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Dr. Alexander G. Flor, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) discusses the challenges of open and distance elearning (ODeL) in  one of the special sessions of  the NCODeL 2017.

Dr. Alexander G. Flor, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), discussed the challenges of open and distance elearning (ODeL) in one of the special sessions of the 5th National Conference in Open and Distance eLearning (NCODeL) held on 23 November 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Metro Manila, Philippines.

The presentation was titled “Navigating through the Dark Side of Open and Distance eLearning (ODeL)” which aimed to inform the participants of the possible downsides of adopting “openness” in their education system. This is also to alert them of the possible effects and challenges alongside it.

Dr. Flor’s presentation showed a different take on ODeL unlike the other presentations which aimed to show the participants the benefits and the recent discoveries on ODeL. According to him, “We should take the good along with the bad.” He also shared that open knowledge resources are not always appropriate for all types of audiences especially those who do not have access to the basic media needed for ODeL. His talk did not just end with the list of the cons of open knowledge and delivery systems, he also “untangled the ODeL problematique” and suggested possible solutions to make the approach efficient and effective to the education system.

Dr. Flor proposed that ODeL should not be encouraged in the basic education curriculum. He emphasized that the appropriate assessment approach in this type of system should also be used according to knowledge levels. He added that It is also a must to utilize a “third-party or industry based assessment” in evaluating the learners.

Dr. Flor clarified that his presentation is not intended to discourage the audience to adopt ODeL in their curriculum but to make them aware of the possibilities of this approach.

This Special Session is part of the 2-day conference hosted by the UPOU, in coordination with the UPOU Foundation, Inc., the Philippine Society for Distance Learning and the Commission on Higher Education. NCODeL 2017 was participated in by more than 300 participants in 123 higher education institutions from all over the Philippines. (Yrelle Mae Lleva, FICS)