Headlined “Strategies for Achieving Quality Learning Outcomes in Flexible Learning”, the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) hosted an eye-opening, virtual seminar on 07 October 2022.
Viewers and learners gained from the experience and insights of Turnitin’s Director of Customer Engagement Patty West-Smith and Our Lady of Fatima University’s Research Development and Innovation Director Dr. Michael Joseph Diño.
West-Smith presented the subject matter of learning loss in the pandemic— its forms, assessment, and mitigation. On the other hand, Dr. Diño dissected the art of inculcating academic integrity no matter the learning scenarios.
Beginning with a thought-provoking fact, West-Smith said that learning loss is not simply the erosion in knowledge retention, but also that learning loss is about how the pandemic has affected schooling behaviors negatively such as disinterest, non-compliance, incomplete work, absenteeism, and more. Hence, the challenge of teachers is how to ascertain what their students have learned, and to be aware that in evaluating this, they must have the discernment to find value also in the learning that might have been gained because of the experiences brought on by the pandemic; learning which they would not have normally picked up. West-Smith also pointed out that pandemic-caused trauma has likewise led to a significant downturn in social-emotional skills which are building units in sound study habits.
Before shifting to strategies in mitigating learning loss, West-Smith averred that no two students are the same and quoted Damian Barr who said, “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some are on super-yachts. Some have just the one oar.” It would be a teacher’s biggest error, she said, to lump all students into one style of management. Having said that, West-Smith went through her five-step battleplan against learning loss. First, recognize and accept realities. Second, get data. Third, set priorities. Fourth, prioritize the work. And, fifth, be mindful about giving the right help at the right time to the right student.
Coming in as the last speaker for the PACU webinar, Dr. Michael Joseph Diño discussed about building a culture of academic integrity regardless of the learning environment. He defined why academic integrity is a critical must, how it can be taught, its best practices, its most important areas, and how it differs as the learning environment changes.
Explaining how academic integrity is bolstered within an institution, Dr. Diño stated that three components must be synergetic: Educative (teaching academic integrity), Disciplinary (consistent actions in handling academic misconduct), and Preventive (having assessment and security tools in place). He added that when academic integrity is present, the learners, teachers and institution will similarly be situated in a position of success, satisfaction, and synergy.
The challenge is in how to build that culture of integrity, Dr. Diño said. He then presented his 4E’s formula: Example, Expectation, Environment, and Engagement. In beginning the foundations of academic integrity, Dr. Diño underscored the “must” of establishing baseline metrics and feed these into what he terms as a desensitization approach in objectively arriving at an academic integrity score. Then, effectively and comprehensively communicating expectations to all stakeholders in terms of policies is another strategic action wherein using a learning management system as a vehicle of communication is deemed impactful.
Now, in designing learning in a virtual environment, Dr. Diño revealed that an organization must know its 4P’s, namely: People (learners’ characteristics), Product (course description), Process (learning modalities), and Physical (technologies/platforms).
Dr. Diño continued by saying that to understand how positive experiences are created, one must be a master in conducting engagement through the Caput, Cor, and Manus or, respectively, the Mind (ideas), Heart (passion), and Hand (ability). Presenting OLFU’s best practices, he highlighted the OLFU Concierge, the Lookbook, Webinar series, and the subscription to globally-renowed applications, among others. To support a culture of academic integrity, continuous monitoring and the use of feedback mechanisms are salient, he added. As critical areas where academic integrity comes into play are Research, Review and Revalida.
Presenting integrity-supportive resources such as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and the International Committee on Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Criteria for Authorship, the use of recognition badges, Dr. Diño likewise touched on how anti-plagiarism market leader Turnitin has helped OLFU learners and teachers in exercising academic integrity with a higher level of ease and convenience. He then capped-off his segment by revealing his SECRET formula: S (success, satisfaction, synergy), E (example, expectation, environment, engagement), C (course, caring, compassion), RE (research, review, revalida), and T (technology, time, teamwork).
This PACU-hosted webinar was done in partnership with Turnitin, and with the support of the Private Education Assistance Committee (PEAC).