On 15 May 2023, at 1 p.m., the highly anticipated class titled "Salute to the Masters: Vincent Willem Van Gogh and Oscar-Claude Monet-A Face-to-Face Oil Painting Tutorial for Beginner Students" commenced punctually at the Weigongcun Campus of the Seniors University of China (SUC).

With an impressive attendance of approximately 11,000 participants both online and offline, this event marked a significant milestone. Professor Tang Yingshan, renowned faculty member from the School of Art at the Open University of China (OUC), captivated the audience with an engaging introduction to the world of oil painting. Meanwhile, dedicated teaching assistants provided on-site tutorials and guidance to the eager students. This remarkable class was a collaborative effort between the SUC and the School of Art, aimed at pioneering an integrated teaching approach that seamlessly merges online and offline experiences through the innovative use of VR livestreaming technology.

During the course of the teaching, Professor Tang Yingshan emphasized the importance of delving beyond mere image depiction in the study of oil painting. He urged students to grasp the essence and understand the underlying principles. Throughout the class, the course leader systematically explained and demonstrated the step-by-step painting process, starting with fundamental painting knowledge. These demonstrations and practical exercises were projected onto a large screen, ensuring clear and detailed instruction. The face-to-face students swiftly immersed themselves in the learning process, attentively listening, actively asking questions, and fearlessly practicing their newfound skills. The teaching assistants exhibited remarkable patience as they addressed each student's queries and provided guidance in their painting endeavors.

Once the VR livestreaming commenced, online students also embraced the opportunity with enthusiasm, leading to a rapid increase in viewership, surpassing 6,000 within an hour. As the teaching progressed, new students continuously joined the online platform. This novel form of live streaming offered an unparalleled learning experience, allowing participants to observe the displayed paintings on their screens, pick up their brushes, and diligently learn alongside their peers at home. Simultaneously, they engaged in communication and exchanges through the use of bullet comments, fostering a sense of community among the learners.

Halfway through the class, online students began sharing their paintings. As the teaching progressed, an increasing number of students joined the online session, resulting in a viewership that surpassed 11,000 by the end of the class. Professor Tang and the online assistants demonstrated unwavering patience as they diligently responded to the questions raised by the virtual students, striving to ensure that every student could maintain pace with the teaching without lagging behind.

Professor Tang's teaching left a profound impact on the students, who praised the Seniors University of China (SUC) for its forward-thinking approach and creativity. They expressed their gratitude for being able to witness an alternative possibility of an online class. The innovative live format proved to be engaging and instrumental in helping students acquire a thorough understanding of oil painting knowledge while igniting their enthusiasm for independent learning.

Furthermore, all the students unanimously expressed how much they benefited and learned from Professor Tang's professional and patient explanations. They found themselves increasingly captivated by the world of oil painting, displaying a heightened interest in the subject.

Thus, the inaugural face-to-face tutorial and VR livestream class proved to be an undeniable success.

In the future, the SUC will ensure that a greater number of students can experience the creative class and fulfill their "art dream," including older adults, by utilizing cutting-edge technologies like VR live streaming.

The SUC aspires to provide every senior student with the opportunity to embrace the advancements in science and technology while indulging in the aesthetic pleasure of art. Simultaneously, it aims to welcome an increasing number of students to join the SUC community and unleash their creativity by wielding brushes to craft magnificent masterpieces.


By OUC School for Older Adults