CITE To Adopt Flexible Learning Mode

As classes for incoming diploma program students are set to open on August 24, CITE considers the flexible learning mode as the best teaching-learning delivery modality that complies with health standards and meets the unique situation posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

In a one-and-a-half hour webinar entitled “Facilitating eLearning Sessions” on July 17, 2020, seven trainers who completed last month’s multiplier seminar of the same title echoed to 38 CITE teachers and staff via Google Meet the needed preparations to run the diploma program in the time of COVID.

The first speaker, Rhiane Matas, notes that the COVID pandemic challenges have caught technical-vocational institutions (TVI) like CITE flat-footed on their preparation in the level of resources, preparedness of both trainers and trainees compounded by slow or lack of internet connectivity, availability of learning devices, and learning platforms.

The flexible learning mode (FLM), as defined in TESDA memorandum circular 62, s 2020, refers to the provision of a range of learning modes or methods giving learners greater choice of when, where and how they learn. The delivery modes may include a combination of face-to-face, online learning, blended learning, and distance learning.

While Matas admits that face-to-face may not be a viable option for workshop as of now, it could be a delivery method which can be adopted when students live nearby the school.

The second speaker, Neil Agbay, furthered into distinguishing the features of flexible learning mode underscoring the importance of “mandatory preparation to implement (the program)” given the diverse types of CITE students.

“We became the pioneer in e-learning,” he said recalling the e-learning modules generated by CITE in 2000 which were used by other schools.

Under FLM, blended learning is highly preferred by TVIs, Agbay notes, due to the skills needed to be acquired by the students especially that only this mode addresses training using complicated learning equipment. But since FLM is a trainer-centered type of a decision, the instructor should be very careful of what mode of learning he would choose, he added.

Being a system administrator, the third speaker, Armand Manatad, delved into the importance of online delivery mode showing the interface of students and teachers with learning management systems (LMS) such as the open-source Moodle, Google Classroom, and even CITE’s very own Virtual CITE. A teacher may upload digital content on LMS of his choice which can be accessible to students. Interactions can happen in the LMS with activities sent back and forth.

Manatad, however, warns teachers to back up their files and read the user agreement of LMS, let alone protect the accounts of students. Manatad also introduced the blended learning delivery mode with online class complemented with printed handouts like Competency-Based Learning Materials (CBLM) or other worksheets.

The next speaker, Mark Grondiano, stresses the importance of obtaining a Certificate of Recognition from TESDA in order to be given the green light to adopt FLM. This requires CITE to submit a letter of intent, updated certificate of TVET (technical-vocational education and training) Program Registration, CBC, list and profile of trainers, and training plans. Grondiano urges teachers of basic, common, and core subjects to come up with a training plan which serves as a reference in implementing, monitoring and evaluating the delivery of the TVET program.

Each unit of competency requires one training plan detailing the modality (full online, blended etc.) learning outcomes, contents, and learning resources. A sample training plan is found below:

Grondiano notes that core subject should use the blended online implementation bearing in mind a maximum of 12 students in the lab or contingent to its capacity as indicated in the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) guidelines when in-person classes are possible. Grondiano also mentions the importance of meeting infrastructure requirements, health protocols, and a study guide for students to complete the program at their own pace.

Academic Director Pepe Echavez sets the submission of requirements by July 25. This was supported by the Registrar, Dr. Jose Roland Flores, who will release the class schedules for approval on July 20.

The fifth speaker, Neil Ryan Laspiñas, reels off the guidelines in conducting e-learning classes as shown in the slide captures that follow.

Laspiñas also showed a sample of technology plan for Machining NC II and a  study guide. Finally, Richard Bonghanoy, the sixth speaker, reminds teachers that as they shift their roles online, they should be online role models, and go extra mile in using different communication touchpoints (cellphone, LMS) to reach out to the students for needed support.

The webinar ended with demos on using Google Classroom and Moodle. Some questions were also answered by resource speakers like Benjie Wong through the online chat.