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Virtual Campus for Capevo, that brings people closer together

Online education has been around for a while. Yes, it works. And no, it doesn’t fully subside the in-person classes. Bonding with other peer students is absent and a sense of community is poor.

Luckily, exceptions stand out and our dear client, Capevo, a progressive French educational institution, has undertaken a mission to elevate the status quo. Keep on reading to discover how we helped Capevo – Centre de Formation to bridge the gap and strengthen connections among their students.

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Why current online education suck

Just to recap, standard online education programs let you

  1. watch the pre-recorded videos (yes, you can google the information anyway)
  2. attend group sessions on Zoom with other 100 anonymous students (everyone is muted and most likely doing laundry)
  3. if you get curious, you can ask your professor a question and get an answer (but it can feel awkward to break the silence and find the right timing, while others are still muted and probably AFK anyway)
  4. receive an MBA or whatever title you were promised (just do not forget at assignments and tests, and you keep up with the schedule)

Not great, not terrible. But is it enough?

We all know education is not only about learning new information and getting a degree. It’s about the network and relationships you build along the way. And this might be even more important than the gained knowledge.

That’s why we have helped Capevo to become an institution that offers a tailor-made online environment and a solution that reinforces spontaneous conversations and simplifies the connection between people online. So in addition to information and hard skills gained throughout the course, their students will get the opportunity to network, build meaningful relationships, and also have fun.

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Why Zoom + Email + PPT was not enough for Capevo?

Capevo’s virtual space is inspired by real-life university campuses and covers 5 different study programs, from Web design to Business.

Thanks to a carefully crafted design that follows the needs of the courses and mimics real life, students have the opportunity to create a bond with the institution. Plus the online environment of Gather itself becomes one of the innovative tools they get familiar with, which can help them in their future career.

The potential of the Gather platform is in

  • Bringing up more spontaneous conversations between students and professors (people tend to express themselves with their avatars, emojis, or use cameras to get more personal)
  • Igniting fruitful discussions and cultivating opinions (and maybe even spark a concept for a new start-up or innovations)
  • Growing the number of connections that will lead to lifelong friendships (easing networking, which might even result in a better job one day)
  • Enabling everyone to create their own experience and journey (you are not jumping from one meeting to another breakout zone, as some admin clicks… you are deciding freely, at your own pace and moving your avatar towards what interests you).

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How to design a feeling of belonging in online education

Here are some key design elements that we used to help the students and professors keep connected, create small communities, and communicate better:

  • Students have their assigned desks in the main hall, where they can work individually as well as meet with other peers ad-hoc
  • Different study programs have designated rooms, which create a sense of belonging, and where the group meets regularly (30-50 students in each class)
  • The whole cohort can easily switch between lectures and small break-outs for team assignments, by walking their avatar around at their own pace (and not in an artificial way, when someone hits the breakout zone button on a Google Call and everyone gets confused)
  • Conversation indicators are helping professors to distinguish idle groups and those that are still working and take necessary action
  • Smart design of private areas enables professors to easily jump in when a group is struggling (they can send a message, wave a hand…), yet not interfere when it is not desired
  • Large auditorium can host up to 500 visitors for special events so even linear and streamlined sessions can be hosted within the same environment and students can join spontaneously like they would do in real life (Hey, what is going on there? – Idk, but let’s have a look!…)

Of course, there are many more features and secret details to the whole recipe, but this marks the core ones and we will be glad if you get inspired by our list!

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How do the client Capevo and users of virtual campus see it?

While we take pride in our projects and strongly believe in our mission, the viewpoints of our clients and actual users matter to us the most. Alexy Plion from Capevo, the driving force behind the entire project summarizes the primary need:

It was truly a need for us to take digital learning further. As a young company in only our second year of existence, we’ve already had over 250 students. The feedback from the first-year was clear: impersonal with few personal connections. And we decided to address that with a disruptive approach.

And Alexy Plion continues: Motivated to enhance our platform, we conceptualized the idea of creating an online university. While we had the vision, we lacked the necessary skills. Fortunately, we crossed paths with Space Makers, who not only supported us throughout the project but also delivered it in a record time of a few weeks only.

Ahmed, a community management student, shared:

Last year we were using Zoom like everyone, it was difficult to stay focused for hours without moving or without being connected to other students. Today, I can navigate through the college, communicate with classmates and professors instantly, and collaborate on group projects easily, with tools like a shared board integrated into the college. Everything is seamless and enjoyable.

Currently, all students are connected simultaneously, attending separate classes, which is a significant improvement from the limitations of having only one Zoom account and one meeting at a time. As Alexy Plion further explains: The logistical challenge of scheduling multiple sessions to avoid conflicts is now a thing of the past; each session can occur concurrently, with every class having its designated virtual room. Our vision of having 150 people engaged simultaneously, engaging in diverse conversations, has become a reality.

This transformation is well perceived by the staff also, as they find teaching in these conditions significantly more accessible. One of Capevo’s teachers expressed:

I feel closer to the students by having them in a proper virtual room.

And we couldn’t agree more. As Alexy Plion summarizes it: Our online college is more than a learning space; it serves as our workplace. Remote meetings take place in our secure office, accessible only with a passcode. We conduct masterclasses in our auditorium and host events for our partners, showcasing the versatility and functionality of our platform.

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350 users return daily and spend more than 2 hours of active time in Capevo’s virtual campus

The virtual campus was launched in September and since then it has been used daily, from Monday to Friday by more than 350 users. It is important to realize that most of these 350 users stay on the platform for long periods and return daily, not unlike many fancy metaverse launches, where you might see crazy huge numbers like 10k visitors, but with 5 seconds span only and 0 return.

This project is different, users are coming back every other day throughout the whole year and weekly peaks are of 90 concurrent users. The average session is over 50 minutes and the median time is nearly 2.5 hours. And thanks to advanced analytics we can monitor and evaluate the behavior and activities and eventually optimize the whole space.

Awards and growth of Capevo’s virtual campus

In a nutshell, Capevo’s innovative approach not only addresses the limitations of traditional programs but also establishes a new standard for immersive learning. And now, Capevo’s commitment goes even further, aiming to create a dedicated space for each student, transforming the virtual campus into a global ecosystem. The positive user feedback, daily engagement, and even a recent Digital Award nomination by Eco Day underscore the virtual campus’s success.

The evolution of online learning brings meaningful connections, more collaboration, and a redefined education that takes advantage of the digital age. The Space Makers team takes pride in being part of this courageous journey.

What is your experience with online education and how to improve it?

When you think of your own experience (or of your kids) with online education, do you believe it could be done any better? Let us know in the comments or request a demo.

spacemakers team

Space Makers are determined to innovate the current online encounters and bring more fun, personal touch and sophisticated design. Get in touch with Space Makers or shoot a message to Lucie Buresova to craft a functional, yet extraordinary online space with us.

And if topics of online education and virtual trainings inteerst you more, check out our past articles:

Interested? Let’s talk.

Fill in the form or reach us directly here.
We usually respond in a couple of hours.

Lukas cerny

[email protected]


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