Creative narratives in the age of AI – The speculative future of short story writing at ESSEC and beyond

By Michael Kouklakis,  Director – Department of Languages & Cultures. 

On a sunny day in the first week of June, as the academic year of 2023 was coming to an end, several students, teachers and staff made their way to the Learning Center where they gathered for an awards ceremony to celebrate the 15th edition of the Short Story Contest – one of our most important and long-standing pedagogical initiatives. In nurturing the art of storytelling amongst our bright, talented students and encouraging the writing of original, creative fiction, this endeavour has carved out a unique space in higher education in general and in business schools and the Grandes Ecoles of France in particular. This much is stated proudly on the back cover of each copy of the short story book we publish every year and distribute during the end-of-the-year event we organize. The blurb on the back cover touts this initiative’s longevity and success and ends confidently with ‘There are many more tales to be told…’ However, with the sudden emergence of AI platforms in our daily lives and accelerated development of their capabilities, an unexpected question has arisen which never had to be asked before for the simple reason that the answer would have seemed so self-evident. Yes, there are many more tales to be told … but who will be telling them?

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Training the leaders of tomorrow with the Sustainability Case Factory

By Mathilde Cocherel, librarian. Mathilde works at publishing ESSEC Cases within the K-lab, she provides support to professors in several forms.

ESSEC and all the partner institutions involved in the Sustainability Case Factory project, including CY University, are committed to environmental and social transition, with the aim of training 100% of students in sustainable development issues by 2030, using new teaching methods, tools and content. 

As case studies are widely used in graduate and postgraduate management studies, transferring this approach to the field of socio-ecological transitions, and developing new cases and teaching materials related to these issues, is a key strategic focus.

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ESSEC’s Digital Pedagogy on Display at MoodleMoot Global

By Natalie Berkman, Instructional Design Manager at ESSEC K-lab

Every year, “Moodlers” from all over the world meet up at the MoodleMoot Global Conference to share best practices, explore new solutions, and design learning experiences together. Given ESSEC’s commitment to pedagogical excellence and more specifically to Moodle, our LMS of choice, several members of the ESSEC staff attend every year. This year marks an important milestone for our team: the first time we shifted from being inspired to inspiring others. 

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‘Mini Cases’ for a ‘mini-attention-span’ world!

By Javaiz Parappathodi, a PhD candidate in Operations and Data Analytics at ESSEC since 2019. Javaiz has recently joined Durham University, UK as a teaching fellow this September. His research interests are humanitarian logistics, modern slavery and ‘co-opetition’ between firms.

Javaiz taught Operations Management for ESSEC Global BBA students.

How was your experience? Did you enjoy it?

I absolutely loved the experience. Reaffirmed the feeling that, for a change, I picked the right career this time.

How did you prepare?

Preparation was the most difficult part in the whole process. I had all the freedom that I wanted in deciding the course content and direction, thanks to the confidence shown by ESSEC on my capabilities. So, I wanted to completely design the course from start to finish.

I started from the scratch. I prepared the content for each and every session by myself and thoroughly enjoyed the process as well. I also devised my own evaluation strategy (obviously within the guidelines established by the program). I learnt as much as the students at the end of the process.

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Réapprendre l’imagination

Par Xavier Pavie, Directeur de l’iMagination Centre

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Top 3 of the most popular articles published in 2022-2023 on Pedagolab

By Pauline Delécaut, librarian at the K-lab, Pedagolab administrator

In 2022-2023, the Pedagolab blog showed that it was in tune with the current issues by covering topics closely linked to the evolution of pedagogy at ESSEC and in higher education at large. This can be seen in the Top 3 most consulted articles published during the year.
The addressed topics include diversity, equity and inclusion, with an interview with Maylis Balyan, sign language teacher at ESSEC. The inauguration of ESSEC’s new gymnasium, a year ahead of the Paris Olympics, provided an opportunity to promote sport and pedagogy in “Lessons learned from sports“, written by Professor Karoline Strauss. Finally, Estefania Santacreu-Vasut, Deputy Dean of Pedagogy, reported on the ChatGPT advent, which fueled a wider reflection on the place of AI in pedagogy, bringing together all ESSEC’s teaching communities.

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Harmonizing teaching and research: embracing the lecture-based method as a junior researcher

By Huali WU, 5th year PhD student in Economics at ESSEC.

Huali taught for the first time the course Growth and Development in the ESSEC Grande Ecole Program.

How was your experience ? Did you enjoy it ?

I enjoy sharing important knowledge with the students.

What tools or teaching methods did you use? ( Kahoo, Beekast, cases, …)

I used a lecture-based teaching method. In this course, it is crucial to understand the definitions, to know what questions are being asked, and to master the relevant frameworks to answer the questions. Therefore, when I taught, I always discussed the definitions in detail, described the facts with data that raised questions, emphasized the questions that each model or each theory answered, and presented the theoretical frameworks. Moreover, I also introduced additional reading material to show how good researchers have criticized or extended the existing understanding.

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Un blog comme support de cours

Rethinking pedagogy in times of AI: a collective endeavor at ESSEC Business School

By Estefania Santacreu Vasut, Associate Dean for Pedagogy, and the K-lab team.

Three years ago, online and hybrid teaching became the new norm in higher education, increasing the need for educators to manage their students’ attention. Active learning, group work and shorter sessions accelerated as ways to adapt pedagogy to the attention economy. While in person teaching has resumed, managing attention remains important. 

Today, the advent of ChatGPT has showcased how beyond managing attention, AI pushes us to consider also how to nurture intention. To rethink pedagogy in times of AI, ESSEC Business School has adopted a collaborative approach, gathering the input of its teaching community, program directors, departments, the Metalab1, Chief Data Officer, the K-lab2 and its team of instructional designers and librarians. 

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New ESSEC MOOC “Deploying the circular economy within organisations” open to registration

The new MOOC “Deploying the circular economy within organisations” is now open to registration.

This MOOC has been developed by the Global Circular Economy Chair and its Founder & Executive Director Pierre-Emmanuel Saint-Esprit, and the K-lab’s Instructional Design Hub.

About the MOOC

How can companies act in the fight against global warming? This is an increasingly pressing question for all actors of our society.

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Lessons learned from sports

In the week of April 17th-April 20th, ESSEC is celebrating the inauguration of its new Sports and Recreation center on the Cergy campus. On this momentous occasion, ESSEC Sports Chair professor Karoline Strauss shares key lessons we can take from sport and apply to our professional and personal lives.

  • Sometimes you lose. What matters is how you bounce back. In the immediate aftermath of a loss, we can see top athletes and players at the best clubs in the world be genuinely upset. We would be, too. Years of preparation and complete dedication go into every sports performance. Part of the excitement of watching sports is in fact the raw emotion we see play out when fractions of a second or a single move make the difference between victory and defeat. Soon after, however, these sportswomen and -men seem to have put this loss behind them. While we may still be upset about our favourite team having lost the game, the players have moved on to thinking about the next game. Success in sport means not dwelling on your setbacks. Once you have analysed what went wrong, it is time to look forward.
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