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UP Open University (UPOU) Doctor of Communication (DComm) Alumnus, Reynaldo Gacho Segumpan, presented his dissertation in Sydney, Australia during the Australia and New Zealand Business, Law and Social Science Conference on August 18-20, 2017.

Mr. Segumpan’s dissertation, entitled “Understanding Mediated Intercultural Communication: An Ethnomethodological Study of Social Media Engagement Practices of Asian Expatriates,” was completed under the advisory of Dr. Jean A. Saludadez. His research explored what the Asian expatriates’ practices are when they engage in mediated intercultural communication. Three themes emerged as a result of his study -- social media engagement as everyday practice, social media engagement as a practice of building professional communities, and social media engagement as a search for virtual space.

The conference was organized by the Australian Academy of Business Leadership in order “to provide an opportunity to academics and practitioners around the world to discuss and share the contemporary issues of business and social science research.” The participants included researchers, educators, economists, lawyers and legal professionals, communication specialists, business managers, and consultants from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Chile, China (mainland), Hong Kong, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, among others.

Mr. Segumpan is an academic staff at the Ministry of Higher Education, Sultanate of Oman. He was on the Chancellor’s List when he was conferred his DComm degree on 30 July 2016.

I hope that in the future, we attempt to open and offer ourselves – our knowledge, abilities, and skills – to our country and even to the world – an actualization of Oblation’s selfless offering of oneself to humanity.

Reflecting upon the value and essence of ‘openness’ and how it allows achieving academic success was the quintessence of this year’s valedictory address.

Mr. Ericson Peñalba, the top graduate of the Masters in Development Communication (MDC) from the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS), delivered his valedictory address during the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) 21st Commencement Exercises focusing on the ‘Education in the Age of Openness’.

For Peñalba, studying in UPOU was a unique and rewarding experience. He particularly enjoyed being an independent learner. In an interview, he said that the rigorous training from a distance mode of learning helped him gain more confidence in performing his job as a state university instructor not only in the field of instruction but also in research and extension works.

As he looked back at the years of his struggles and triumphs in his academic journey, he described the two and a half years as both moments of frustrations and satisfaction, a love-hate relationship with the MDC program. For him, being able to survive all those complexities lies on what he considered as the “most essential characteristic of UPOU--openness”.

I believe that the benefits we derived from the openness of the UPOU education became possible due to the culture of sharing it adheres to. In particular, the sharing of knowledge, which is now beginning to transform the landscape of learning, has led to a realization that knowledge could also become a common good, not just a commodity.

He also believes that openness is not just a practice but also a virtue that should be exercised by every organization, academic institution, practitioner, teacher, and student.

With this, he challenged his fellow graduates to also acquire the same virtue, “... as we reflect on the selfless act of giving back, may we realize our value and worth as graduates of UPOU – as mga Iskolar ng Bayan who possess the virtue of openness to play an active role in advancing the culture of knowledge sharing.

He also asked fellow graduate to self-reflect. He asked “What are we willing to offer for free? What can we open source so that others may benefit from us? Are we really open to the possibility of working with and for others? Handa ba tayong magbahagi nang walang hinihinging kapalit?" (Cherry Bundalian, FICS).

Twenty-five research papers on open and distance eLearning (ODeL) authored by UP Open University (UPOU) faculty members; research, extension and professional staff (REPS); administrative employees, and research assistants were presented in the 31st Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU). Two of these research papers were given Young Innovators Awards. Assistant Professors Reinald Adrian Pugoy and Mari Anjeli Lubrica-Crisanto, faculty members of the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS), each received a Silver Medal for their respective research papers.

Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, as the UPOU Chancellor and AAOU President, led the UPOU delegation composed of 37 personnel -- 29 presented research papers while 8 attended as members of the AAOU secretariat and as conference participants. The AAOU annual conference was held on 27-29 September 2017 at the Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

The UPOU research papers were spread over different parallel sessions following the themes: (1) Repositioning Open University in the Digital Era: Providing Sustainable Learning Pathways; (2) Leadership in Open, Distance and Online Learning University; (3) Quality Assurance in Open Univeristy; (4) Assessment and Accreditation of Learning in Open Univeristy; and (4) Access and Justice in Open, Distance and Online Learning. List of UPOU research papers presented in AAOU can be accessed from http://aaou2017.ut.ac.id/conference-program/.

