Limited internet? No problem: FEU offers flexibility
New learning modalities allow students to continue their education based on accessibility and learning capability
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 04:30 AM August 08, 2020
It’s going to be a school year like no other, with face-to-face teaching suspended and technology playing a bigger role, but Far Eastern University (FEU) is ready for it.
FEU acknowledges the shift of the role of the teacher from “sage on the stage” to “guides on the side” as education transitions to a more student-centric process.
For the first semester of school year 2020-2021, FEU is offering flexible learning modalities. This will allow students to continue their FEU education based on accessibility and their learning capability.
FEU president Michael Alba said that using technology in teaching isn’t new to the university. “Online learning has been an integral part of how we teach in FEU,” he said. “We have been using the Canvas learning management system since school year 2016-2017, and we will maximize this platform to ensure that the interaction between student and faculty is carried out. Teachers will make sure that the objectives and target competencies of each course are achieved and mastered.”
Keeping in mind the limitations brought by the pandemic, FEU developed three modes of learning that will empower students of all backgrounds in learning, leading and contributing to important discussions. There’s Mixed Online Learning (MOL), Asynchronous Online Leaning (AOL) and Total Analog Learning (TAL).
MOL will provide students with the most amount of guidance from educators. The teachers will engage the class at least eight times (possibly up to 24 times) during the semester.
Students will also receive individual feedback at least four times so they can keep track of their progress. This is important to know for parents who are wondering how their children will be evaluated this semester. These meetings would be conducted either through online classes, small group discussions or individual consultations. A stable internet connection is necessary.
AOL won’t require as much internet use as MOL. There will be no regular meetings, only a minimum of four scheduled consultations. Students who go for AOL can get their learning materials through Canvas.
Students under TAL will still need internet access for consultation and research. For TAL students, learning materials will be compiled into a USB flash drive and delivered to the student via courier.
Teachers and students can use Canvas for hassle-free communication. Students can send their teachers direct messages with the inbox function, while they can ask questions about specific assignments using the comment function. There is also a video conferencing function that can be used for real-time discussions online.
Students under any of the three modalities will need to practice discipline and independence more than ever for a successful year in school. They need to keep track of their schedule, manage their time and make sure they submit their requirements.
The faculty has undergone training to equip them with the necessary new skills to guide and motivate their students even without being face to face.
The teacher’s goal, according to FEU, “is to develop in students the ability to own their learning goals, while addressing the possibility that students may feel isolated and disengaged from their schoolwork.”
Students can say goodbye to multiple choice questions and expect frequent low-stakes quizzes and evaluations that will be based on open-book exams, project-based learning and reflection papers.
“Our online learning is a product of many years of development, focusing on making learning outcome expectations similar to those in face-to-face classes. In FEU, the classroom—physical or virtual—is a safe and engaging space for the active learner,” says Alba. —Pam Pastor