EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching
A Welcome Note
Hello, everyone! A new trimester has just started once again. I’ am grateful to be part of this class and excited of how much stuffs I will be learning here. I’ am hoping that with determination I will be able to make it through the finish line and reap or glean important insights that are very useful in our teaching practice. Thus, I welcome this course with positivity and joy. I’m looking forward to making this journey a meaningful one.
Online Learning and my Role as a UPOU Learner
Due to the advent of computer and internet, online learning is impacting current university practices and policies and quickly changing the fabric of higher education (Rowley, Lujan, & Dolence, 1998). In the United States of America, the rapid and expanding use of online education (also called distance learning) in K-12 education, 2-year college, and 4-year university courses has been documented by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, 2003). Moreover, here in the Philippines aside from UPOU as the leading distance education provider various higher educational institutions (e.g. AMA University, Central Luzon State University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, etc.) are also now enacting this new method of delivering an educational experience. Its nature is to provide an opportunity for learners to study in an independent and self-learning style using specially designed learning materials and resources. The educational experience is mediated using technology like print, audio, video, and the internet. By understanding the nature of online education, will help me realize my role as a UPOU student or an online learner and be able to develop skills and competencies that would help me thrive and becoming successful in this new and unconventional way of learning. Several works of literature and various individuals emphasized important skills that an online learner should be adapted when taking an online course. These skills serve as important components in achieving the desired goals to learn in a different way. Thus, as a UPOU learner, I need to incorporate these following skills:
1. I need to be proactive and be dedicated to learning independently. To do that is to proactively think to succeed in online learning. By giving some thoughts to my personal or deepest reasons why I am taking an online education. Also, thinking worthwhile reasons why should I study hard. Like the greater level of personal satisfaction within my career or future career, the pride of accomplishing something, seeking a wider range of opportunities available and the benefits of getting higher income. More than that, through motivation, sense of responsibility, and a certain level of maturity I can demonstrate my dedication to learn independently.
2. I need to be persistent in doing the tasks despite any inevitable circumstances. I believe that persistence is perhaps the biggest key to being successful in online learning. I need to persist in various challenges that I will encounter throughout the course so that I will achieve what I desire for myself. I need to be aware that I should be willing to tolerate technical problems, seek help when needed and work daily on every class or module. Various difficulties with the lesson or module might arise but these should not be the reason to give up. However, these should serve as a motivation for me to persist in attaining my end goal of the course and the program.
3. I need to establish a good study habit and should stick to it by setting up a manageable study schedule that I must follow religiously. Accordingly, students who succeed in online learning are those who log in and make progress every day. Thus, I need to make sure that I’m actively online and doing the tasks (e.g. reading the resources, responding to online discussions, writing reflection journal, etc.) efficiently and productively. The key to this is managing my time wisely. Since modules are not taught in real-time and there are no set times for classes this can be a drawback for anyone like me who likes to procrastinate. Therefore, being aware of this drawback I need to remind myself to stick to the routine study schedule and do the tasks promptly or complete assignments by not waiting for the time that my professor will remind me of my responsibility.
4. I need to stay engaged in the course through my active interaction with my classmates and my professor in our virtual classroom. Participating in an online discussion is one of the various activities that I can show interaction with them. Hence, communication skills are vital here. Also, reminding myself that on the other line of my computer there is someone a real person that exist, thus proper netiquette should be observed. Also, using proper online tools in communicating the teacher or classmates should not be taken for granted and using appropriate style, tone, and language in communication should also be considered. Both my professor, tutors, and classmates should be treated with respect and courtesy.
5. I need to maintain academic integrity and honesty. As a UPOU learner, it is very important for me to adhere the principles of academic integrity and honesty at all time in doing the various tasks given. By not plagiarizing any work and with proper citation one can demonstrate genuine scholarly work. Thus, I need to be mindful of my work if it passes the academic integrity and honesty standard.
6. I need to be diligent in my studies and develop the habit of learning by reflecting on my work and someone’s work. To be diligent, I need to do an extra mile in understanding the concepts of the lesson by doing further exploration or searching other sources. Widening my awareness and understanding of the concepts by diligently doing research and reading other forms of resources are needed in order for me to be able to share and elaborate with my classmates what I learned and my thoughts on a particular subject matter. Also, by taking advantage of my learning style I can develop a habit of learning something that works for me. Taking notes and making advanced organizers will help me synthesize and reflect the concepts that are needed to be learned. Evaluating my own performance, the progress of my learning, and what I already learned and needed to be learned through the help of my peers are ways that help me exercise metacognition.
In conclusion, being cognizant that online courses require just as much, if not more, time and energy as traditional classroom courses. It also requires specific computer skills and learning strategies in order to succeed, thus full commitment and dedication are deemed necessary. Joseph Condon, faculty member of Northeastern University once said, “To know how to effectively learn online takes practice and self – direction, but once you get it down, you may determine that this is a great alternative to the standard method of learning in a classroom.”
