The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU)-Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS),  Dean and Professor, Dr. Joane V. Serrano, together with the Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN) Program Chair, Assistant Professor Ria Valerie Cabanes, served as the synchronous session content expert and course coordinators for the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL)’s short course on blended learning for the UPLB teaching staff held from 18 – 31 July 2022. 

This initiative is to prepare the UPLB teaching staff for the opening of classes this Academic Year 2022-2023. Considering the University’s resources and faculty preparedness, blended learning is thought to be the ideal learning delivery mode in the new normal. The training team consists of Dr. Joane V. Serrano, Assistant Professor Ria Valerie Cabanes, Associate Professor Sherry B. Marasigan from the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS) UPLB, Assistant Professor Rhea R. Bailey from the College of Human Ecology (CHE) UPLB, Associate Professor Edmund G. Centeno from CATL UPLB, Assistant Professor Monica Walet from the College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAF) UPLB, and Assistant Professor Leopoldo B. Laser, Jr. from the UP Rural High School (UPRHS). 

Dean Serrano facilitated the three synchronous sessions. The synchronous sessions were held via Zoom on July 18, 25, and 29 while the asynchronous sessions were conducted through UPLB Canvas from July 18-31, 2022. 

The first session discussed the fundamental concepts and introduction to blended learning, specifically on Learning Delivery Modes, Blended Learning Models indicated in the VPAA Memo 2022-88, Blending at the Program/Institutional Level, and making blended learning work. Dean Serrano also emphasized the importance of having to shift the mindset among faculty members to adapt to the blended learning mode. She also stressed the need to ensure a seamless connection between the synchronous and asynchronous learning methods while complementing the two different learning modes as well as the importance of an interplay between pedagogy, content, and technology.

During the second synchronous session, Dr. Serrano tackled more on the designing the teaching assessment and activities, and the interconnectedness of activities, assessments, and learning outcomes.  She also highlighted the importance of having safe space for students where they will feel respected and valued. Dr. Sherry Marasigan served as one of the moderators during the synchronous session. She is also an affiliate faculty member of UPOU.

Dr. Sherry Marasigan (on the left) and Dr. Joane V. Serrano (on the right), during the Q&A for the 2nd Synchronous Session.

The short course on blended learning was developed by the UPOU team and was divided into six  modules mainly:

Module 1- Introduction to Blended Learning

Module 2- Planning the Course Content

Module 3- Preparing Learning Resources

Module 4- Designing Learning Activities

Module 5- Strategies in Planning Assessment

Module 6- Putting together the Coursepack

A discussion forum, a quiz, and an activity for each module were also posted on the course site to assess the participants. The participants were able to share their experiences and give out questions and feedback for every module.

The final output required the participants to create a coursepack as part of Module 6. During the orientation, Dean Serrano highlighted the importance of developing a coursepack that is pedagogically fit and suited for blended learning. 

A total of 395 faculty members from UPLB joined the two week course on blended learning. 

For those who were not able to attend and watch the synchronous sessions, lecture videos for sessions 1 and 2 can still be accessed via UPLB Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning Facebook page through this link The participants may also still view the course via Canvas until September 30, 2022.

Written by Camille Hemedes • Edited by Joane V. Serrano

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