For Your Information: Provost explains new remarks in course offerings

Unfamiliar remarks, namely the pure asynchronous, predominantly online, and predominantly in-person learning, have caught the attention of Lasallians during the enlistment for Term 3 AY 2023-2024. Provost Dr. Robert Roleda, in an interview with The LaSallian, explains that these additions clarify the implementation of learning modalities and explore alternative ways of learning.

New names

The pure asynchronous setup, according to Roleda, is patterned to online courses by foreign universities and platforms such as Coursera and Oxford X; students will be provided course materials they can navigate on their own. A total of seven sections are offered under pure asynchronous modality: one for GELITWO, one for LCFAITH, one for GEWORLD, and four for GESTSOC.

Roleda highlights that the University is currently only testing the waters with the modality to determine whether it could be offered in the future and which subjects will be taught in the said manner. 

“The long-term plan here is that if things work out, we might consider having at least one subject, well, one subject or a few subjects, that will be fully asynchronous,” the Provost shares. 

This, he justifies, is to provide “lifelong learning” to Lasallians, remarking, “Most people are not really independent learners, so we want our students to undergo at least one subject…where they will do full independent learning…so that after they graduate…they can still continue to learn…independently.”

Meanwhile, predominantly in-person classes simply mean that classes may be shifted online if necessary. The predominantly online mode was created to address complaints from students that some supposedly fully online courses are sometimes held in person. 

Roleda notes that two to three classes, primarily exams, may be held in person in predominantly online classes to make the distinction “more precise,” but clarifies that there are no stringent guidelines on the exact number. Hybrid learning, however, shall always observe a 50:50 ratio between online and in-person classes.

Plans for the future

Results of the Office of the Provost’s learning modality survey last March 11 show that the majority of the faculty, senior high school students, and undergraduate students all favor hybrid learning as a long-term mode of learning, while most graduate students opt for a fully online setup.

Phoebe Arriola (I, BS BIO-SEC) believes that hybrid classes are a flexible setup. “I like hybrid [learning] because I can use the time to review if matapos ko ‘yung asynchronous online [classes] nang maaga.”

(…if I finish the online asynchronous classes early.)

Mariel Wilson (II, AB-PSM), however, sees the setup as both advantageous and disadvantageous. “Mas gusto ko talaga yung face-to-face [classes]. However, with my other commitments like stuff that I need to do for my extracurricular activities or personal errands, helpful talaga yung online classes,” she expresses when asked about her experience. 

(I really prefer face-to-face classes…)

While she acknowledges the potential of hybrid learning, Dr. Noelle Leslie dela Cruz, a full-time professor from the Department of Philosophy, hopes that professors are given more liberty in its implementation.

“I think that faculty should be allowed to determine which meetings should be online and which days should be in-person based on the requirements of the course. As currently implemented, the hybrid setup isn’t living up to its fullest potential or as originally envisioned pre-pandemic,” Dela Cruz conveys.

Aside from the survey, Roleda shares that the University is constantly looking for innovations in learning methods, one of the latest being the Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) offered at the Laguna Campus. 

“Eventually, after we fine tune things, CBL…might become the primary mode of learning of DLSU, depending on the outcome of the pilot that we’re doing right now,” says Roleda, hinting at a possible review of the CBL two terms after its implementation.

As the University tests out different modalities of learning, the Provost reassures that the administration’s primary consideration is to be able to “provide and maintain quality education in hybrid mode” by learning from other institutions and consulting the community. He also affirms that they are currently reviewing the possible repercussions of the jeepney phaseout by end-April.

Vinz Garcia

By Vinz Garcia

Kelly Sarrol

By Kelly Sarrol

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