Outside in and inside out! A place to store ideas about education.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Hi everyone. New sem, new post. :) I enrolled in EDDE 210, online teaching and learning. we have discussion going on on "Am I ready for Online Teaching and Learning?". Here's my post:


I don't think it's still right for me to ask whether I am ready for online learning or teaching, since I've been doing it for the past 6 months :) Anyway, I'll just use this opportunity to share some of my experiences.

I remember last March when I was being interviewed by the panel from UPOU. I had applied for a faculty post since December, and was literally hounding Dr. Hermosa, our Dean in the Faculty of Education, to please, please give me a chance! I had come up with a hundred-page booklet of the stuff I had written, as well as my academic requirements, etc. FInally, in March, I was called in for an interview. I prepared for it by reading all that I could in distance ed, and browsing the UPOU website, and asking my husband, who is an Associate in Arts major here at UPOU.

I had dressed in my most respectable clothes, and entered the Multimedia Center. The UPOU offices here in Diliman are very conspicuously quiet, too quiet, in fact, for a "University"! Anyway, I had no idea what to expect, or what they would ask, but I had promised myself to show my true colors, and not do anything in particular to impress anyone, and then let them judge from there.

I was asked questions by the panel, composed of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, two Deans, Dr. Suplido :), and two other professors. They asked me indirectly how I perceived teaching as a profession, how I handled my students in my previous residential class, why I shifted from research to teaching, and how I would respond to the different conditions and culture of distance learning as compared to the residential mode. For all those questions, I was able to respond with ease and confidence, as I had been able to deliberate them personally before I applied for the job.

However, I found a question of Dr. Bautista, our Vice Chancellor, to be the hardest to answer: she asked me what I expected Distance Education to be. Truth to tell, I was stumped. How could I expect anything of something I had never experienced? I truthfully answered that all I knew about DE was that the students used modules and had some discussions online, and had to submit assignments on time. I had NO IDEA what it was, and no matter how much I read up on it, or how many questions I ask my husband or other DE students, I would still have no real appreciation or understanding of DE.

Looking back after one sem of DE teaching, I can say that "he who tastes, knows." The greatest concerns of residential faculty, the transmission of information, has been taken cared of at the outset by the course modules. The least of the residential faculty's concerns, knowing my students and my students knowing me, is of great consequence in DE. The small things, like facial expression, inflections of voice, the way we act and move that tell us so much about a person, are all lost in technology. CAn I express my frustration when part of the technology that we are so dependent on breaks down without warning? Or when I give a pretty challenging TMA and the whole online class goes quiet for one week? (I still wonder if they've forgiven me for that :) !!!)

Suffice to say, DE is such an interesting and challenging field that I really have no inclination of going back to residential teaching at the moment :) The most important thing, I have learned, as a DE student and teacher is something I have not seen emphasized enough in both online DE readiness quizzes I took: INITIATIVE. DE is an extra effort and no one else but yourself is going to push you to go the extra mile. From last sem's class results, I saw that those who have a lot of initiative ended up with really good output, while those with little initiative for DE ended up with really low grades.

I have a penchant for overdoing things and I guess I overdid this activity for now... :) Dr. Suplido, please just tell me to tone down if I have to. :):):)

Good day everyone!