University President Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ announced yesterday two new position appointments, making way for the closure of the IT Training Services Office (ITTSO), during the online general assembly of the faculty.
Posted in his blog titled ‘Into a Future of Promise and Hope’, Tabora declared Fr. Carlos “Charlie” Cenzon, SJ as the new University Information Technology Office (UITO) director and Fr. Ulysses “Ogie” Cabayao, SJ as Assistant to the Academic Vice President for Online Education.
Fr. Cenzon replaced Fr. Ramon “Denny” Prudencio Toledo, SJ as the UITO director. Tabora noted Toledo’s contributions over the past eight years including his attention to the security of AdDU’s integrated IT System and its “well-guarded” user portal.
“Without this contribution, we would not be able to be holding online classes today,” said Tabora, calling it “outstanding” and “invaluable”.
Formerly led by Maria Theresa Quindoy, the operations of the ITTSO, Tabora said, can now be taken over by Ateneo de Davao Academy of Lifelong Learning (ADD-ALL) and Fr. Cabayao.
“We thank Ms. Quindoy for her services to the ITTSO since its inception. But with the retirement of the ITTSO, she is now freed to render valuable instructional service to Computer Science, especially in the wake of Fr. Charlie now being assigned full-time to UITO,” said Tabora.
The doctoral work of Fr. Cenzon focused on instructional technology and the attitude of teachers to technology.
“Under Fr. Charlie, the character of the UITO as a service organization should be more felt in the University – to the ultimate advantage of our students and learners,” said Tabora.
Meanwhile, Fr. Cabayao, who has “long experience” in using online educational technology for teaching and was then a student of blended learning at the Australian National University, had formal training in Management Information Systems.
“[Cabayao] will pay special attention to faculty who are not tech-savvy. He will help develop user-friendly templates to gradually improve the culture of online instruction at ADDU. But he will also explore with faculty – especially with those who are creative, innovative, and adventurous – developing courseware that explores the limits of learning management systems like Moodle,” said Tabora.
“With these changes, I expect that the interphase between the UITO and the Office of the AVP will become stronger,” the university president said.
Kirsten Rosse Calumpong, SAMAHAN Internal Vice President, said she is in support of the appointments if they are capable and have the necessary background to assume the roles.
Having observed Fr. Cabayao throughout years of events and forums they were in, she noted his work ethics, saying “he generally has the capacity for it”.
“I’m taking into account his voluntary initiatives for student concerns online and how he is known to have an active presence on social media and how generally knowledgeable he is about internet mechanisms as well,” she concluded.
AdDU Open university
Tabora meanwhile stated in his blog that an “array” of courses will be made available fully online, constituting the Ateneo de Davao Open University.
“Considering our (Vision & Mission), it would bring our education to people desirous of ADDU education, but who cannot come to Davao. But it will also bring our education to the peripheries, to where our OFWs are, to the indigenous peoples of Thailand and Myanmar, to Lumad of Mindanao, to the BARMM and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. It will bring distant persons within reach and your inner desire to teach,” he said.
To help the university in the development of its online education, AdDU organized the AdDU Center for Educational Research and Advocacy (ACERA) spearheaded by Dr. Marleonie Bauyot with education specialists from the School of Education. ACERA will conduct research and craft interventions to support and evaluate online education of the university.
The shift to online learning for students, which Tabora called “awesome”, started last June 22. He opined that online education is in the university to stay.
“Together we have crossed a Rubicon. Even should the coronavirus one day be finally overcome, we are not looking to a future of going back to just (face to face) learning. For all of us, even when our campuses are repopulated anew with students and teachers, online learning will continue to be utilized with (face to face) instruction in delivering all of our courses more efficiently or more interestingly. In this sense, the norm of instruction for the future will be blended learning,” he said.