning of the academic year, each EDHEC student meets a coordinator responsible for explaining the entire methodology of the training and evaluating their profile and aspirations. They will be assigned a coach once this appointment has taken place, the objective being to find coaches with relevant experience in relation to the projects of the students they are supporting. This matching ensures that each student is supervised to achieve their goals and ambitions!

Alongside individual coaching (seven sessions spread throughout the training), students are also divided into learning groups and benefit from five group coaching sessions.

As Suribey explains,“each learning group is formed according to the students’ wishes. We try to group profiles with common interests and affinities. For example, some groups are made up of profiles attracted by entrepreneurship who want to start their business or who have already launched their project. Other groups are made up of profiles wishing to evolve in CSR, and others are profiles with a focus on working internationally. The goal is to create as many synergies between students as possible!”

What does a typical week look like for an EDHEC Online student?


Weekly classes available on demand

Students have to take three classes each week which take between 15 and 25 hours of work depending on the person’s level and prior knowledge.

There are also two or three live classes each week. Nevertheless, if students cannot participate, they can send their questions to teachers in advance and watch the classes later.

Alongside the classes, students are also invited to take part in practical activities. Suribey specifies that, even though not all of them are graded, “it is important to get involved to really anchor the theory and learn effectively!”

And, as for the pace of the training, a specific course lasts ten weeks, then ends over a period of four weeks during which students can study and exchange with their coaches.

One-off exams to check everyone’s progress

Exams, on the other hand, always take place online, but in two different formats:

  • proctored exams
  • open book exams, which generally last 1h 30 and are to be completed with the course. Some open book exams can also be done over a weekend.

“We generally carry out three exams per term to ensure the individual progress of students. This helps us to make sure that no one gets left behind!”

Digital tools to streamline exchanges

In terms of tools, the Online Campus offered to students consists of three main building blocks:

  • The interactive online class platform designed to conduct discussions, watch theoretical videos and follow activities;
  • Zoom for virtual classrooms;
  • Slack for asynchronous or live conversations between students, administration, coaches and teachers.


How can I get the most out of my EDHEC online learning programme?

We asked Suribey Chamorro Plaza what advice she would give students to maximise the impact of their online training. She answered without thinking twice: “The first essential thing is that it is very important to know how to manage your time well. This is one of the main challenges of online learning! I always advise students to log on as often as possible.” 

This is because classes, activities and coaching sessions are ad hoc and granular and take time. It is therefore necessary to know how to calculate the blocks of time that you can allocate to each class and to know when to manage them to optimise your time! And you mustn’t forget deadlines and group projects.

Her second piece of advice concerns interaction and networking: You have to rely on your peers as much as possible! Students can, of course, ask the teachers questions, but the great value of the cohort is that classmates can also contribute to everyone’s progress! With other students, we are sometimes freer in our speech and in expressing our needs… In mutual help groups, for example, students ask more questions and solidarity is strong!” 

A notion of collaboration is thus created in each year group, which represents a real plus compared to academic support… The more students share and collaborate, the more they learn.

As Suribey concludes: “I think students who can follow these two tips will get the most out of their online education!”

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