When Universities and Companies join forces for the sake of training to build a win-win (immersive) partnership – Part 1

Edtech

Today, despite the impact of the health crisis, the educational and professional sectors are growing closer. Internships, apprenticeships, a day in my life… The student is now directly involved in the field, at the heart of professional life therefore generating a virtuous cycle. But how can you sustain it during these uncertain times? This is the motive behind the partnership between the Stellantis (ex PSA) Vesoul site and the Logistics and Transport Management Department of the French University of Franche-Comté.

 

For several years now, the students at the IUT Vesoul have had the opportunity to discover their future professional environment through various school-company partnerships, as part of tutored projects. To continue in this direction, the IUT of Besançon Vesoul has taken the gamble of Virtual Immersion with the Stellantis Vesoul site; the heart of the group’s international logistics, with no less than 3000 employees.

 

Enable students to increase their competence in field knowledge and procedures, apprenticeships and customer relationships

 

The students worked closely with on-site experts to design a set of immersive modules enabling the digitization of Safety and Quality training for newcomers, making it more engaging than previously existing tools.

Through the testimony of Catherine Gérardin, Head of the GLT Department of the IUT Besançon-Vesoul and the feedback given by Mathieu, a student, discover how this win-win partnership allows students to discover the reality of the professional world and project management.

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“The transport and logistics professions are changing tremendously. A recurring  evolution is the increased presence of digital technology in these professions. This is why we have developed several areas at the IUT to integrate new technologies into our teaching and tutored projects,” explains Catherine Gérardin.

During a creative workshop between students and companies, the IUT proposed the subject of Virtual Reality: “Stellantis Vesoul immediately joined since they were already  a partner of the IUT through other actions and was already familiar with the Uptale technology”.

 

The idea of using it for their newcomers at the Vesoul logistics site quickly became obvious. “The objective was to make this training more appealing and engaging, and that’s where we found a good synergy, by putting the students in charge of the project. They had to succeed in setting up a Virtual Reality tool, used by real professionals.” explains Catherine Gérardin.

These immersive experiences will also be used for new students in the department, to immerse them in their future environment from the very beginning of their university career. IUT will also use them at schools forums (open houses): “It’s both relevant and useful highlighting the field and professions. It is a first step in attracting future candidates who would like to return to the program.” adds Catherine.

 

What’s your feedback?

 

“The professors and students immediately embraced the innovative nature of Immersive Learning. My fear, of course, was that the result would not meet our expectations, especially when we’re talking about a professional partner like Stellantis, you can’t just turn in an unfinished product.” says Catherine. 

 

“However, the result is more than satisfying and we will continue to do this with other students. The feedback from Stellantis Vesoul is also very positive. They are delighted with the result and still have plenty of subjects to propose in other areas, but I think we will also be able to find other partners, other interested companies.”

Catherine adds, “Beyond the innovative aspect, it’s really about the opportunity to be immersed in the company and to be able to answer the questions or resolve the issues a professional may have. In the end, the students are also able to do this.” They learned a tremendous amount from the fact that the subject matter takes place in a professional environment.”

To go further, discover the testimony of Mathieu, a 20 year old student at the University of Besançon-Vesoul. He tells us about his experience with Uptale and how his group succeeded in designing immersive experiences for professionals.

“Today we are proud of the result, proud to have succeeded in meeting the challenge, and it is gratifying to know that every newcomer will be trained through our VR modules. We really did something useful, for a huge company like Stellantis. “

Mathieu, student at the Franche-Comté University