By Lucell Larawan
We are all tired of a lockdown that has lasted for almost two months. Many wonder how long this will last. If the vaccine will have been made in countering the pandemic, we are not sure about coping with the new normal.
Where can we go from here?
The Department of Education (DepEd) has floated the idea of using TV, radio and modular instruction as alternative means of instruction. In my province, the director of DepEd said that the department is busy making modules for the students. When the students will have come back next school year, they no longer need to meet physically if the COVID-19 is not yet contained.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), likewise, has suggested that classes will use online and blended learning.
In addition, businesses are now beginning to realize that their need to reinvent in order to adapt with the possible waves of lockdowns. In Canada and the US, established businesses are beginning to establish the new normal which includes making their processes compatible with home-based workers who can do their tasks through the internet.
These days, we should design systems and processes that cannot just be shut down through pandemics or calamities. Even if we can rebound after a few months, we cannot yet tell what other viruses will fly silently for a mass kill. We do not know if there will be an epidemic or calamity instead. Thus, preparing only during a crisis is short-sighed. What if other pandemics or epidemics will instantly shut us down again? These can come without notice and being in the panic mode again should not describe our institutions.
It’s up to us.
It is time for DepEd and CHED to require their teachers to learn how to design self-learning kits for their students. I once conducted seminars for teachers on how to write self-paced modules that can serve students’ needs even without the physical presence of the teachers. Sad to say, only twenty showed up in those two development sessions for the college faculty. My erstwhile university did not see the need for that method because they had yet enjoyed the heyday until a sudden crisis. This time, university leaders begin see that their teachers need this modular approach, not just as an auxiliary method that one can throw in the backseat.
As a backgrounder, I had used a modular approach as a means to deliver the content of my lessons in production management where I combined a self-paced mastery learning approach for classroom purposes. I availed a university grant to write “Modules in Production Management”. That was later tested through my study entitled, “Acceptability of Teacher-Made Modules in Production Management” which was later published in a peer-reviewed publication–the International Journal of Managerial Studies and Research, Volume 1, Issue 2 (July 2013).
In this study, I determined the learning intervention’s acceptability for classroom learning through the perspectives of the student-users (20 percent of the rating’s weight) and jurors (80 percent). The raters gave the modules a very satisfactory rating based on these elements: objectives, physical aspects, instructions, learning and evaluative instrument. This study lays the groundwork in creating a self-learning kit suited to the idiosyncrasies of the learners.
In the years where I used the modules designed to make the students master their lessons, I have found these a great help. How much more during this time of the COVID-19 crisis where self-learning is the new normal. Other teachers who once downplayed modular instruction are now instantly eager to learn this approach.
For feedback about the modular approach, email me through firstname.lastname@example.org.