This February 2022, the faculty members in the tertiary level are requested to pursue the flexible educational delivery of their respective courses and degree programs through Asynchronous Modality/Self-Paced Learning.
The memorandum for this action has been released by the Office of Curriculum and Instruction.
“We help ensure their safety by lessening students’ movement outside of their homes,” stated in the document.
Here are some specific intervention schemes we can do in relation to the conduct of Asynchronous Modality/Self-Paced Learning.
1.) Temporarily suspend synchronous sessions
Using video call applications for synchronous sessions like MS Teams and Zoom Will need larger bandwidth; however, our students this time rely more on mobile data which cannot carry the needed capacity for such applications. Most of them do not have reliable internet connection and would not be able to sustain video call meetings for hours. In consideration of this constraint, let us temporarily suspend synchronous sessions for this month until we receive an update from telecommunication companies that the internet is fully restored in Cebu and other places adversely affected by Typhoon Odette.
2.) Conduct a survey of students’ internet connectivity
The Adelante LMS Team led by Administrator Dr. Jovelyn Cuizon is presently conducting an Internet Connectivity Survey among students. Around 30% of our student population have already responded and more than half of the respondents still do not have restored internet connection. We will continue to run the survey and use the results to drive our decisions relative to online learning delivery. We will update you of the results from time to time. You may also do your own survey to identify the unique situations of your students and use such data to drive your curricular planning and implementation.
3.) Maximize the use of the Adelante Brightspace LMS
Because we will apply Asynchronous learning, students will be depending more on the Learning Management System as their means to communicate with you and to do self-paced learning. You will be able to maximize asynchronous learning through careful and proper arrangement of posts, instructions, tasks, notes, quizzes, and other resources in the course site under the LMS. Let us make our presence felt by updating the course site, posting announcements, and giving feedback on their outputs and responses. Feel free to ask help from the Adelante LMS Team If you need guidance and reorientation to Brightspace LMS. You can also re-access our materials during the webinar on Syllabi Development and LMS Refresher last October 2022.
4.) Continue focusing on the Most Essential Learning Outcomes
Identify which competencies and outcomes in your course will be best suited for asynchronous delivery and decide if you can rearrange your course framework accordingly. Let us be selective and conservative in determining the competencies and outcomes to be covered in the course. “The lesser, the better” is a good guideline to follow in preparing a distance learning curriculum.
5.) Relax the deadlines of your course’s major tasks
A significant feature of asynchronous learning is the flexibility given to the students in performing their assigned tasks and submitting the requirements of their online courses. In view of the present situation and our decision to employ self-paced learning, it is reasonable to relax the deadlines of our tasks for this month and allow our students to submit their outputs when they are able to do so. While we help them manage their routines by providing a suggested deadline, let us be considerate to those who, for some valid reasons, are able to submit the requirements beyond the deadline set.
6.) Discuss with colleagues on specific initiatives relevant to your unique courses/programs and situations in consideration of students’ needs
The university values your academic freedom and the innovativeness of the courses and degree programs under your school/department. For example, the School of Allied Medical Sciences Can Continue its conduct of rotational hybrid learning setup due to the nature of their RLE/laboratory courses and their IATF-CHED approval. Accordingly, the Chairpersons and the Deans/Directors are encouraged to organize a Professional Learning Circle (PLC) with the faculty and staff to share experiences, discuss initiatives on how to help teachers and students, and utilize compassionate and appropriate strategies on the conduct of online flexible learning in asynchronous modality. The students will be guided smoothly in their self-paced learning when the department has common understanding and practices.
7.) Prefer the giving of materials and resources with lower file size
As part of our efforts to assist students, especially those with no reliable internet access, teachers can opt to use modules (in DOC/PDF file) that are complete from introduction to assessment parts of the lesson, which can be downloaded by students and allow them to work offline. Another option will be to continue setting up the course in the LMS site but with due consideration the file sizes of resources being shared. At times, it may be better to just send the links instead of sharing actual video lectures which normally have large file sizes. To further help the students, you may also allow the use of social networking sites and email to communicate, send resources, and submit outputs. Moreover, please provide the students with your course syllabus/outline. It’s not just a good learning guide for students; it also serves as your contract with them the necessary outcomes of the course.
8.) Show compassion and concern for students
Most importantly, as Augustinian Recollect educators and lay collaborators, let us practice the charism of “Caritas et Scientia” – to maintain excellence while we show our sincere compassion and concern for our students. With all of us experiencing difficulties, let us be empathetic of students’ needs and work around them to continue to provide Quality Christian Community- Oriented Education in an online flexible setup.
The aforementioned intervention schemes are all in line with the Flexible Learning Guidelines set by the University for online distance learning.
Written by Lorraine Mitzi A. Ambrad
University of San Jose - Recoletos
Year Founded 1947