by Carl Aljon M. Lacaba
School administrators from private colleges and universities in the Philippines commended the distance learning program of Saint Paul School of Professional Studies (SPSPS) dubbed Flexible and Innovative Learning Innovation System (FLIES).
In a sharing of best practices among private school administrators thru a virtual meeting on April 14, 2021, SPSPS President Erwin Vincent Alcala presented the findings of the satisfaction survey launched by the school to elicit feedback from the students regarding the implementation of the flexible learning strategies.
“The school heads are impressed on how the members of the SPSPS Community collaborated, which resulted in early opening of classes and successful implementation of the school's FLIES Program,” he said.
According to President Alcala, the FLIES Program owes its success to the dedication of the faculty members who embraced the program’s initiatives.
President Alcala said the school will continue improving its innovative learning to further address the needs of the students.
"We need to further strengthen mutual trust, admiration and motivation between teachers and students," he said. "Teachers and students are outside their comfort zones in this pandemic. Teachers should establish clear lines of communication with the students to make the latter feel that their teachers and the school are there for them."
The FLIES Program
The FLIES Program is one of the important measures SPSPS implemented to embrace the new normal where students continue learning at their homes safe from COVID-19.
Under this distance learning program, students choose between two learning modes, namely e-Learning (EL) and Home-Based Learning (HBL).
With the EL mode, the school uses the licensed Canvas Learning Management System (Canvas LMS), a globally-recognized LMS designed to give teachers and students the opportunity to engage in interactive learning even without having face-to-face interaction.
With the HBL mode, on the other hand, students from remote areas of the region are provided with printed copies of learning modules crafted by the SPSPS faculty members for distance learning purposes.
These modules, which follow a standard format prescribed by the institution that promotes easy learning for students, are delivered to the students’ hometowns by the SPSPS Go Learning Team.
The same team retrieves the course requirements at the end of the block schedule.
The survey revealed that more than 85 percent of the online and home-based learners found the FLIES program satisfactory despite being on its first year of implementation.
According to the survey, the students liked that their learning materials have sufficient information that provide them opportunities to learn new skills.
In addition, the students agree that the weekly synchronous sessions conducted by their teachers helped them in learning their courses.
“Our institution's FLIES Program provided me with the opportunity for a more flexible and self-paced learning, allowing me to go read and answer my lessons and activities whenever and wherever I want,” online learner and student leader Francine Eunice Sia said. “This program taught me new technical skills that improved my virtual communication and collaboration with my professors, classmates, friends, and family. I have also gained more self-motivation, which has enabled me to develop and improve my time management skills and keep myself on track in order to complete my tasks as a student and a leader at the same time.”
FLIES Program in Face-to-Face Classes
The FLIES Program will be integrated into the school’s curriculum even if face to face classes are allowed, President Alcala confirmed.
“Some things may not go back to exactly where they are after this pandemic. The FLIES Program is meant to stay. Definitely, it will be a F2F-FLIES blended program,” he said.