Following the preparations for the current academic year, the RevEd Project, which is a planned redesign of the current education curriculum in the University, will be launched to accommodate incoming students post-K-12. The LaSallian, in an interview with Quality Assurance Office (QAO) Director Dr. Gerardo Largoza, and Vice Chancellor for Academics (VCA) Dr. Merlin Suarez, addresses the queries of how this redesign will affect both the incoming and current students in the University.
Recalling RevEd curricula
According to Suarez, the 2018 curricula possesses key elements geared towards “ensuring [that] DLSU graduates possess the 4Cs of the ‘21st Century Education’,” which include critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. She further describes the curricula to be “interdisciplinary, international, has impact, and is integrated.”
The main objective of the new curricula is to equip students with the skills needed to solve complex problems in the workplace. However, Suarez says that delivering interdisciplinary programs to meet this goal is “challenging” due to the need to undergo a paradigm shift for all faculty members involved. “It means creating a learning environment where students create knowledge, rather than transmitting knowledge via lectures. It will also require learning outside the classroom, facing real-world conditions,” Suarez expounds. Suarez also points out that all programs in the new curricula will have a service learning component, which will allow students to work on projects “which have impact”.
She supports this by citing that such curricula will include “necessary scaffolds to enrich the students’ learning experience.” “Support for academic difficulties, counselling and career services, and individual formation are being carefully studied to ensure students are well-prepared for the 21st century workplace,” she affirms.
In terms of gearing up for the transition in the aspect of academics in the University, the VCA explicates that DLSU provided workshops on interdisciplinary curriculum design. “For AY 2018-2019, trainings on pedagogies [(methods of teaching)] and assessment techniques fit for outcomes-based education will be conducted,” Suarez reveals. She continues that trainings on the use of a “new learning system management” will be conducted as well.
Courses old and new
For each student, and specific to each degree program, a flowchart or checklist is being followed throughout the whole stay in the University. This serves as each student’s guide to which courses to take and at which terms. In line with this, a number of undergraduate courses, due to their inclination to the older Basic Education Curriculum, have been cited by students to have been “phased out” in the University. Largoza explains that these “phased out” subjects have simply been transferred to the Senior High School department, or modified by the different departments “as part of the process of creating their post-K-12 curriculum.”
The QAO director also clarifies that as long as the subjects are present in the flowcharts of the students, the departments and the University is “committed to offer it.” “Naturally, the incoming first years will have very different curricula, but this shouldn’t affect other students,” Largoza explicates.
Regarding the introduction of new classes under the RevEd Program, Largoza reveals that majority of these did not need mass piloting. He cites that these courses in general are “not totally new,” but the ones that warrant the pilot testing were said to have undergone the process.
Maximizing Lasallian education
Tackling the issue of how the transition will affect incoming and current undergraduate students, the QAO director emphasizes that the “transitory phase” can mostly be observed if taken from the perspective of the entire University, and that of the entire Philippine higher education system. To students, however, it may go unnoticed, according to Largoza, as “every student follows just one flowchart or checklist, and that’s what guides their course of study.”
Largoza also states that curricula have always evolved, even before K-12, but asserts that this cannot be the reason for current and older undergraduate students to not be able to “maximize their Lasallian education.” He further explains that provision of opportunities to undergraduate students to further immerse themselves in their chosen fields were “not possible before”. In the new curricula, this is addressed and solved through the proposed Global Enrichment Term.
Effectiveness of RevEd
The RevEd curriculum will be assessed through external and internal forms of quality assurance. External forms of quality assurance include the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) Accreditation, the ASEAN University Network Quality Assurance (AUN QA) assessment, and other disciplinal accreditations. On the other hand, internal assessments are handled primarily by the Quality Assurance Office, which adheres to the 11 different criteria of the AUN QA framework.
Aside from these forms of quality assurance, Largoza states that the measure of effectiveness will also rely on how well the students have improved in performance over the course of their studies. According to Largoza, each department will conduct a number of “programme-level assessments,” which are examinations or projects geared at assessing whether the students were able to achieve the desired learning outcomes for their particular field of study. Some examples of these assessments are the theses, internships, and capstone projects.
In the outcomes-based form of quality assurance, the effectiveness of the curricula will be measured by the absence or minimal number of students who perform unacceptably in the assessments. A high number of failures would mean an inability to meet the program level outcomes, and an indication of the need to make changes in