With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing, many learning institutions are switching to alternative methods of teaching to augment the gap left by the cancellation of face-to-face classes.
As provided by the Department of Education Order #13 released on June 19, 2020, there will be three different ways of learning delivery for schools: Online Distance Learning, Modular Distance Learning, and TV/Radio-Based Instruction.
These three modalities hinge on the tenets of Flipped and Blended Learning, two methods that are changing the learning landscape for the better and harnessing the power of technology to deliver information better to today’s digital natives.
But what exactly are these two?
Blended Learning is usually defined as the combination of online and face-to-face learning so that more engaging content like video, games, podcasts, and online materials are used in conjunction with physical tutoring.
However, in the current Philippine set-up where students will be taught remotely from their homes, Blended Learning is defined by the Department of Education as the “fusion of online distant learning and in-person delivery of printed materials to the homes of the learners through the barangays for those who don’t have internet access and interactive facilities in the comfort of their homes.”
In some localities where some students may not have access to laptops and desktop computers, radio and television may also be used to broadcast lessons and materials.
Blended Learning may be applied for Online Distance Learning, Modular Distance Learning, and TV/Radio-based Instruction.
On the other hand, “Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach where direct instruction moves from a group learning space to an individual learning space, resulting to a dynamic and interactive learning environment where the educator guides the students as they apply concepts and engage with them in the subject matter.” This is according to Emelita Baylon, a faculty member of De La Salle Zobel.
The usual classroom set-up is where you usually see a teacher introduce the subject matter to the students for the first time in class, and the application of the learning is given as a take-home assignment that students tackle by themselves.
In Flipped Learning, the opposite is applied. A concept is introduced to the students through a video, presentation, podcast, or some multimedia format before the class starts, which “gives the student the freedom over how, when, and where they learn—and it lets them engage with the video content in the way that suits them best,” according to the Flipped Institute.
Since the student is already familiar with the subject matter even before the class starts, the teacher can spend the class hour to collaborate with the students and help them understand better the topic through more enjoyable, engaging, and collaborative exercises. As the Flipped Institute describes it, “Less ‘sit and listen’ equals more ‘do and learn.’”
Flipped Learning may also be applied with online distance learning modalities, where class time can still be held via online video calls.
Flipped and Blended Learning applications in online distance learning
While this new teaching environment creates many challenges for teachers, students, and parents, it also opens up a bounty of opportunities to improve the traditional ways of teaching in Philippine schools.
Using the methods of both Flipped and Blended Learning for Filipino students who will undergo online distance learning opens up new teaching and learning patterns. Baylon underscores the many benefits of flipped learning not only for students, but also for teachers and parents.
For students, flipped learning provides learning alternatives for those struggling to keep up with their classmates in the traditional set-up. Since they have the materials that they can peruse and learn at their own pace, they will have more time and resources to allot on understanding concepts needed for class time.
For teachers, flipped learning creates an avenue for growth and pushes them to explore the capabilities of technology—since what was once an optional skill has now become mandatory.
For parents, there will be more transparency when it comes to grading and student performance, especially in flipped classrooms that use a learning management system (LMS). Just like teachers, parents are being prepared to become future-ready by learning and understanding the technology that’s being used by their children.
Schoology: your complete learning management system
While there are various platforms to conduct online distance learning, a good LMS like Schoology creates the perfect environment for students, teachers, and parents dabbling in online distance learning. Schoology is straightforward and easy to use, and can be accessed via any browser on PC and laptops, or on mobile phones and tablets via its app version.
To support all educators, parents and learners in navigating the next normal of education, REX launched the REX Academy in 2020 help everyone address the challenges and maximize the opportunities brought about by our current situation. This is being done by conducting various webinars and sessions on Flipped Learning, Blended Learning, Online Distance Learning, and many other topics.
Here are some videos on online distance learning that can help teachers and parents understand the mechanics of remote learning in the new normal: