Assistant Professors Reinald Adrian Pugoy and Mari Anjeli Lubrica-Crisanto, faculty members of the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies, UP Open University (FICS, UPOU) won silver medals as 2017 AAOU Young Innovator Awardees. The awards were given in recognition of the studies they have done and research papers of which were presented in the 31st Asian Association of Open Universities Annual Conference held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 27-29 September 2017.

Asst. Prof. Pugoy’s paper on “Badge Enrollment and Digital Certificates: Technical Considerations in Customizing the UP Open University Massive Open Distance eLearning (MODeL) Platform” won him the award. His study presented and explained the methods of integrating and incorporating badges and QR code-enhanced certificates on a MOOC platform such as UPOU’s MODeL. Using an acceptability survey, the Asst. Professor also looked into the perceptions of the learners and course coordinators regarding the said technologies. This is Pugoy's second silver medal as AAOU Young Innovator Awardee. In the AAOU Conference held in 2015, he first won the award for his research paper "Mobile Solutions For Synchronized and Offline Version Of Open Educational Resources."

Asst. Prof. Lubrica-Crisanto, on the other hand, won the AAOU Young Innovator Award Silver Medal for her study “Group reporting as a Tool to Enhance the Quality of Courses: The Response of Database Students to Online Cooperative Learning.” This study focused on the students’ responses to the group reporting activity carried out throughout one semester which found that, overall, online cooperative learning facilitated quality learning based.

Pugoy and Lubrica-Crisanto teach courses under the Diploma in Computer Science and Master of Information Systems programs.

The AAOU Young Innovator Awards are given to conference participants from AAOU-member institutions whose research paper presented in the conference showed exemplary innovations in the implementation of open and distance learning, such as in teaching tools, application softwares, approaches to student support, and others. It is given to individuals aged 40 years old and below.

Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, UPOU Chancellor and AAOU President, led the delegation from UPOU, composed of officials, faculty members, research and extension personnel, and administration staff members who all presented their research papers in the conference.

The 31st AAOU Annual Conference, hosted by Universitas Terbuka (UT) in Indonesia, was participated in by 300 practitioners of open and distance learning from more than 30 countries. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)