Students encounter troubles, raise concerns on online classes
On March 24, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academics and Research (OVCAR) Dr. Marco Saez released a memorandum that confirms the continuation of “distance learning mode” despite the negative responses from students.
“Let us realize that distance learning mode does not require online connection all the time to connect,” the memorandum stated, encouraging Lasallians to focus on ‘making things work’ although the situation is not ideal. The same memo indicated specific measures to completely eliminate or at least minimize the factors that obstruct the students from learning.
The online class experience
The Center for Innovative Learning Programs (CILP) vowed to provide 24/7 tech support for those who will use the Schoolbook. For students who do not have Schoolbook access, they are advised to consider other social media and educational platforms to discourage them from leaving their homes to fulfill any requirement against public health advisories.
Although these measures help, a number of students previously commented on The HERALDO FILIPINO’s News React on Facebook, saying that the Schoolbook is “somewhat buggy”, and that they keep “having trouble accessing the page”. Kyla Christine Cajulis, together with other Facebook users, expressed concerns on how ineffective online classes are. “In online classes, there’s no thorough understanding of the lessons. It’s hard especially if the nature of the subject requires deeper comprehension and understanding.”
Emphasizing the difference between actual learning and online learning, Facebook user Zar Nacion adds, “The online learning heavily depends on students and not on the professor. We were given handouts of lecture(s) and dozens of assessment(s) yet we still need to comprehend it with our limited knowledge.”
Others also brought up issues on the students’ health. “Health should be our top priority here. Learning would be nonsensical if we won’t be able to utilize it because we’re physically and mentally ill,” Princess Melanie De Guzman said. Additionally, it was pointed out that not every student has a “stable internet connection or a personal computer”. Majority of the students voiced dissatisfaction with the OVCAR’s decision to push through the online classes despite the global pandemic. There were comments that mentioned how this is not the education they paid for, and inquired on tuition fee refund for unused services during the suspension of classes.
Saez previously foresaw the online connectivity troubles and mentioned instructions for professors, “Those who are having issues with internet connection may consider creating modules as mentioned in the March 11 advisory.”
Survey on distance learning mode
The University Student Government (USG) disseminated a copy of the online classes survey questions given by the OVCAR to respective College Student Governments. On March 17, the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology Student Government (CEATSG) and the College of Business Administration and Accountancy Student Government (CBAASG) posted the survey on their respective Facebook pages. Whereas, the College of Liberal Arts and Communication Student Government (CLACSG) along with College of Science and Computer Studies (CSCSSG) posted theirs on March 17. The rest of the colleges did not post it on their Facebook pages, but disseminated through Facebook Messenger group chats.
Meanwhile, the Coalition of Concerned Lasallians (CCL) gave their statement on behalf of the concerned students, imploring the school to suspend the online classes and to review the Student Engagement Program (SEP) for it is not the top priority this time of crisis.
Saez shared that partners from the USG and Faculty Association will help administer feedback instruments, which will help the administration decide whether or not to further adjust the academic calendar. The decision is targeted to be final on April 7.
On March 17, NEO Learning Management System, our University’s partner, recognized the institution for being “disaster-ready”.
As of press time, The HERALDO FILIPINO is still waiting for the Center for Innovative Learning Program’s response on concerns regarding the Schoolbook.