June 20, 2020 (7:11 PM)

6 min read


STRAINED CONNECTION. As classes begin June 22, a recent survey reveals that online classes do not meet the same objectives as traditional classroom learning. Photo by Jeni Anne Rosario

A survey by the University Research Council (URC) revealed yesterday that a “resounding” 89.55% of students think that online learning did not achieve the same objective as traditional classroom learning.

Sharing the results of their survey titled,  “Use of Online Learning Platform by the AdDU Undergraduate Students” and “Use of Online Teaching Platform by the AdDU Teachers” (Summer 2019-2020)  in a Zoom Webinar, representatives from the URC further said that the reasons cited by students include the lack of simulation and exposure activities in online learning  (72.91%) and the lack of opportunities to clarify difficulties in lessons (70.48%).

78.19% of the student respondents also answered that their subjects were highly technical which requires teachers to further discuss the instruction while 74.67% felt that the number of online classes conducted does not guarantee completion of the lesson’s coverage.

58.38% of the students said that online learning does not improve their study habits.

Meanwhile, 71.4% of the students think the most difficult challenge they encountered during the online delivery of classes was the problem of internet connection, with the main reason being issues on Local Area Network.

In terms of faculty responses, 50.6% of teachers found ‘reliability of connection’ as the most challenging in terms of the shift to online teaching delivery.

For them, 59.7% answered ‘No’ on whether or not online delivery of teaching achieved the same objective as one delivered in a traditional classroom.

Teachers also share the same sentiments with students as online delivery teaching lacks simulation and exposure activities (76.09%) and that some subjects were highly technical that teachers should dominate the instruction (71.74%).

However, the survey for teachers revealed that all respondents think that the shift online enhances their teaching abilities.

The top methods which enhanced their ability to teach online include embraced online technology as a teaching tool (77.9%) and valued resourcefulness (71.4%).

The said URC survey collected responses from 507 students and 77 faculty members. While the respondents were varied and coming from different schools, majority of the student respondents were from the School of Engineering and Architecture (SEA) with 50.69% while majority of the teacher respondents were from the School of Arts and Sciences with 55.8%. 

Among other information, the survey asked respondents about their experiences on online learning and teaching and personal commitment/disposition.

Despite asking questions regarding the number of gadgets used, the survey’s limitations specifically pointed out that it “inadvertently missed out asking the question on the number of smartphones.”

With this, URC stated that they “generated what is possible based on the available data.”

As of press release, the survey results have not been posted yet on the URC website as the said website is currently down. 

Student concerns

Ateneans from different courses expressed their concerns regarding the shift to fully online learning for the first semester starting Monday next week. 

Students from engineering courses agree on the increased difficulty posed by the online method in their respective fields, saying that their classes require a hands-on approach.

Mechanical Engineering student Cristine Zandrea Dullano said going online is both a challenge and a breakthrough, as students would be compelled to be more self-reliant.

“[B]ut as much as this, the course would be harder, and may even be close to impossibility since my course is more practical and from hands-on experience,” she said.

Kyrr Zerrudo, a nursing student, said he is “dubious” with the online classes. For him, both professors and students have to make many adjustments and compromises in order to make learning effective.

Since the School of Nursing administration partnered with the U.S. Elsevier program, a standardized online learning tool for medical students also used by international premiere universities in their professional lecture subjects, he said the program will be more comfortable.

“However, I still hold significant questions. How will nursing students learn both basic and advanced hospital procedures? The program’s pride is patient-centered care. It is met through actual face-to-face simulation and demonstration. How can this be achieved given that all instructions are delivered online? The shift to online learning may be beneficial to lecture subjects, but it deems otherwise for other program core competencies,” he said.

On the other hand, Aldwin King Lara, an International Studies (IS) American Major student, shared that  learning, familiarizing, and memorizing new terms need “proper guidance” from his professors in order to digest the readings well.

Proper guidance, he said, could be given only if both parties have reliable internet connectivity and are computer literate.

“[IS] requires its students to understand everything from what they are reading in order for us to apply it to real world setting. Failing to do so, will lead us to not understanding the whole concept,” he said.

He also expressed that his place is not a pleasant learning environment because of noise pollution.

Meanwhile, Joan Yentl Salveron, an Early Childhood Education student, felt that the University is doing its part in making sure that students are given adequate assistance in terms of preparation for online classes, such as distributing Home Prepaid WiFi units to all enrolled students.

“I am curious about the methods of instruction and its flexibility considering the different living conditions of students,” she said.

Ateneo Learning Primer

Last Tuesday, the Office of the Academic Vice President released AdDU’s primer on online learning. Aside from discussing academic policies, it highlighted a learner-centered approach.

“There is a shift from the teacher’s monopoly of the learning interaction to the learners sharing and taking charge of more learning responsibilities,” it stated.

The 20-page PDF file tackled the Ateneo de Davao’s mode, teaching process, and access to online learning in all units.

It described the pace of study and learning location as “flexible”, saying learning materials and accomplishment of activities are “all found and done online”.

Furthermore, it declared AdDU’s move to shifting into an open university.

“We will blend face-to-face learning with online learning and move towards the direction of an open university,” it stated.

Zerrudo said the primer, while generally comprehensive, does not answer the competencies unique to their program, making the Nursing Student Executive Council demand for a Comprehensive Primer on Academic and RLE Guidelines exclusive to the School of Nursing (SON) in their meeting with the SON admin.

They are expecting to obtain the document this weekend.

Roman Jano Rabe from Aerospace Engineering believed the school is doing its best to prepare. However, he admits that some concerns cannot really be addressed.

“For me, students are challenged to cope up because AdDU is ready. Whether or not the student is, AdDU is ready. Sa ilang mga online surveys, ironic lang kay ang maka-participate sa survey kay of course katong naay access sa internet so the results may not be as good or true,” he said.

While Dullano appreciated the school’s vision and methods, she said all she looks forward to now are the results of these preparations.

“I am sure it would not be perfect but I hope compensation and considerations will be heard in the long run,” she said.

End the silence of the gagged!

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