The Covid-19 epidemic has raised awareness of the need for a plan B in terms of non-face-to-face education. “Le Matin” took an interest in the case of the technology company DBM Maroc, which has been deploying its Sanbox solution for some time. This makes it possible to consider all the interactions that can be found during a traditional course. Added to this is the possibility for the teacher to share his entire course, without being blocked. The details.
Digitization is a phenomenon that began several years ago in education (we used to talk about FOAD for Open Distance Learning, E-Learning, etc.) and has given rise to many innovations, both in terms of content and on pedagogical engineering, even including the emergence of new economic models and new players. It must be said that digital platforms are a fundamental technology to help build and cultivate a community, both human and virtual, which facilitates collaboration and communication, so that it is possible to follow and exploit each step. of a student’s experience.
This is how DBM Morocco, with its 30 years of experience, has been able to develop E-learning solutions for more than twenty universities in Africa: particularly in Morocco and Senegal. “The case of the Virtual University of Senegal (UVS) is very interesting, because the choice to create a virtual university was imposed as early as 2012, well before the Covid due to an obvious need to create a university capable of welcome baccalaureate students who have not found a place in the country’s universities, because places are limited in number. It is therefore more than 50,000 Senegalese students who have developed virtual training”, explains to the newspaper “Le Matin” Mazouzi Oualid, deputy general manager of DBM Maroc Group. Even more impressive: students who have been trained at UVS have had a significantly higher success rate than traditional university and face-to-face student learning.
The Sanbox solution: infinite interactions!
In the continuity of its innovations, DBM Morocco has put on the market its Sanbox solution which precisely allows to consider all the interactions that it is possible to find during a traditional course. Added to this is the possibility for the teacher to share his entire course, without being stuck in a learner role, allowing him the ability to interact and give a hand to his students. “The teacher has an overview of the progress and level of each student, in addition to having the possibility of sharing, exchanging, receiving all types of documents, files and content. The teacher can at any time evaluate, correct, control activities, exercises and exams through software & extensions that modify the management of his course”, deciphers the manager.
Better still: the students can each advance at their own pace and thus the teacher through the Data (all the data included during the course) can better understand the gaps and the level of his class.
What are the subjects that lend themselves best to this type of teaching? “Having worked with the different levels of learning from pre-school to higher education, we realized that even subjects that are traditionally taught such as French, history and science subjects can be reworked in their form so to promote learning through additional resources by adding elements: animated, visual, playful, MCQ, survey and playful application exercise like a simple dictation read orally, and written by choosing the right words selected », explains Oualid Mazouzi.
Today, the proportion of customers using the Moroccan supplier’s Edtech solutions represents approximately 70% for schools, and 30% for professional training organizations, which are also keen to promote online or local training.
Interview with Oualid Mazouzi Deputy Managing Director of DBM MAROC Group
“Companies can help public authorities to solve certain problems related to learning”
Le Matin: The Covid-19 epidemic has raised awareness of the need for a plan B in terms of non-presential education, what lessons do you draw from it in your company?
Oualid Mazouzi: We had noticed the need to have a training plan covering digital technology long before the arrival of the pandemic, but to answer your question, here are the 4 main lessons we have drawn from it:
– Training should be evaluated using effective digital means to give teachers the necessary tools to better analyze the level of learners, to automate part of the evaluation and to offer rich content and more dynamic for learning.
– Companies can help public authorities to solve certain problems related to direct learning and face-to-face and online training.
– Online education solutions based solely on videoconferencing have shown their limits during the pandemic. Even if they succeeded in ensuring the continuity of training during the confinement period, at the end of it no follow-up was carried out, no management was possible and no analysis could be carried out. Videoconferencing alone does not allow all this, although it is a basis for online training.
– From our point of view, the most important lesson is that each school must have its own platform and digital workspace in order to offer a scalable and intuitive solution to teaching bodies allowing them to take advantage of tools favorable to the development of students .
There are more and more MOOCs available online, sometimes for free on American sites like www.coursera.com. How is your offer positioned in relation to this competitive offer?
