Since the start of the health crisis, the world of students, apprentices and interns has been deeply upset. In a few years, with the rapid spread of Covid-19, higher education had no choice but to adjust and try to find alternatives.
How have learning formats adapted and what are the observable changes in recent years? How do students manage and feel these constant changes?
The need for new learning formats in response to the health crisis
The solution decided by the government, namely the follow-up of distance learning courses, was very widely imposed at the beginning of the health crisis. Indeed, it is only since the beginning of February 2021 that all students can return to study face-to-face. However, the mutations of the virus are leading some campuses to review their organization, favoring a hybrid model where some courses are face-to-face, others remotely. We note in particular the example of the Neoma business and management school, which has set up a virtual campus to allow students to take their courses online, based on the virtual reality.
However, even before the appearance of Covid-19, the trend of distance learning was on the rise. Thanks to the rapid improvement of new technologies, it is becoming easier and easier to study from home. In January 2020, there were 13 connected campuses, these new distance learning devices mainly installed in rural areas. The primary objective was to allow students wishing to do so to stay close to their families and therefore to limit costs.
A nuanced reality
The main advantage of distance learning is greater convenience for students, who can work from wherever they wish, and therefore reduce costs, such as rent, when they decide to study from home. Also, the time saved frees up more free time for hobbies.
However, faced with this a priori more advantageous solution, the reality of distance learning appears much more complex. Indeed, students who have to take on the workload remotely note a major loss of motivation as well as much more concern about their studies and their future. In addition, distance courses penalize students with difficulties, because they require more attention and support, two points that are difficult to satisfy remotely.
The remote model: a temporary solution or a real sustainable innovation?
In response to the upheavals caused by Covid-19, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation is seeking to boost the hybrid learning model, and has launched calls for projects since January 10, 2020 to invest more in connected campuses. Thus, there are 49 new campuses opening at the start of the 2021 academic year, in mainland France and overseas.