(This is the second in a series on what students, parents and the general public can expect when school opens next month for Cagayan de Oro's Universities)
Things are going to be a bit different when students of Cagayan de Oro's four universities resume classes next month.
"Education should be all-inclusive," said Dr. Alain Marc P. Golez, Liceo U president. "We have reshaped our learning management system through flexible learning to help our students continue their education with minimal distractions from health protocols mandated by the global pandemic whichis crucial to their attainment of quality education."
Golez said Liceo U has reshaped the design and delivery of instruction to suit her students' unique needs and situation by considering their individual access to technology and availability of devices, and how they can continue their education even if they have limited or no access to the internet.
Pilot Program and Survey
Fortunately, Liceo U gained valuable experience with FLEx Learning when it piloted Online Learning in 2017 with her Physical Therapy Department.and in 2018, Information Technology, Psychology and Radiologic Technology also conducted some aspects of instruction online.
In addition to the learnings and experiences gained through this pilot program, Liceo U also conducted a student survey to determine the best approach to fulfill their specific needs and expected learning outcomesthrough the Learning Management System Committee chaired by Dr Florecilla C Cinches and co-chaired by Dr Denise O Orong..
Founded in 1955 by the couple Rodolfo and Elsa Pelaez, Liceo U gained her University status in 1997-1998, and she has numerous LEVEL IV Accreditation Certifications from the PACUCOA..
Liceo U now has three campuses: RN Peleaz Campus (former Liceo Hospital) along Macapagal Avenue (formerly Patag Road), Main Campus on RN Pelaez Boulevard and Paseo Campus (for Senior High and Medicine-related courses such as nursing, , Physical Therapy, MedTech, Pharmacy, Radiologic Technology)
Home-based FLEx Learning
"Liceo U will introduce Flexible Learningas the best approach offering the best outcomes for our learners' even as we continue to follow strict health precautionary measures," Golez noted.
"It is designed to meet the needs of our students. Whether they’re connected to the internet or not, in school or in the safety of their homes, no one is left behind. Liceo U will continue to offer accessible and inclusive quality education for all her students," he added.
Liceo U's FLEx Learning is basically a Study-from-Home system will utilize either synchonous (real-time virtual conferencing) or asynchronous (self-paced learning) instruction. This includes but is not limited to the provision of printed and technology-assisted learning materials for students with limited or no internet connectivity.
Real-Time Virtual Learning has been designed for learners' with reliable internet connections that would enable them to participatein real-time synchronized meetings through a prescribed online platform, with learning modules and materials to be accessed online, and virtual laboratory (may require delayed laboratory return demonstration).
On the other hand, Self-Paced Learning is for students with none or limited internet connection, thus access to materials/modules will depend on the student's availability to pick up the learning materials either through the use of a flash disk, or printed modules and materials at the campus, comply with the requirements at their own pace, and upload the completed compliances online after.
School-based learning includes face-to-face (lecture and laboratory) sessions to ensure the achievement of the outcomes or competencies that require demonstration of skills with strict compliance upon the advice of the local and national government and their agencies: DepEd, CHED and the IATF.
Liceo U will take further steps with school-based learning when the university administation determines that COVID-19 has been contained.
FLEx @ Liceo U features Learner-Material Flexibility, Learner-Support Services and Trained Faculty for Virtual Learning.
WithLearner-Material Flexibility students will enjoy real-time learning instructions, self-paced learning, and delayed laboratory demonstration with printed modules and learning packets prepared by departments.
Learner-Material Flexibilityassures that all students learn through online and can work at their own pace within a given time framework using online and offline activities accessible through both personal computers or smart phones. Those with limited online access can retrieve learning materials and modules through flash drives or materials printed by their respective departments.
Liceo U's FreeLearner-Support Servicesis designed to meet the unique demands of online learning. It provides online personal counseling with peer-to-peer support, health and wellness, spiritual, legal, and ethical services, online libraries, bookstore services, technical support and online academic mentoring and advising.
The University partnered with various online resources and platforms for teachers and learners to have seamless learning connection offline and online. Among these are Google, GSuite, Quipper, Microsoft, Edmondo, Zoom, YouTube and Facebook.
While the University's libraries remain closed, Liceo U continues to support teachers and learners through its free online library resources.
Even with the implementation of FLEx Learning, Liceo U assures that her trained experts in Online Teaching who are professinally competent to undertake online learning.
"Liceo U faculty participate in ongoing professional development to stay current with advances in online instruction and latest educational technologies to meet learner's individual needs. Teachers lead classes with more effective and innovative online teaching methods to cater to 21st century learning skills," Golez noted.
The university considers its faculty trained in Virtual Learning as indispendable in the enchancement of 21st Century Learning Skills.
In 21st century education, skills enhancement is the priority of the University for the globally competitive learner. The University aims to further enhance critical thinking, collaboration, creativity with the inclusion of digital literacy in communication as important learning domains these times, Golez stressed.
To ensure that all students regardless of their choice of Real-Time or Self-Paced Learning, have access to the support they need to complete their requirements, Liceo U has established the Liceo Educational Learning Center whichensures access to and proficiency in technology for creative integration to enhance delivery of instruction and reinforce educational needs.
The center offers skills-based and curriculum-integrated professional development opportunities, collaborative initiatives with other curriculum departments, with software tools that are current and necessary for 21st century education.
Enrollment ongoing till August 3 to 14 for late enrollees, classes start August 3 (Medicine) and August 11 (all levels).
During its latest academic year, Liceo U had enrolled some 10,000 students who were nurtured by a teaching/non-teaching staff of some 500 employees.
"We managed to survive the transition period for the mandated implementation of K+12 which was really tough and I am confident we can manage to meet the challenges posed by the New Normal, " Golez said.
However, should the global pandemic pan out longer than expected, Golez cautioned their students and employees to expect the present non-medical protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to continue, even if schools would already be allowed to re-open with face-to-face instruction.
"Expect the present physical distancing, footbaths at the gates and classrooms, temperature checks, hand washing and mandatory face masks to continue," he warned.
Meantime, the gates to all three campuses remain closed, with personal interactions for those doing business with Liceo U limited to a roped-off Extended Service Area near each campus gates where the present health protocols are strictly implemented. (RMB)
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