Understanding Myself as a Learner
1. Study Skills Inventory
Study Skills Inventory is also known as The College Level Study Skills Inventory that can be found on the Student Academic Resource Center Portal of the University of Central Florida ( http://sarc.sdes.ucf.edu/form-studyskills). It provides learners like me an immediate feedback on my current approach to college level study skills. According to this inventory, there are six critical study skills college students or any type of learner need to consistently be developing, these are i. textbook reading, ii. note taking, iii. memory, iv. test preparation, v. concentration, vi. time management. Figure 1 shows the result of my critical study skills.
According to the results, note taking skills is the area where I need to develop a good action plan to make my studies be efficient. My memory and time management skills scores were barely passing with respect to the benchmark, thus I need to enhance these skills further so that worthwhile learning experience will be achieved. The rest of the areas of my study skills are having higher score relative with the benchmark. It would be my goal that along the process or at the end of this course (EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching) I will be able to acquire the necessary study skills and by being aware and fully informed of those areas that need improvements for my further studies and endeavors in the future is essential for me to grow as a person.
2. Self-Regulation Questionnaire
The Self – Regulation Questionnaire is a self-scoring inventory that helps me assess my ability on how to direct and regulate my behavior towards a specific undertaking. Taking this survey facilitate the evaluation of my ability to exercise self-control and discipline. Figure 2, 3 and 4 below reflects my actual answers and score from this questionnaire. (http://casaa.unm.edu/inst/SelfRegulation%20Questionnaire%20(SRQ).pdf)
My total score from this inventory is 215 which correspond to the range of Intermediate Self-Regulation Capacity or Moderate (214 – 238). Reflecting upon the result of this inventory provides me some prompt that I need to further develop ways and attitude that help me overcome subtle temptations that would affect my actions towards my study or while taking this online learning. I need to find ways to further enhance my ability to control myself and regulate my action that has detrimental effects in all my undertakings. I need to avoid various distractions such as my phone who has various applications that are enticing (e.g. games, Facebook, Instagram, surfing, movie marathon) and I need to look for a place that stimulates conducive and effective learning outcome.
3. Time Management Skills Test
I believe that effective time management skill doesn’t just happen. They have to be learned and once I learn this skill, this will benefit me throughout my life. What I’ve learned from taking the Time Management Skills Test (see figure 5 below) is that I found out that I’m a GOOD time manager garnering a total score of 50 (score range: 41-55), yet it gives me an impression that I still have areas or aspects in this skill that I need to further develop. The following are the things that I need to further develop within myself for me to put through this skill in my daily endeavors, with my studies and being a UPOU student.
1. I need to write down specific goals in order to work towards goals and develop long
term plan or goals.
2. Maximize the usage of calendars to write down appointments, deadlines,
and things to do.
3. Planning and scheduling my time on a weekly and/or monthly basis.
4. I need to make a daily to-do list and refer to it several times per day.
5. I should set priorities in order of importance and then schedule time around them.
6. I need to learn to say NO when I’m pressed for time.
7. Delegating responsibilities to others in order to make more time for myself.
8. I need to know how to eliminate or reshuffle unnecessary paperwork.
9. I need to schedule the most difficult work during my most productive times.
10. I should learn to finish one job or task before going on to the next.
Pledge of Commitment
Upon enrolling in this course and officially being one of the students of EDS 111 – Principles of Teaching and as part of this big online community, I pledge my commitment to do the following to make my online learning experience worthwhile and rewarding.
1.To act responsibly as a student of EDS 111 – Principle of Teaching and as a UPOU student, and to do what is being expected from me as a student.
2. To extensively participate and engage in the online class discussion by responding constructively to various fora posted on the course site.
3. Being proactive with my learning. The end goal is to learn deeper so that what I will be learning here will be used for the advancement and growth of my teaching practice. Thus, I need to attend the class regularly by visiting the portal as often as possible.
4. To treat all my classmates, tutors, and professor with respect, fairness, and courtesy.
5. Adhere to academic integrity and honesty and advocate the “NO to Plagiarism”.
6. Complete all necessary tasks and requirement that the course demands me to do. And to finish the course by the end of the trimester with a high mark.
7. Being open-minded and willing to accept constructive criticism. Also, being willing to provide help and insight to my co-learner.
By the Grace of God, I will be true to my commitment. Thus I starting today I commit myself to be diligent with my study at all time, to aim high, soaring beyond expectation and to do things in excellence.
 Rowley, D. J., Lujan, H. D., & Dolence, M. G. (1998). Strategic choices for the academy: How demand for lifelong learning will re-create higher education. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). (2003) Distance Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions: 2000-2001.