University of the Philippines to switch to blended learning in next academic year

·2 min read
University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. (Source: University of the Philippines/Facebook)
University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. (Source: University of the Philippines/Facebook)

In light of the proposed physical reopening of the schools in the upcoming academic year, the University of the Philippines (UP) has released guidelines in the conduct of blended learning, a move that was welcomed after two years of remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This mode is expected to improve the quality of teaching and learning by incorporating various learning resources and providing venues for teacher and learning instruction,” a memorandum released by the UP Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs read.

“Shifting to this mode can also provide greater flexibility to the University and its academic units to manage crowds, ensure learning continuity, and facilitate the planning of campus facilities,” the memo read further.

The memo has proposed three models that different departments, institutes, and colleges within the university can adapt in implementing the blended learning setup.

The first model is retaining the full virtual learning setting, while the second model, called “blended block learning,” is a combination of online studying and “intensive” face-to-face classes.

“For example, in a laboratory class with geographically dispersed students, in-person sessions in the laboratory can be blocked and scheduled at a particular point in the semester, and online learning takes place in the periods before and after the blocked (face-to-face) sessions,” the UP office said in its memo.

Meanwhile, the third model alternates physical classes with an asynchronous type of learning, where students can study from their home and do guided practice and group work during in-person classes.

According to the memo, all three recommended models can be applied during Alert Levels 1-5, with face-to-face activities only allowed in Alert Levels 1-3 and would require full vaccination and classes retrofitted to the applicable health and safety protocols.

However, the decision on which learning delivery mode to adopt is still up to the respective departments, institutes and colleges.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.

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