Universitas Terbuka (UT) in Indonesia hosted this year’s conference, which was participated in by 300 participants from more than 30 countries. Experts on open and distance education from various countries served as keynote speakers. These include Dr. Bandalaria, who spoke about “Quality Assurance in Open Universities”; Professor Ir. Tian Belawati, Member of the ICDE Board of Trustees and former President of ICDE and AAOU, talked about “Leadership in Open and Distance Learning Universities;” and Dr. Wayne Mackintosh, founding Director of the Open Educational Resources Foundation in New Zealand, tackled “Access and Justice in Open, Distance and Online Learning.” Another featured speaker, Emeritus Professor Tan Sri Raj Dhanarajan, the first recipient of the 2004 AAOU Meritorious Award and recipient of the 2013 International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) Prize for Lifelong Contribution to Open and Distance Education, delivered the conference reflection.

As a full member institution of the AAOU, UPOU has actively participated in the AAOU Annual Conferences. In October 2016, UPOU hosted the 30th AAOU Annual Conference in Manila, Philippines, where Dr. Bandalaria was elected as the new President of the association and Dr. Grace Javier-Alfonso, the former Chancellor of UPOU, as Secretary-General.

The UPOU, with research as part of its tripartite function, enables and supports its personnel to participate in conferences and other academic gatherings to share research results and best practices, and to gain more exposure on the trends and developments in open and distance e-learning and other fields of studies. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

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)

(L-R) Prof. Bejamina Flor, Dean Alexander Flor, Mr. Ericson Peñalba and Chancellor Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria pose after awarding Mr. Peñalba a gold medal for making it to the Chancellor's List.

The Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) held a thanksgiving celebration in honor of its 2017 graduating class on 22 September 2017 at the Oblation Hall, UP Open University, Los Baños, Laguna. It was a heart-warming and inspiring gathering for FICS' the students, faculty, and staff members as graduates looked back and shared their own unique journeys and stories of success.

Dr. Alexander G. Flor, the Dean of FICS said “I have this observation, that will eventually become a theory… the ones who were attracted to this field are the more evolved souls.” He acknowledged the efforts and achievements of all the students and FICS' faculty members who have been into transformation throughout their years of journey in the university. He also recognized the uniqueness of the Faculty of Study as it changes and gears towards the cutting edge of discipline in the field of communication and information.

Mr. Jerry Donato, the top graduate of FICS and former Vice President the UPOU Alumni Foundation, Inc. (UPOUAFI) , asked this question to the members of the 2017 graduating class “What’s next or where do we go from here?” Mr. Donato, who is currently pursuing the Doctor in Communication program at UPOU and the newly-elected President of UPOUAFI, shared his journey as a lifelong learner at the university. He said that self-reflection is an important consideration in determining the next step and in doing so, as a graduate of UP, one must not forget, and must always look back at the lessons and values learned especially honor and excellence, openness, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.

In the same event, the top graduates of FICS were recognized. They were Mr. Christian Joy Panag from the Diploma in Computer Science program, Ms. Maria Gabriella Magpusao, from the Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies program and Mr. Efren Duran Jr. from the Master of Information Systems program, Ms. Marga Alyanna Espino and Mr. Ericson Peñalba, from the Master in Development Communication program; and Mr. Lenardo Magno Jr. from the Doctor of Communication program.

Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria, former FICS Dean and currently Chancellor of UPOU gave the closing message. She encouraged the graduates to "...start on what we have right now to make an impact, one community, and one country at a time”. Quoting the current UP System President, she also asked them to give “malasakit at responsibilidad para sa sarili, sa komunidad, at sa bayan” (concern/devotion and responsibility for oneself, the community, and the country). (Cherry Bundalian)

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) was adjudged as the Most Colorful Delegation at the 2017 Bañamos Civic Parade. Dr. Joane V. Serrano, Director of the Information Office and the Multimedia Center, and Asst. Prof. Aurora Lacaste, the University Registrar, led the more than 100 men and women UPOU delegation.

