USL partners with U.S. Embassy, hosts MOOC Camp

The University of Saint Louis (USL), in partnership with the American Spaces, Department of State, U.S. Embassy (Manila), had been chosen as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Camp in the Cagayan Valley Region for the course “Leading Ambitious Teaching and Learning” which was offered from Oct.-Dec. 2017.

Designed and offered by the University of Michigan’s School of Education and Ross School of Business, and made accessible through edX, the four-module course focused on the following topics: An Introduction to Ambitious Instruction; Learning with Digital Technology Tools; Systems Thinking and Improving at Scale; and, Leading Transformative Change.

Speakers during the virtual programs were: Professor Donald Peurach, Associate Professor, University of Michigan; Dr. Kevin Yee, Director of the Academy of Teaching and Learning Excellence, University of South Florida; and Ms. Erin Gruwell, the American teacher known for her unique teaching method applied in disadvantaged schools in the United States of America.

Professor Peurach shared that teachers need to deliberately construct learning environments and experiences in classrooms that resemble the real world as they also set high expectations for students. He also emphasized the need for teachers to collaborate with colleagues and partner with professional learning communities. Such partnership, accordingly, is essential for teachers to learn new trends, updates and good practices in leading ambitious teaching and learning.

Dr. Yee lectured on how teachers can sustain students’ interest in learning through “ANSWER” which stands for: Attention, Novelty, Spacing, Why, Emotions, and Residue. He emphasized on the need for teachers to get students’ attention through novel approaches and strategies, and practical and relevant assessments done regularly but in appropriate intervals. He also stated the need for students to fully understand the relevance of content and the targeted outcomes in the course.

Ms. Gruwell, the transformative teacher-leader behind the nonfiction The Freedom Writers Diary, shared her belief that the classroom is filled with wonderful students. Teachers, accordingly, have to build a safe place in the classroom, “where truth and justice are valued.” Ms. Gruwell also spoke of the need to let students speak and stand up for what they believe in through writing and other non-violent means. “We become bigger than ourselves,” she said, referring to teachers when they live a life of duty through action.

Aside from the online learning platform, regular meet-ups gave opportunities for enrollees to share practices related to ambitious teaching and learning. They were able to do vision-setting by sharing their “higher purpose” statements, metaphors, and goals as lifelong learners.

With the 17 MOOC camps that took the course simultaneously, and with the U.S. Embassy as the University’s partner, learners experienced how technology in learning can aid learners cross over boundaries in terms of geography, culture, and language. There was sharing and learning among enrollees and speakers from Visayas, Mindanao and the United States.

Course completers show off their certificates of completion during their graduation dubbed “Celebration of Learning.” In photo also are USL President Delailah Valencia and VP for Academics Emmanuel James Pattaguan.

The MOOC Camp conducted its Celebration of Learning in December as 39 participants received their Certificates of Completion/ Participation from the U.S. Embassy. The graduation ceremony was graced with the presence of Dr. Delailah B. Valencia, USL President, and Dr. Emmanuel James P. Pattaguan, USL Vice President for Academics. Mr. Xavier Lee, Director of the American Spaces Philippines, U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, facilitated the virtual program.

Course completers (whose names appear below) are teachers from private and public schools.

Names

School

Alejandrino, Therese May G. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Arellano, Rhea B. Camalaniugan National High School, Camalaniugan, Cagayan
Babalo, Bernadith M. Sangbay Integrated School, Nagtipunan, Quirino
Baccay, Franchette J. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Baggayan, Dominic B. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Bayquen, Archimedes O. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Bingcang, Ruth Ann M. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Buquel, Luvie C. Kasiglahan Village Senior High School, Rizal, Philippines
Cambri, Beverly Gay N. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Coballes, Pearl S. Saint Mary’s University, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya
Coca, Nelson G. Gattaran National Trade School, Gattaran, Cagayan
Cuaresma, Myline M. Sto. Niño Central School SPED Center, Sto. Niño, Cagayan
Daquioag, Khimmy Joy F. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Deza, Jaycee M. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Dumayag, Dexter P. Cagayan State University, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Edillo, Elsie P. Dungao Elementary School, Sto. Niño, Cagayan
Espiritu, Kyle S. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Gacrama, Bartman I. University of La Salette Inc., Santiago City, Isabela
Gamboa, Clarence E. University of La Salette Inc., Santiago City, Isabela
Gaoat, Marilyn P. University of La Salette Inc., Santiago City, Isabela
Gavino, Renz Marion C. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Guyos, Venus I. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Hidalgo, Richard B. Kasiglahan Village Senior High School, Rizal, Philippines
Lacbayan, Maria Teresa P. Namuccayan Integrated School, Sto. Niño, Cagayan
Luyun, Ixia- Ayne L. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Obispo, Ray T. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Pillos, Marrymay B. Sto. Niño Central School SPED Center, Sto. Niño, Cagayan
Ramos, Jinky C. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Ravelo, Catherine F. Sto. Niño Central School SPED Center, Sto. Niño, Cagayan
Sabaulan, Jose S. University of La Salette Inc., Santiago City, Isabela
Sagun, Venus C. Sangbay Integrated School, Nagtipunan, Quirino
Sedano, Sander T. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Tindowen, Darin Jan C. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Tugade, Danoleene Marie P. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Valencia, Maricca- Malou University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Velasco, Rizza D. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Ventura, Lorena C. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Villanueva, Juliet D. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Viloria, Micah Ruth T. University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan

