This post was written by Jenniffer T. Paguio
The UP College of Nursing has been using the University Virtual Learning Environment (UVLè) since 2013 in undergraduate courses in various ways. Initially, faculty members simply uploaded their syllabi and some resources, but with several sessions and assistance from the junior faculty members, the use of UVLè has expanded.
Since the move towards Outcomes-Based Education, the team of Nursing Interventions 1 (N105) and 2 (N107) have been exploring varied teaching-learning strategies to help students maximize the course. These courses are offered during the third year in two parts: daily classroom activities with laboratory sessions, and clinical rotation in varied hospital and urban community settings. One of the approaches used in these courses is maximizing UVLè despite having daily meetings.
In the strategies applied, classroom lectures have been shortened from four (4) hours to two sessions at one (1) to one-and-a-half (1.5) hour lectures with small group activities, and one (1) hour independent learning activities. Although classroom and laboratory settings are still the primary setting, UVLè provided the platform for students’ independent learning activities through discussion forums, and assignments. Among the other activities done through UVLè are submission of requirements, repository of files and exams.
The use of UVLè required additional preparation for the faculty to ensure that materials and activities are uploaded ahead of time. Although faculty members have expressed favorable feedback, students did not evaluate the use of UVLè because it is not included in the course and faculty evaluation. It is for this reason that the faculty team conducted an online evaluation of the teaching-learning strategies over the last two (2) academic years.
Majority of the students reported that they are able to ‘maximize the use of UVLè in the class’ (100%, 93.33%) and agree that the ‘resources provided in UVLè are very useful in understanding the concepts discussed in the course’ (90.91%, 97.78%) for N105 and N107 respectively. These findings were supported by the qualitative evaluation of the students with emerging themes of online resources, pace of the course, and online activities.
Students’ comments praised the availability of lecture slides, forms and notes ahead of time. Students reported that this allowed them to read ahead, take notes and not be distracted by copying the slides, and have access to the lecture even after lecture sessions. They highlighted that they appreciated majority of the faculty members shared their slides and the videos used in the lectures.
Because faculty members were encouraged to provide independent learning activities through UVLè, the lecture hours were significantly decreased and students were given one (1) day study breaks before examinations. Students shared that they valued the study breaks and the shortened lecture hours, which allowed them to study at their own pace. They used their time for case analysis, skills practice, online short courses, and reviewing lessons. This is supported by the activities they spend most time on during their independent learning time – answering worksheets (81.82%, 97.83%), reading slides (100%, 95.65%) and participated in small group activities (45.45%, 86.96%) for N105 and N107 respectively.
The use of UVLè is slowly increasing in UPCN in all year levels. With the favorable feedback from students and opportunity for faculty members to practice, the virtual learning platform appears promising in enhancing learning among students beyond the classroom.