Taylor’s Culinary Institute (TCI) shared its practical classes mitigation plan for its culinary and hospitality courses, through an immersive media masterclass that enables participants to experience its Borderless Learning concept. The masterclass saw participants engaging in a macaron decorating workshop, allowing them to navigate through the state-of-the-art ‘digital classroom’.
Taylor’s University was able to swiftly migrate face-to-face teaching and learning to a hybrid learning system, as the pandemic restricted international travel and physical distancing was officially put in place. The migration follows the proactive steps taken by the University with its e-Learning master plan conceptualised back in 2002 costing RM50 million.
Taylor’s e-Learning blueprint’s main mission is to enhance the teaching and learning experience for both lecturers and students and ensure that classes are able to seamlessly switch to hybrid mode should another crisis of a similar scale occur in the future. The e-Learning masterplan included the development and deployment of ‘Lightboards’, a glass board that records what lecturers write in real-time, which can then be directly included in lecture videos; investment in a virtual lab simulator called ‘Labster’, a realistic first-person “simulator” that allows users to practice conducting experiments without worrying about time and risk; and even integrating Augmented Reality (AR) and gamification elements into our classes.
As COVID-19’s unprecedented situation prolonged and governments around the world continue to implement enhanced standard operating procedures to minimise infection rates, Taylor’s saw an opportunity to further improve its e-learning offerings, mitigating risks of extended disruptions to classes due to the pandemic, with alternative creative forms of module delivery.
TCI’s lecture capture system is able to integrate virtual online conference software – which is now seen as one of the most essential tools when conducting online learning, into its culinary and pastry studios to form a two-way communication model in the classroom whilst ensuring the safety and wellbeing of both students and chef-lecturers. The system is also equipped with technological tools necessary for students’ learning, especially when presenting their works on the demonstration table. Such tools include a mounted top-view camera with zoom capabilities, mounted lighting and a two-way headphone with a microphone allowing interactive communications between chef lecturers and students.
Building on the success of Borderless Learning, TCI will be running an online cooking competition “Beyond the Boundaries of Taste” from 28 June – 28 July 2021. The national competition is open to all diploma students majoring in culinary arts, and participants will stand a chance to earn bursaries of up to RM5,000 to enrol in Taylor’s Advanced Diploma in Patisserie and Gastronomic Cuisine, along with a guaranteed 3 months Internship at a Michelin Starred Restaurant in Summer 2022 and a Certification of Participation. For full terms and conditions of the online competition, please visit TCI’s Instagram page (@taylors_culinary_institute).
Despite challenges imposed by COVID-19, Taylor’s University retained its position as the top private university in Malaysia and Southeast Asia in the QS World University Rankings 2022. The institution’s quick adaptability and innovation in online learning have proved to be effective as Taylor’s University won four out of nine awards for higher education in the recent International University Carnival on e-Learning (IUCEL) 2021 organised by the Ministry of Higher Education.