Lincoln of Nanyang Technological University speaks on ‘Education for a VUCA World’ at Arts and Letters webinar

“The pandemic has resulted in a change of perspective as to the way education should be conducted. The need for adaptability,” as Faculty of Arts and Letters Dean Prof. Marilu R. Madrunio, Ph.D., stated in her opening remarks in the webinar conducted on October 23, 2020, “is necessary at this time of extreme VUCA world.”

What is a VUCA world?

VUCA is an acronym for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. VUCA is a concept that is used to characterize the current environment and the leadership required to navigate it. It characterizes the nature of some difficult conditions and situations, such as the limitations in movement and social interaction that we experience now brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guest speaker, Nanyang Technological University National Institute of Education Visual and Performing Arts Head Mr. Paul Benedict Lincoln, explained what could help educators make learning and re-learning, growing and adapting intrinsic, in this VUCA world.

“We want our children to learn to love to learn. We have to know how to bring joy to our lessons,” he started. Lincoln cited that Outcome-Based Education (OBE) builds upon student mastery and understands why proficiency matters. To drive his point home, the speaker constructed a hypothetical lesson: ‘Riding Bikes for Beginners’.

With the use of technology, schools can hold classes, albeit virtually. Online classes are either held synchronously or asynchronously. Lincoln gave examples of applications that could be used in both methods such as live stream, Zoom, polling software Mentimeter for synchronous classes, and pre-recorded videos, the university Learning Management System, and 3D simulations as possible software for asynchronous classes.  

Well-researched on the University, Lincoln even mentioned that the Institutional Intended Learning Outcome or IILO for UST learners is embodied in SEAL which stands for Servant leader, Effective communicator, Analytical and creative thinker, and Lifelong learner.   

Sharing his observations about going Online or Blended, Lincoln reminded his teacher-audience that “The decision to use one over the other relies on the intrinsic motivation of the learner; it re-draws or re-defines our behavior in the classroom.”  He reiterated that what we do now will shape how our learners will continue to learn outside the university.     

As he closed his lecture, Lincoln gave what he called his “Six Final Statements” to highlight the most salient points of his talk to the 120 webinar participants organized by the Faculty of Arts and Letters, and apparently, to underscore what the teachers have to bring with them to their virtual classrooms.

The six are: (1) design mind-set or disposition; have an expanded view of OBE, (2) social learning encourages collaboration and constructivism, (3) authenticity is crucial for learner fulfillment, (4) work backward from ILO to Lesson Activity and avoid teacher centricity, (5) assessments can be used to grow learners, not to rank them, and (6) technology is the literacy and enabler for the re-learning of tomorrow.  

An open forum moderated by Arts and Letters Faculty Secretary Asst. Prof. Zenia Rodriguez followed the lecture that was made possible through the Zoom platform.

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