Business School: Virtual Reality Renews Marketing Courses


Immersive learning, experiential learning, “action learning” … innovative teaching methods have flourished in recent years so that we no longer speak of learning but of learning experience. Changing posture, the student and the teacher are now both part of a process of co-construction of knowledge and competence.

What would be the virtues of these educational innovations? To what extent would they be more effective than traditional methods? In this respect, must we necessarily contrast pedagogical innovation with traditional methods of learning? In the end, would not there be complementarity between the two learning modalities?

To shed light on these questions, the Paris School of Business marketing department has carried out an experiment based on the integration of virtual reality into learning processes. Indeed, the latter, allows its users to live a unique sensory experience, immersing them in an environment with which they will be able to interact.

Transposed to pedagogy, virtual reality allows students to immerse themselves virtually in an environment where they will have to decipher key features and key concepts. In recent years, experiential learning has developed in universities, schools, businesses, training organizations and others. Indeed, by virtue of Dale’s cone of learning , it would seem that individuals usually retain 10% of what they read versus 50% of what they saw or heard.

Group work

This experience of integrating VR into the teaching of the marketing department involved 215 students from the “Grande Ecole” program, from first to third year. Within each of the classes concerned, working groups were set up to generate an atmosphere conducive to exchanges – around the present case, the evaluation of a Franprix point of sale.

The integration of virtual reality or any other immersive technique can not be enough on its own and requires teachers to think and build a real educational and coherent scenario, at the service of the acquisition of knowledge. and competence.

Also, following the students’ experimentation with virtual reality, collaborative workshops were set up and allowed teachers to guide students in the co-construction of knowledge and key concepts. mobilized during the session.

The original and innovative nature of this educational experience consisted mainly in putting in place an experimental plan to measure the impact of the use of VR on the learning experience of students, understood both as the acquisition knowledge but also skills. To do this, two learning modalities were tested.

The first modality aimed to evaluate the knowledge acquired by the students after the VR experience, and in particular on the control of the latter, the characteristic elements of the point of sale, the structuring and operation of merchandising ( spatial arrangement of the shelves, organization of the products in the shelves, cleanliness of the store …), but also of the sales pitch. To do this, the students’ level of knowledge was tested through a comparison before / after using the VR.

The second objective was to evaluate students’ ability to carry out a market study and to define a marketing problem. This modality was tested using a pre / post VR comparison.

Complementarity of learning

At the end of each VR experience, an experimental plan was put in place, thus making it possible to measure the impact of the use of VR on the learning experience of students as well in terms of knowledge acquisition. (modality 1), only in terms of skills development (modality 2).

Regarding knowledge assessment, the comparison of averages made it possible to highlight the positive impact of the association between the traditional course and the use of VR. These first results highlight the idea that there is a complementarity between traditional learning and immersive learning.

The combination of these two pedagogical methods seems to allow students to better understand knowledge. The comparison of averages performed as part of the assessment of skills shows a clear improvement in the quality of the work done following the use of virtual reality.

Immersive learning as proposed by virtual reality is thus put at the service of the educational experience to the extent that it increases the educational performance. In addition to the impact in terms of students’ acquisition of knowledge / skills, the study also looked at measuring their satisfaction.

Positive perception

To what extent can the integration of virtual reality in teaching help to innovate the educational offer offered to students? How can this practice be perceived by these? What is its influence on the improvement of pedagogical methods and, ultimately, the overall satisfaction of students during their learning?

These questions are fundamental because they allow us to better evaluate ROI (return on investment) for students, companies and training institutions, through the implementation of virtual reality in teaching.

In the specific case of the educational innovation project undertaken by Paris School of Business, the aim was to measure the impact of the use of virtual reality on student satisfaction during the learning experience. To do this, an experimental protocol, based on different scenarios “use of virtual reality versus its absence” and a quantitative study were developed.

In fact, an online questionnaire, including questions from specialized scientific literature and on perceived satisfaction, was administered to 145 students in the Grande École program. In particular, students were asked how satisfied they were with the experience of using virtual reality during the lessons by answering the following question “I am generally satisfied with the experience of using virtual reality in course “and measured on a scale of gradations ranging from 1 (” strongly disagree “) to 5 (” strongly agree “).

The statistical results are interesting. They show that the majority of students (89%) were satisfied with this pedagogical innovation experience. Students believe that the use of virtual reality (versus its absence) significantly improves their satisfaction. This shows the proven sensitivity of students for this type of innovation.

Thus, at a time when training institutions (business schools, universities …) are now seeking to produce innovative educational experiences, playful, constructive, dynamic and sources of satisfaction, the deployment of virtual reality throughout the development process. learning can complement other educational devices (face-to-face interactions, books, traditional courses …).

Author Bios: Hegger Gabteni is a Associate Professor – Head of Educational Innovation, Shiraz Aouina-Mejri is a Research Professor, Karim Errajaa is a Doctor, Professor-Researcher, Head of Thesis and Project Capston Department and Safraou Imen is an Associate Professor-Head of the Marketing Department all at PSB Paris School of Business – UGEI