Previously in charge of marketing-partnerships for Accor Group, Gaëlle Larroutis is currently teaching via distance learning the subject of Enterprise marketing techniques for our Bachelor students. Here are her recommendations.

Gaëlle Larroutis is the founder of GL image & Hotel expertise, and currently teaches the subject of Enterprise marketing techniques at Vatel Bordeaux. She shares her tips for sustaining the students’ attention while delivering online courses.

What does a teaching day look like for you?

When I teach virtual courses for Vatel, I use Zoom, a very efficient software for remote learning. I give my online lecture on Friday morning which gives me time to prepare for my class during the week and for my planning material which I send to students. Classes are delivered in two separate sessions of 2 hours each consecutively.

How does remote learning alter your teaching method?

In general, remote teaching requires creativity and variations in the course structure and pace, since it is harder to grab the full attention of students all the time. When lecturing live in front of 30 students, ideally I should be able to see them all via video format and not just listen to them via audio format, which is more complicated with groups of 60 people.

Do you have any tips and advice to give to your students so that they keep the momentum going?

I advise them to make an effort to maintain the same pace as for in-class sessions, to force themselves to wake up every day at the same hour, get prepared and be ready 10 minutes before the online class. They shouldn’t wake up at the last minute and attend the class from their beds, as this reduces their focus and affects their active participation. I ask them, if possible, to use a desk or a table.

Do you have any tips that you’d like to communicate to your peers?

Since I started my virtual teaching sessions, I set up interview sessions live with industry practitioners (working in my field, which is communication) which showcases the topics discussed previously with them during my classes.

  • It illustrates the subjects they’re already familiar with
  • It allows them to listen to guest speakers describing their real professional experiences.
  • It improves the dynamics of the online class and makes it less impersonal and sterile. I think the students enjoy this part.

The previous guest speakers I invited to my class: Antoine Dubois, Guillaume Lesauvage & Violaine Henno.

-Antoine Dubois is a Vice-President overseeing the global strategy of Accor group. He has a 20-year experience in the communication industry and he talked about sponsoring..
-Guillaume Lesauvage is the deputy director of Next Stories which is a subsidiary of Next Media Solutions Guillaume has an 11-year experience in the field of digital advertising.
-Violaine Henno has a 13-year experience in events. She was part of the Body Fitness organizing team.

Is it easy to build a relationship with your students remotely?

Strangely, I feel more connected to them when teaching via this format, it’s like a one-to-one session. It’s probably because I’m at my place when I deliver the class. They interact with me often during the class and they can rely on my input when they have questions.
Overall, I would say the advantage of the online format is not having to be insistent about discipline during the class and the drawback is having less interaction.

Being creative is the main ability an instructor should have when teaching a virtual course.  


Let’s find out more about distance learning at Vatel Bordeaux with our lecturer’s Pascal Decombis, who teaches entrepreneurship.