The question of content is essential for learning and training. You mention Coursera, there are many others free or at very low cost such as Khan Academy, Openclassroom. The Ministry of Education has developed the “Telmidtice” platform presenting content developed by Moroccan teachers and researchers.
Our job is not to develop content, it is rather the core business of schools, colleges, high schools, universities and post-baccalaureate schools. Our role is to provide the platform which must manage this digital content and which must make it possible to simplify the work of teachers in repetitive functions and to automate part of the assessment of learners.
We have, however, with the Zakoura Foundation, already done this, but then you have to own the intellectual rights of the textbooks to digitize them.
For us, the most important aspects in training are the quality of teaching and its support. In this, we insist with the editors of textbooks, the persons in charge of the validation of the course and the Engineering program in the scripting of the content intended for Moroccan pupils and students.
Currently, preschool and middle school level science subjects are being developed so that they can be shared by more learners.
Have you been approached by foreign universities or schools to create virtual campuses in Morocco?
We have developed e-learning solutions for more than twenty universities in Africa.
The Virtual University of Senegal (UVS) is an interesting case. This country does not have as many physical places in its universities as it produces bachelors each year. The choice to create a virtual university was thus imposed in 2012. Already 50,000 Senegalese students have created training via the UVS. If we analyze the results of UVS students, their exam success rates are higher than those of their fellow students in the classroom.
The Hassan II University of Casablanca (UH2C) comprises 19 establishments which welcome 130,000 students in the economic capital. She implemented an e-learning platform which proved decisive during the Covid-19 pandemic. The thousands of teachers were able to continue their work and the students continued to be trained and were able to pass their exams thanks to our system.
What is your vision of the development of online education in Morocco?
Morocco has resources and skills to improve the development of online education.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, many Moroccan companies have developed solutions in terms of hardware, software, platforms, educational content, online training, support courses, etc.
We are convinced that the synergies between these different actors can provide a global response for the construction of an effective online education in Morocco.
In the past, many projects, including Digital Morocco, the Engineering Program, have been launched to modernize education. The training and learning model in Morocco must evaluate, through the currently available Edtech solutions that allow real autonomy in the management and processing of educational resources. The efforts of companies and public authorities must now take this into account.
We must move towards an allied Moroccan model of the laws and regulations to be applied to facilitate learning and training for all within the framework of the validation of educational scenarios approved by the Ministry of National Education.
Computer equipment is often a heavy investment for the education system, what do you think of the strategy of the State and private education players in this area?
The State seeks to reduce the digital divide and to democratize access to the Internet. This is the goal of the Injaz and Nafida programs, which subsidize equipment to allow as many people as possible to equip themselves at a lower cost.
Computer equipment is a heavy investment, even more so today when, following a shortage of components and transport costs are rising, the price of equipment has undergone a significant increase.
The state has an important role to play in a vision of global education. Equipment and infrastructure, teacher training, and the development of digital solutions are the most important elements.
Private establishments are more reactive, because they alone decide to integrate this technology in their establishments. They don’t necessarily have to make additional investments for that. Only purchases of E-learning & LMS training solutions must be made.
With regard to the projects carried out in West Africa, in the majority of cases, the objective is to respond to socio-economic issues. Too many institutions and organizations are wondering about IT equipment when they should be focusing on setting up a scalable & intuitive LMS & E-learning solution that is less expensive and whose results are more effective in the short term, medium and long term.
The creation of content for distance learning platforms is a prerequisite for the success of these, how do you plan to facilitate this creation?
There is already a lot of content available online, courses, modules, practical work, exercises, exams in all forms and in several languages.
Teachers, supervisors, teaching staff must promote good practices by using existing local digital resources. We have trained more than 4,000 teachers, professors, trainers and researchers in the creation of digital content. This has enabled the creation of more than 8,000 courses and modules available online as part of the UH2C.
Our partnership with Intel’s “Skills for Innovation” program offers more than 70 activities to obtain certification for teachers depending on the level of education: elementary, middle or high school. Finally, more than 45 languages are available for teaching.