Confetti — Blended learning meets mixed-reality through esport

21 October 2021


ESJ 9 Interview with Gin Rai Confetti Institute of Technologies
This piece first appeared in Edition 9 of The Esports Journal

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One of the key takeaways from the pandemic that we’re still struggling with is the fact that virtual schooling is simply not as effective as real-life teaching, even though the technology is in place to move online. 

As such, Confetti, a specialist creative industry institute focused on music, gaming, media, and esports courses at college and university level in the United Kingdom, has had an extremely eventful 18 months. 

So when it came time to talk with Gin Rai, Esports Manager and Higher Education Course Leader at Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, the topic was not that of the past. It was rather one of the lessons Confetti learned, as well as the advantages that place the students on its courses in a better position after they complete their studies. 

As of the time of writing, students are returning to Confetti’s courses, to study using some of the most advanced technology available, however some sessions are still being held online. Rai explained to The Esports Journal that some of the theoretical sessions and talks simply lend themselves to being online naturally. Still, he emphasised the importance of face-to-face communication when it comes to the relationship between a student and teacher. 

Rai noted: “Principally, we just had to find the most effective ways of using both our physical space and our virtual space to teach in the best possible way. The thing we’re looking forward to the most is being face-to-face with the students again, as are the students.

“That’s a two-way thing. We really prefer teaching actual physical people and connecting with people. Without being able to do that takes away some of that joy of teaching and the joy of learning.” 

Shedding the skin of 2020

The main challenge for an institution such as Confetti in 2021 is simply turning its head towards the future in a world where nothing is certain. Rai explained: “The main challenge for us is to simply shed our skin of the challenges faced over the pandemic and just grow from any of the elements that were helpful and beneficial. 

“For example, our acceleration into ‘blended learning models’ and ‘blended teaching’. So online teaching alongside face-to-face teaching was a great success for us within our area.”

The educational institution’s immediate goal is to analyse the effectiveness of last year’s changes that were brought about due to COVID, and think about how to enhance the entire experience for its students and lecturers. Rai emphasised that Confetti’s first challenge this year is to refine the blended learning models that it used last year. Moreover, he noted that the main challenges were around accessing the cutting-edge facilities.

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“There’s the challenges that come with making sure that we are developing the state-of-the-art technologies and courses that are based around those technologies,” he said. “That’s the biggest challenge, because it’s such a fast paced and fast moving industry.“

It’s interesting to note that the pandemic actually brought a set of new technologies into the public eye. Some of these technologies, like mixed reality, made its way into live broadcasting studios of major news outlets such as the BBC, specifically. With its Olympics coverage, there is no doubt that the pandemic encouraged broadcasters to turn to more creative ways of broadcasting simply because they had no other way of doing it. It’s no coincidence that Confetti are pushing the delivery of these technologies on their BSc Esports Production degree.

To read the rest of this piece, go to The Esports Journal Edition 9, page 36

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Supported by: Confetti