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Transformation numérique de l’activité et dynamique d’influence sur les salariés : Une étude prospective d’usage de la réalité virtuelle dans l’enseignement supérieur

Abstract : The constant and rapid evolution of digital technologies creates challenges for organizations. They are adapting to a changing, complex environment requiring new digital approaches. Higher education are not immune to these challenges, whether the impetus for a transition is ministerial, institutional or, more recently, governmental. Nevertheless, although teaching in French universities is legally based on missions, it has above all a particular social practice and is based on a fundamental principle of academic freedom. The activity is complex, relational, dynamic and discretionary. This work deals with the influence of digital technologies on employees in the transformation of the activity and focuses more specifically on the case of the use of virtual reality in French higher education. We explore this issue at the crossroads of two visions of the digital transformation of work, individual learning and behavioural determinants, by mobilising activity theory and its fields of practice. We also position this research in the pre-implementation phase of a virtual reality technology, thus taking an interest in an anticipatory use, a prospective activity. A literature review and a first exploratory empirical phase composed of a qualitative study by semi-directive interviews and a mixed study by Q Method (36 complementary observations), define a structural model of the influence of the prospective digital transformation of activity on teachers. A second confirmatory phase tests this model via a quantitative study by questionnaire survey. A collection of observations from 314 tenured teacher-researchers in management sciences in 31 French universities is analysed. The studies as a whole made it possible to define six trajectories of transformation of teaching activity, according to three profiles of a daily activity and two profiles of a prospective activity induced by the use of virtual reality in teaching. Our results show that these trajectories of transformation exert a significant and ambivalent influence on teachers, an ambivalence that is mainly based on the perception of daily activity. As soon as this activity is centred on the learner, the influence is positive; when it is centred on the symbolism of the teaching subject or on the instrument of the activity, the influence is negative. The weight of an empowering environment in relationships is also shown to be composed of a balance to be achieved between autonomy and support: a necessary accompanied autonomy that would allow a digital transition while respecting academic freedom. Finally, in the use of virtual reality, the student-teacher relationship is part of a renewed learning framework. Our proposal to reflect on a paradigm shift is supported: the simulated environment creates both distance and rapprochement, it distances in the learning space but brings together in the creation of meaning and the co-construction of this new space. In the light of teachers' expertise, the digital transformation of teaching activity could not be divorced from the central actor that is the teacher, because technological capacities would not supplant them, on the contrary, they would be a real tool for renewed cooperation where activity would not evolve through digital technology but accompanied by it. Thus, although it has its limits, this research provides a new brick of understanding by underlining that anchoring an actor in his activity is meaningful and that understanding activity profiles is an interesting lever to use in order to understand the challenges and stakes involved in a digital transition.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 26, 2021 - 5:17:11 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, February 27, 2021 - 3:28:20 AM


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Marie-Laure Weber. Transformation numérique de l’activité et dynamique d’influence sur les salariés : Une étude prospective d’usage de la réalité virtuelle dans l’enseignement supérieur. Gestion et management. Université Montpellier, 2020. Français. ⟨NNT : 2020MONTD009⟩. ⟨tel-03153808⟩



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