The parade held on 15 September 2017, was one of the activities held for the week-long celebration of the 402nd Founding Anniversary of Los Baños and the 16th Bañamos Festival. The theme of the celebration was “Mananatiling Matatag sa Hamon ng Makabagong Panahon.” The Bañamos Civic Parade was participated in by UPOU's fellow members from the Los Banos Science Community Foundation, Inc.; various government offices, people and private organizations, and schools, colleges and universities. The foot parade started at 6:00 AM from Olivarez Plaza in Bgy. Batong Malake and headed towards Paciano Rizal Park in Brgy. Baybayin. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) shall hold its 21st Commencement Exercises on 23 September 2017, at the Oblation Park, UP Open University , Los Baños, Laguna. Three hundred seventy-nine (379) UPOU students shall be conferred with their degrees:

Undergraduate degree programs- 71
Graduate certificate - 10
Graduate diploma programs - 166
Master's degree programs - 121
PhD programs - 11

The highest number of graduates belongs to Diploma in Language and Literacy Education and Diploma in International Health programs.

This year's graduates will be led by two magna cum laude from the Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies program and 25 recipients of Academic Awards -- 9 are on the Chancellor’s List (those who got general weighted average (GWA) of 1.00 to 1.14) and 15 are on the Dean’s List (with a GWA of 1.15 to 1.24).

The commencement speaker for this year is the newly appointed President of the University of the Philippines System, Atty. Danilo Concepcion. President “Danicon,”as he is more fondly known in UP, is a law practitioner and professor, bar reviewer, and a radio and TV personality. As the 21st UP President, he highlights the redefinition of UP’s traditional culture of honor and excellence to include compassion, or “Husay, Dangal at Malasakit.” This puts more emphasis on UP’s service to the country.

President Danicon was the Dean of the UP College of Law before being appointed on 09 February 2017 as President of the national and premier state university of the Philippines. He earned his Master of Laws degree from the University of London as a Chevening Scholar of the United Kingdom government, graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from UP Diliman, and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering degree from De La Salle Araneta University. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

To cater to more participants, the deadline for sending abstracts for the upcoming 5th National Conference on Open and Distance e-Learning (NCODeL 2017) has been moved to 30 September 2017.

NCODEL 2017, carrying the theme “Philippine Education in the Age of Openness,” shall provide the participants with a better understanding of the concepts, principles, and methodologies of and recent trends in open learning and distance eLearning (ODeL). It will be held on 22-23 November 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Manila, Philippines.

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), the organizer of NCODeL 2017, encourages faculty members, administrators, policy makers, researchers, and other employees of higher education institutions (HEIs) and Technical and Vocational Institutions (TVIs) to participate and share their experiences and best practices in the delivery of courses through open and distance e-learning (ODeL).

The Commission on Higher Education grants conference fellowships to HEI personnels who shall participate in NCODEL 2017. Application to the CHED Conference Fellowship will be accepted until 15 October 2017. To know more about this fellowship, send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0977-272-1937 or 0918-422-8070.

Don’t miss the chance to be a part of another enriching and engaging conference on ODeL. ODeL experts from the region will share their knowledge, experiences, and practice in the field. For details on NCODeL 2017, visit ncodel.upou.edu.ph, send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call (049) 536-6001 to 06 local 710, 220 or 831.

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) will be hosting the 5th National Conference on Open and Distance e-Learning (NCODeL 2017) on 22-23 November 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Manila, Philippines. UPOU has invited the country’s leading experts in Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL) as part of its line-up of speakers. One of the seven plenary speakers to share topics on the conference’s theme “Philippine Education in the Age of Openness” is Dr. Patricia B. Arinto who will speak about Open Educational Practices (OEP).

Dr. Arinto is the Faculty Regent of the University of the Philippines and the former Dean of the UPOU Faculty of Education. She holds a Doctor in Education degree from the Institute of Education, University of London and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Technology-Based Distributed Learning from the University of British Columbia (Canada). Her Master of Arts in Comparative Literature and Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts are from UP.

