December 20, 2021

Virtual Learning Success at Salford University

As the Covid19 pandemic forced schools and universities to close their doors and adopt virtual learning, live animation professor at Salford University, Johnathon Byrne, was determined to keep his classes engaging. But with only live web chat and screen sharing available to him and a large group of students as an audience, Johnathon was concerned that the quality of both teaching and learning would suffer in this format. 

Johnathon began using Singular to combat his concerns. Using the platform in blackboard via OBS, he was able to activate contextual graphics at the perfect moments using Singular’s browser controls. Live features such as name badges and on-screen overlays for questions enabled classes to feel more interactive, and as close to in-person teaching as possible. A countdown timer and course artwork also helped to build anticipation prior to the sessions, encouraging participation from students that lasted longer than the session itself. 

After some weeks of figuring out what suited his lessons and students most, more technology was introduced to optimize engagement; animation software, OBS Open Broadcaster Software, Singular overlays and even Snapchat filters were all utilized to create a fun learning environment. Students welcomed the new style of teaching and this was mirrored in both attendance levels and academic results. 

On reflection of this project, Johnathon identified Singular’s ease of use as the most impressive element to the platform. The constraints of lockdown posed a real threat to both the quality and enjoyment of learning, but having a cloud-based graphics platform readily available and completely free of charge for educators through the Singular for Good program meant that an innovative and exciting approach to virtual learning was immediately achievable.

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