The digital, the MOOC and me ...

Learning, training, cultivate and entertainment is now easier thanks to digital. The MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses), for example, allow you to specialize in a specific area at your own pace by following remotely and at your leisure quality teaching. Orange is a leading player in this field through its Solerni platform.
And as knowledge can be addictive, discover the testimony of three Group's employees, two of which followed the MOOC Picasso launched in October 2015 and conceived by Orange, the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais, the musée national Picasso - Paris and the Centre Pompidou.

Three questions to Françoise Fernandes

How do you choose the topics of the MOOCs?
For every MOOC, we look for and identify a topic related to a major event. Creating a MOOC on Picasso was an obvious choice, because of the exhibition organised at the Grand Palais in Paris and its approach: it didn’t focus on just Picasso himself but on the artists who influenced him and those he influenced. And besides, the French union of national museums (RMN), our partner for the previous MOOC on impressionism, was very enthusiastic about working with us on this ambitious project!

What were the stages to develop this MOOC?
We first needed to work with the RMN on a detailed approach before putting a team together. Each of the experts suggested by the institution wrote part of the course, a production company created the videos, and educational engineers created the MOOC itself using these elements – all working in close cooperation. We then put it online on the Solerni platform. The last stage was to roll out a communication plan to raise awareness of the MOOC.

What are the keys to success for a MOOC?
First of all, a successful MOOC needs an appealing topic. A “good” MOOC also depends on high-quality contributors and great content with high production values (texts, photos, videos, etc.). But you mustn’t forget the educational aspect: the MOOC must be attractive and fun, while promoting its content. Finally, the MOOC needs to be brought to life by moderators who answer questions and keep the discussions going, in a “classroom” spirit.

Françoise Fernandes, Responsable des Partenariats chez Orange, en charge des MOOC culturels
A good MOOC strikes the right balance between quality digital resources and a spirited approach...
Françoise Fernandes, Head of Partnerships at Orange in charge of cultural MOOCs

Three questions to Marc Duval

Why did you take the Picasso MOOC?
I’m very interested in art and culture. And I believe this personal interest is also an asset at work. When I’m dealing with local government institutions, I use culture as an element of differentiation in my customer approach. I took the MOOC because I couldn’t make it to Paris to see the Picasso exhibition. It was my first MOOC; I didn’t really know what to expect. I was hoping to understand the artist and his work better, and to put them in their historical context…
What did you appreciate about this means of discovery?
The MOOC met all my expectations. I found the format really stimulating. Culture is part of my life, of what keeps me grounded. Actually I’m in the second year of my Master’s degree in Philosophy, a correspondence course. Each sequence of the Picasso MOOC was a relaxing break from my daily routine. The MOOC is packed with information and very well designed, highly professional and yet educational and fun. My only, minor beef with it was that the challenges along the way were announced late and had narrow windows for participation: I couldn’t take part because I lacked time and anticipation.
How did digital technology modify your experience of learning?
Digital technology offers huge possibilities, particularly thanks to multimedia tools and the discussion forums. Most importantly, it enables a more active form of learning. After this MOOC, during the holidays, I made the trip out to the temporary Picasso exhibition at the Soulages museum in Rodez, in the South of France. Having taken the MOOC enabled me to get more out of it! Would I sign up for more MOOCs? Definitely, if they are about art, culture, literature…

To take the Picasso MOOC, I put aside two hours every week in my agenda. That way I made the most of it...
Marc Duval, Sales Manager at the Orange B2B office for the South-West of France

Three questions to Loïc Samyn

What inspired you to take the Picasso MOOC?
I regularly take MOOCs, choosing them according to my professional objectives, out of curiosity or by personal interest. I go from IT security to Louis XIV, professional training to Picasso. The Picasso MOOC caught my eye because I realised I only knew a few emblematic paintings of his. I wanted to find out more and understand an artist whose work I had a very uneven appreciation of.
What did you appreciate about this means of discovery?
MOOCs are great. Unlike a book, which translates the author’s approach in a linear way, MOOCs are the result of the thinking of a group of experts, and therefore of various approaches and sensitivities.
The Picasso MOOC was particularly enriching, with high-level contributors who enabled me to discover aspects of the artist that I didn’t know, to understand his approach and his work. I liked this MOOC very much!
How did digital technology change your learning experience?
Free, fun, educational, accessible: MOOCs popularise access to culture and knowledge. They make you want to take things further. After the Picasso MOOC, during my holidays, I went to see some of his works exhibited in Marseille, while I almost never go to museums any more.
Digital technology also induces sharing and discussions. Many of my colleagues are MOOC enthusiasts and we often talk about our discoveries. And I’m not stopping now: I signed up for the MOOC on the Origins of Man, which I plan to take with my two children, ages 11 and 14!

I’m not committed to regular attendance. I signed up late for the Picasso MOOC and sometimes I took two sessions in a row. But I did the whole course!...
Loïc Samyn, Cross-Departmental Project Manager at Orange Innovation Marketing & Technology