Dr. Arinto is an expert in distance education, learning design, and teacher professional development in technology-supported learning, where she has published several book chapters and journal articles. Her research involvement and external work included being the Team Leader for the Technology-supported Teacher Professional Development in Early Literacy Instruction; Theme Adviser for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for the Digital Learning for Development (DL4D); Deputy Principal Investigator of Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project of International Development Research Centre (IDRC); Project Leader and Principal Investigator of an Australian Government-funded study on the use of tablet computers in public secondary schools in the Philippines.

Dr. Arinto will be joined by other experts in ODeL at the NCODeL 2017, and invitation is still open for faculty, administrators, policy makers and other employees of all higher education institutions in the country to participate in this event. Submission of abstracts for paper and poster presentation is open until 30 September 2017 and participants may register at an early bird rate until 15 October 2017. More details are available at ncodel.upou.edu.ph. Questions may be addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“Philippine Education in the Age of Openness” will be the overarching theme of the 5th National Conference on Open and Distance eLearning (NCODeL). The two-day event will be joined by a passel of local and international participants who will share concepts, principles, and methodologies of and recent trends in open and distance elearning (ODeL). This year’s conference aims to build upon the outcomes of the conference held in 2015.

One of the plenary speakers during the conference is Dr. Alyanti Binti Ismail, the current chair of Malaysia Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) Working Committee. She is also currently the head of Wireless Communication Engineering Laboratory and coordinator for Franchise Program of Diploma in Multimedia Technology Engineering in the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). She also currently works as a senior lecturer, postgraduate coordinator, and academic coordinator in the Faculty of the Engineering of the same university.

Dr. Ismail earned her PhD in Electronics Engineering at University of Birmingham in United Kingdom. Dr. Ismail is also an accomplished researcher. Her area of specialties and research themes include microwave passive filters and antennas, dielectric properties of materials for microwave applications, engineering education, Outcome Based Education (OBE), project based learning, and Islamic approach to engineering education. Her leadership ushered different research projects about low loss micro-machined microwave transmission line and filters for RF MEMS application and design of a multi-standard base band digital transceiver using Software Defined Radio (SDR). In 2008, she also obtained a patent for her research product, Ultra-Wide Bandpass Filter.

NCODeL serves as a forum for administrators, teachers, scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to learn from each other as they explore spaces and possibilities for ODeL for development. Dr. Ismail will be taking part in the NCODeL 2017 conference which will run from 22-23 November 2017 at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Metro Manila, Philippines.

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) together with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), UPOU Foundation, Inc. (UPOUFI), and the Philippine Society for Distance Learning, Inc. (PSDL) will host the 5th National Conference on Open and Distance eLearning (NCODEL) on 22-23 November 2017. The conference will offer a comprehensive forum on Philippine education in the age of openness as well as introduce participants to the concepts, principles, and methodologies of and recent trends in open learning. The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Manila, Philippines.

The two-day event includes seven plenary speakers for three plenary sessions from different institutions in the country and abroad. Announced as part of the line-up of plenary speakers is Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, Chancellor of UP Open University, and President of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) who will speak during the 3rd plenary session to discuss Open Education: Philippine Initiatives (MOOCs and OERs).

Dr. Bandalaria will bring her expertise and experiences from her 21 years of academic leadership in an open and distance e-learning institution. Her career in the academe includes starting as an Assistant Dean for the School for Distance Education in Los Baños and eventually becoming a professor for development communication and Dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) in UPOU. She has held administrative posts in the same institution such as Director for the Office of Students Administration and the University Registrar. Dr. Bandalaria is a staunch advocate of democratizing access to quality education for the vulnerable sectors of the society which led to numerous public service works and researches which aim to serve lifelong learners by enabling their socio-economic transformation, and contribute to the country’s progress and to the sustainable development goals.

Dr. Bandalaria finished her studies in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Major in Agronomy at the University of the Philippines Los Baños where she also received her Master of Science and PhD degree in Development Communication.

Other distinguished plenary speakers who will be joining Dr. Bandalaria in the 3rd plenary session are Director Ma. Susan P. Dela Rama, Executive Director of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Atty. Michael Vernon Guerrero from the Arellano University School of Law. This plenary session comes after other sessions on Open Educational Practices and Open Education: Country Cases.