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The class suspension during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) brought by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis has deferred regular classes in schools and has urged educators to explore learning strategies that could better engage students without them being physically present.

According to Dr. Daisy Palompon, Cebu Normal University (CNU) Vice President for Academic Affairs, the COVID-19 health crisis is a circumstance at which alternative ways of learning can be introduced.

Palompon said that the blended learning approach is done in most classes where traditional and online learning is combined; however, in the situation of COVID-19 health crisis, not all teachers and students have full access to the necessary technologies.

Read related article: [Teaching-learning challenges amid COVID-19]

She said that structurally, our region is not ready for full online learning since not all areas have access to internet or even mobile phone signals.

“Online courses require the readiness assessment of the learners which include the availability of ICT gadgets and a strong internet connection.” Palompon said.

“The use of online learning is indeed a very good alternative for face-to-face learning; however, there are competencies which could not be learned through online learning alone,” she added.

She said that there are still courses that require practicum, related learning experience, or On-the-Job Training (OJT) such as the development of the art and skills of teaching and nursing care among others.

It is not new

Palompon said that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have already been encouraged to introduce innovations in learning strategies through seamless learning with other learners around the globe. 

“The principle of which is that expertise may not only be learned in our local HEIs but could also be found in our neighboring countries. And that learning could not only be done by actual classroom experience but can also take place in virtual learning set-ups,” Palompon said.

She said that exploring effective ways of learning for the new generations of learners is encouraged by taking advantage of their interests in the use of technology. Hence, blended learning was introduced such as the use of flipped classrooms. 

“Alternative ways of learning are also introduced to enable more potential students who cannot be present in the physical classroom due to work demands and other household concerns [to continue learning], hence, online learning or distance learning came about,” Palompon said.

“Learning is dynamic and it continues for every individual. CNU has proposed proactive measures for the academic needs of the students,” she added.

According to Palompon, COVID-19 has created a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) situation. Hence, our proactive measures would be as flexible as the nature of the health crisis [itself]. 

Way forward

“The whole academic community will review our course map before the start of the next school year and will be reintegrating the competencies not attained within this semester in related courses by next school year,” Palompon said. 

“Developing an integrated approach for teaching-learning will best be explored with the foremost consideration of using platforms that will not require much internet use or ICT facilities,” she added. (JDF)

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