The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) held a faculty conference entitled “BLEND OF THE ROAD: CAS Faculty Stepping UP to the New Normal” on April 27, 2022, via Zoom. This activity aimed to equip the CAS faculty with the knowledge to help them develop plans for the eventual transition to blended learning modes of instruction in the coming Academic Year.
Dr. Jerome T. Buenviaje, Dean, UP Diliman College of Education, started his lecture with an activity as an example to stimulate the interest of the learners, then proceeded with teaching strategies that can be done and the importance of ABC (Aim, Build, Calibrate) in redesigning the learning environment, which can also be used in planning for blended learning.
The session outcomes focused on defining Blended Learning (BL) and examining various BL models for curriculum and instruction management. He also shared different approaches where he emphasized the importance of the teacher’s experience, technological knowledge, and administrative support in making any of these approaches work. He also explained how to use these models in class and how to design a hybrid-flexible course. He compared traditional learning vs. hybrid/blended learning in which the teacher’s role as facilitator is emphasized and the approach becomes more learner-centered.
After the plenary talk, participants were given the option to join any of the two parallel sessions. Parallel Session 1 was facilitated by Dr. Bhabita Murjani, Chair, UPM College of Dentistry’s Department of Basic Dental Health Sciences while Parallel Session 2 was facilitated by Dr. Erlyn Sana from the UPM National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions.
Dr. Murjani discussed the fundamentals of BL, how to achieve the learning objectives, how the CD implements face-to-face laboratory classes, and the protocols that need to be followed. She reminded the participants to think of the long-term scenario, allot room for improvement, and the importance of showing compassion to students.
Meanwhile, Dr. Sana talked about the meaning of “New Normal” based on the Department of Health guidelines and its implications for higher education. She also talked about the developing educational landscape and the best practices that could be utilized to better prepare for the new normal classroom set-up. She also shared the references that need to be considered, the Outcome-based Education curricular framework, the importance of course packs as UP’s compliance with the CHED Memorandum, and ways on how to organize the content of subjects taught. She explained learning strategies such as Blended, Technologically-enriched Strategy, Flex Learning, Hybrid; and Online Plus, as well as tips on how to conduct online performance assessments.
Mary Dorothy dL. Jose