Taylor’s University and Taylor’s College has announced that it will go virtual from 23 March until 19 April 2020 in an effort to improve social distancing and protect the well-being of its staff and students in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stressing that the measure was precautionary, Vice Chancellor & President, Professor Michael Driscoll said, “While the campus will remain open to all, Taylor’s employees are highly encouraged to work from home.
Classes will commence as planned, the only difference being all sessions will be conducted virtually starting 23 March including orientation for the new batch of students. All events and extra-curricular activities are either cancelled or postponed and we are rescheduling the April convocation ceremony to a later date.”

To mitigate the risk of interruptions to daily teaching and learning activities, Taylor’s will be implementing the award-winning Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Each course in Taylor’s has its own virtual course site with features for e-assessment, e-tutoring, e-submission and e-forums to provide students with the opportunity to explore learning outside the classroom. It will, at the same time, allow them to connect with their lecturers, collaborate with their peers and take charge of their learning.

“Students’ progress is tracked by using a progress bar, and digital badges are awarded when students complete all the required activities online. The students of this generation value instant gratification and these digital badges can be pushed to social media, making their learning more satisfying as they share their achievements with other people who matter to them,” highlighted Taylor’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Chief Academic Officer, Professor Dr Pradeep Nair.

The educational progress of the students will not be hindered during this period as they will be able to access and benefit from VLE without much difficulty as it contains learning innovations that use multiple technologies to take them through their courses.

Taylor’s award-winning Lecture Capture System, ReWIND has over 5000 recorded lectures (with audio, visual, presentation slides, and other module related content) which are available to students online. It was developed by lecturers themselves to maximize their teaching efficiency and assist students’ learning.
ReWIND offers an exciting opportunity to deliver module content in new ways and to make content available for students after class. Students can fast-forward, rewind, or skip to particular segments they desire, hence enabling them to learn in a self-directed and personalized manner, anytime, anywhere.

The use of live streaming on Youtube in University Compulsory Modules (UCM) marks the transformation from the traditional classroom teaching into interactive VLE. YouTube Live offers a more engaging and flexible learning environment at Taylor’s. These online synchronous sessions create a sense of connection and accountability in learning that adds to the success of VLE.

Taylor’s also uses Lightboard Video Technology for DIY lectures recording which they pioneered in 2019. This is also known as the “learning glass” for recording video lectures as part of the “Teach-Less, Learn More” initiative under the Taylor’s Curriculum Framework. The Lightboard is a clear whiteboard that enables lecturers to face “toward” students when explaining concept, diagram, model, process, etc. on the board.

When using the Lightboard, lecturers can write text on a glass that is brightly illuminated such that text is highly visible on the board. In comparison to the typical video lectures where text is superimposed during post-production phase, the Lightboard enables the capturing of text or sketches in real time and reducing the amount of post-production editing. This has increased the efficiency and scalability in producing pre-recorded videos.

“While there have been no reports of COVID-19 within our campus, the health and safety of our students and staff are our number one priority. With VLE, students are able to continue their educational progress seamlessly without the risk of exposure,” stated Professor Michael Driscol.