Impressions from Course Completers

More than a year ago, a MOOC shirt worn by a student-MOOCER in the first ever Massive Open Online Couse facilitated in USL caught my interest. As I witnessed a little portion of the said MOOC graduation rites, I whispered to myself, “When the perfect time comes, I shall get myself a MOOC shirt, too.”

Jesus must have heard me whispering then because today, December 8, on the occasion of the Feast of His Mother’s Immaculate Conception coincidental with our graduation rites, I am proudly wearing my MOOC shirt. So then my first take away from this MOOC is my shirt. Just kidding! My first take away is that the power of the MOOC shirt is immeasurable. It creates ripples of interest, which I sincerely wish to go far and wide.

Being my first MOOC, “Leading Ambitious Teaching and Learning” came in with surprises. One that I could not forget was how I never thought Math can be taught so creatively as I have always regarded the subject merely as a bunch of numbers with some letters, enclosed in symbols and connected by formulas. My second take away is that there is hope that I would come to respect all other subjects I hated when I was a student: Accounting 1 and 2, Basic Mathematics, Algebra, and Trigonometry.

I have always looked at “expectations” as some word that is synonymous with pressure or tendency for failure but my take away no. 3 hammers down that setting high expectations is necessary if we want our learners to achieve depth of learning.

Take away no. 4 is the “Triple E approach: Engage, Enhance, Extend. I observe “engage” and “enhance” but am guilty as charged at neglecting “extend.” Oftentimes, we are the only audience to our students’ learning outputs and performances. Remembering what we have learned from this course, may we never forget to extend learning beyond the four walls of our classrooms. Finally, I am thankful for being a part of this professional learning group.

-       Venus I. Guyos
Course Completer
Director, University Libraries
University of Saint Louis   

“Leading Ambitious Teaching and Learning” has imparted in the minds and hearts of teachers the need to provide high learning expectations, as it also introduced processes on how to effectively do it. The course introduced ways and means (and supported with realistic cases) on how to address common misconceptions in classroom especially in setting standards, understanding skills and competencies, utilizing resources and creating and valuing the systems inside or outside educational institutions (plus I get to meet new people with the same vision).

As a teacher, I thought that “Ambitious Teaching” means setting high standards for your students and providing activities that meet these expectations, and was already an end in itself… only to know that it also includes turning towards those students who may seem to have difficulty to meet expectations but still valuing those latent but essential skills that they have demonstrated. This is healthy for them to develop grit, heighten efficacy, and monitor their current competencies and their improvement.

Also, I thought giving activities that meet outcomes was also sufficient, then later understanding that we could still extend these certain learning experiences to the most relevant issues in the society. This makes everything more meaningful. In addition, I have learned to explore more possibilities and maximize available resources.

Just when I was at the point of thinking how tedious the processes are in schools because of instructional work, administrative requirements, and other concerns, I have learned to appreciate the significance of the system. I am gradually involving other systems in managing students and my work.

And of course, to complete the list, I have learned to commit to be the kind of teacher who believes that students are always goal-directed. The goals are directed towards the satisfaction of their need to be respected, feel loved and succeed.

We can never remove from the teacher the greatest responsibility in making a person. And so a teacher must continually aspire to become better. And that, I think, is special about this. You grow together with your students.

These are all too ideal. And that’s probably because the world needs to be.

-       Renz Marion Gavino
Course Completer
Teacher Education Supervising Instructor
University of Saint Louis