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The UP Open University (UPOU), through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA), released UPOU’s Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) Policies, Principles and Guidelines to guide the UPOU community in proposing and offering MOOCs.

The creation of UPOU’s policy on MOOC was conceptualized as part of the MOOCathon: The Conversation Continues, the second of the MOOC Workshop Series organized collaboratively by the OVCAA and Faculty Offices in 2014. Prior to this workshop, UPOU started its involvement in MOOC in 2012 with the birth of the uLearn Project to carry all UPOU’s MOOC initiatives, delivered through @ral, a platform developed by the UPOU Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS). Integrating the Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL) framework to MOOC design and offering, UPOU came up with its own MOOC identity and platform -- the MODeL, which stands for Massive Open and Distance e-Learning, and is accessible via model.upou.edu.ph.

In 2013, UPOU offered its first MOOC on Android Apps Development, in partnership with SMART Communications. This was followed by the Technopreneurship course under the same partnership. UPOU has since offered 31 MOOC including:

  • 8 Child Rights Protection and Promotion
  • 13 Business Process Management
  • 6 eFilipiniana
  • Introduction to Inter-local Cooperation
  • Arts in the ASEAN Region
  • Oral Communication & Conversational Fluency in English, and
  • DE Readiness

The document released include the general principles and operational guidelines for UPOU MOOC offerings. It specified UPOU’s commitment as a public service university to provide opportunities for alternative access to quality higher education by distance education (DE); develop a system of continuing education for sustaining professional growth and improving technical skills; and contribute towards upgrading the quality of higher education through DE in the University and the educational system of the country by developing, testing and utilizing innovative instructional materials and technology and sharing these with other colleges and universities through cooperative programs.

UPOU has a mission to provide wider access to quality higher education and is mandated in RA 10650 or the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Act to assist and provide leadership to the development of ODL in the country, promote the best practices in ODL in the Philippines, and share knowledge and development activities, among others. Committed to providing a comprehensive and inclusive quality education in the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all, UPOU aligns this initiative in support of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 of the United Nations.

UPOU’s efforts on MOOC development and offering is part of its openUP Flagship Program under the UPOU Strategic Plan 2016-2019. The openUP Flagship Program is among the public service initiatives of UPOU, adhering to the highest standards of academic excellence. These MOOC policies are applicable as basis and guide to the UPOU Community, and may also be a reference for other institutions planning to institutionalize the offering of MOOC. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)