Ms. Eleanor Marie L. Bahrami-Hessari, MA, MS of Department of Elementary Education shared her insights on how to overcome the challenges of online education in a roundtable discussion entitled Surviving the Shift on September 29, 2020 via livestream on Rappler’s Facebook page.
On Learning Management Systems
According to Bahrami-Hessari, the faculty members in the University were trained yearly to develop their teaching methods through a learning management system, which enabled them to utilize new features and more modern ways of teaching the curriculum in online classes.
“[UST] has had for the longest time a learning management system setup for online learning. Even in the previous semesters, there are some general education courses that are offered partly online,” she said. The University has been providing Blackboard e-learning services, named the UST Cloud Campus, through the UST Educational Technology Center.
On the question of synchronous vs. asynchronous classes, Bahrami-Hessari said asynchronous sessions were much preferred over live sessions and suggested that lectures must be delivered 45 minutes at maximum. She stated that part of their adjustments was to upload recorded lectures and activities so that students can revisit the modules in their most convenient time.
“We take into consideration connectivity issues […] and at the college level, we have students who are working,” Bahrami-Hessari said. Apart from the scholarship grants automatically continued by the University this first term, some students “still need to have extra income, and most of them have applied for jobs that they are doing online.”
In the field of elementary and special education
“We are trying to show our students that the future of your field is this and so we expose them to a lot of other individuals who were doing online teaching whether in special [education] or early childhood as a job. We invite them [international lecturers] as speakers in the classroom, and it is actually easier to do now because you can even invite international speakers because it is boundless,” she added.
Bahrami-Hessari underscored that one advantage of the online learning system is its ability to hone students to be independent learner. “Since students were given so much independence, they feel more empowered in their own learning, and so it allows them to focus,” she said.
Bahrami-Hessari handles professional and specialization courses in the College of Education’s elementary education programs.
Revisit the roundtable discussion here: https://www.facebook.com/rapplerdotcom/videos/431606567810793