November 23, 2022 (1:22 PM)

4 min read


Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) continues to implement the Hybrid Implementation Strategy of the Flex Blended model (HISFlex) for blended courses and online modality for online classes this second semester of Academic Year (AY) 2022-2023 amid the recently released Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum.

Under CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 16 issued November 11, Higher Education Institutions are “enjoined” to transition to onsite learning or hybrid learning modality and are prohibited from conducting fully online modality beginning the second semester of the AY 2022-2023.

Following the CMO, the Office of the Academic Vice President (OAVP) announced that HISFlex shall be maintained “in teaching blended courses” and online modality for online courses. 

“Online classes may have in-person on-campus examinations and activities,” Memorandum No. 2022-15 from the OAVP said. 

It added that activities should be reported to deans through the department chairpersons for proper monitoring and scheduling. 

In an interview with Atenews, first-year AB Psychology student Chrystanni Gregore shared that she was pleased with the memo released by the OAVP.

“It shows that we are slowly getting back to normal, it might not be full face-to-face classes, but we’re getting there. It is nice that they’ve considered those who can’t attend face-to-face classes or exams due to certain circumstances,” she said. 

Meanwhile, a freshman student who asked to keep their identity hidden for privacy reasons shared that despite the announcement, they would rather opt for full online or full face-to-face classes. 

“Blended is such a hassle (for students who live far from the university)… we have to travel to Davao pa just to take an exam,” they said. 

“We have to rent a place tas magpunta lang sa school like what? Thrice a month? Sayang naman rent,” they added. 

SAMAHAN Department of Academic Affairs (DAA) Head Monica Gwen Cortes shared that the CHED Memorandum was a surprise to everyone in the university, given it was only released days before the second semester began. 

“The recently released memorandum by the OAVP has provided clearer instruction and direction on how the second semester will be conducted,” Cortes added.

She also highlighted that there needs to be clarification as to how the university will concretely respond to the CHED memorandum where its provision prohibits the conduct of fully online classes for the second semester of the academic year, especially since most classes in the university are still planned to be conducted online.

“As part of the SAMAHAN Department of Academic Affairs, we will continue working with fellow student leaders and administrators to address the academic concerns of the student body,” the DAA head stated.

Ateneans’ concerns, recommendations on HISFlex

Data from the SAMAHAN Research and Development Department (R&D)’s Viewfinder 2023 Focus Group Discussion (FGD) Results showed issues experienced by Ateneans during the transition to a blended setup. 

Concerns on the HISFlex modality were expressed by 26 participants sharing they got “better social interaction with their peers and professors, better learning experience, and better engagement” in the setup. 

The cons, as students pointed out, were “the overwhelming transition, culture shock, less flexible schedule, additional expenses, unjust fees, and discrimination and entry concerns for unvaccinated students.” 

Due to disadvantages in the learning modality, students recommended the implementation of full face-to-face classes. 

“Immediately for the next school year since many schools are already doing so, while AdDU continues to offer blended learning for the majority of courses,” Section IV of the FGD results said. 

Responses on the preferred learning modality were divided. A few still prefer online or blended learning as the modality most effective for them, while most Ateneans said face-to-face classes enable more understanding of lessons. 

“Overall, the participants had different learning modalities that were most effective for them, but the majority of them preferred a face-to-face setup.”

The study also identified concerns if the university plans to transition to a full face-to-face setup for the second semester, including personal difficulties and professors’ role in assisting. 

SAMAHAN R&D Director Antonnette Balili said findings of the FGD were forwarded to the OAVP for recommendation and consideration.

On November 17, the OAVP issued a memorandum regarding amendments to the policy on assessing and evaluating students’ academic performance, including the conduct of classes under the HISFlex modality.

End the silence of the gagged!

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