UP Open University (UPOU) culminated its celebration of the National Women’s Month in the opening of the “Women in Art: Kulay, Galaw, Pinta,” a solo exhibit by Odette Cagandahan on 28 March 2017 at the UPOU Community Hub, Los Baños, Laguna. The event was organized by the UPOU Office of Gender Concerns (OGC), the UPOU Cultural Committee, and the UPOU Foundation, Inc.

“Women in Art: Kulay, Galaw, Pinta” is an exhibit aimed to inspire women, especially mothers, to continue and pursue their dreams and passion, and be agents of change. It features actual works of Ms. Cagandahan including her speed paintings, oil on canvass paintings of women’s faces, glow in the dark paintings of women and nature, and sculptures of women’s body.

Ms. Cagandahan is a full-time contemporary visual artist from Paete, Laguna with a degree in Fine Arts from UP Diliman. Her works have been exhibited in leading galleries in Metro Manila and has received several awards and distinctions. She is known as a “speed painter,” finishing on-the-spot larger-than-life artworks within 2-8 minutes.

At the opening of the exhibit, she speed painted Ariana Grande to the tune of “Break Free” to inspire women to break free from the norms and limitations dictated by the society and initiate and propagate change by believing in what they can do. The UPOU V-Force Dancers also performed a dance number to the UPOU Tempo Band’s rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Treasure.” Asst. Prof. Finaflor Taylan, Director of the OGC, also delivered a short message and together with Prof. Primo Garcia, Chair of the Cultural Committee and Dean of the UPOU Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), and Ms. Cagandahan, led the cutting of the ribbon at the Galeria Sinag. Ms. Jeniffer de Pasion-Guevarra was the program’s emcee.

“Women in Art: Kulay, Galaw, Pinta” is open until 28 April 2017 at the Galeria Sinag, UPOU Community Hub, Los Baños, Laguna. Gallery hours are 9 AM to 6 PM, Mondays through Saturdays. For inquiries, call (049) 536 5992.

Prof. Sheila Bonito, Assoc. Prof Joane Serrano, Asst. Prof Rita Ramos, Asst. Prof Charisse Reyes and University Researcher Carmelita Orias attended the Open Education (OE) Global Conference 2017 held at Cape Town Convention Center, Cape Town, South Africa last 8-10 March 2017.

The group presented the results of their research entitled, “Impact of Open Educational Resources (OER) on Cost and Quality of Course Materials in Post Graduate Distance Education Courses in the Philippines”. The objectives of the study were to:measure the cost of developing OER-based course materials; evaluate the impact of OER use on the quality of learning materials in education, health, and development courses; and determine the cost-effectiveness of OER use.

This project was funded by the International Development Research Centre as a sub-project under the OER Impact Studies of the Research on Open Education Resources for Development (ROER4D) which aims to provide evidence-based research from a number of countries in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Prof Bonito is the research leader for this project under the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services of UPOU. (Milette Aniceta-Orias)

The world celebrated 27-31 March 2017 as the Open Education Week. Sharing in this celebration, UP Open University (UPOU) conducted a free webinar on Open Educational Practices (OEP) on 27 March 2017 at the Audio-visual Room of UPOU in Los Baños, Laguna, and webstreamed live via The activity was jointly organized by the UPOU Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS) and the UPOU Multimedia Center.

Dr. Sheila Bonito, Director of OASIS, opened the event and explained that Open Education Week was organized by the Open Education Consortium to raise awareness about free and open educational opportunities for everyone everywhere right now.

Dr. Patricia Arinto, Professor and former Dean of the UPOU Faculty of Education, and the current UP Faculty Regent, was the webinar’s resource speaker. She discussed the theoretical underpinnings of OEP and how this is applied at UP Open University. She started her presentation by explaining that open education “encompasses resources, tools and practices to employ a framework of sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide.” The open education campaign started with the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement in 2007, with special focus on open and free content. A second phase involved OEP, which is more focused on the pedagogical practices in sharing OER to open up access to educational opportunities and allow more effective learning.

According to Dr. Arinto, OEP are “practices that support the reuse and production of OER through institutional policies, promote innovative pedagogical models, and respect and empower learners as co-producers in their lifelong learning path” and as “collaborative practice in which resources are shares by making them openly available.” She delved into the five stages of the Continuum of Open Practice and the different OEP strategies that can be employed by UPOU and other institutions. She concluded by saying that open resources is only one aspect of the learning design, another aspect is the creation of sustainable environments where OER can be shared to support high-quality educational outcomes. She stated further that access is not equal to success. Instead, equity of access should result in equity of outcomes so that learners will actually learn, and the education will be truly useful to them and to their communities.

Prof. Arinto is the deputy principal investigator of the multi-country Research on Open Educational Resources for Development in the Global South (ROER4D) project and the theme adviser for research on MOOCs (massive open online courses) in the Digital Learning for Development (DL4D) project both funded by the International Development Research Centre of Canada. She has published scholarly articles and given keynote presentations on teacher professional development in information and communication technology and curriculum integration, distance learning, and open education, and was recently a keynote speaker at the 2017 Open Education Global Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa on 8-10 March 2017.

This webinar is the first of the series of webinars that UPOU will be conducting, as part of its mandate in RA 10650 to assist relevant national agencies, higher education institutions, and technical and vocational institutions in developing their distance education programs through training, technical assistance, research and other academic programs, and as the current president of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU).

UPOU caught up with the OER Movement in 2010, first by attending international conferences, then by conducting academic discourses to explore the institutionalization of OER at the university level. In 2013, UPOU shifted to the use of open educational resources in its resource-based course packages (RBCP) for most of its course offerings. In participation in the 2015 Open Education Week, UPOU first offered three free and online bridge courses to its new undergraduate students, which has since been counted with many other MOOCs that UPOU offers to the public via

Students and other participants also viewed the webinar through the UPOU Learning Centers in Baguio, Cebu, Davao, Diliman and Iloilo. The webinar may also be accessed anytime at UPOU’s online repository of open educational resources, UPOU Networks. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

To celebrate World Social Work Day, and the International Women’s Day of March, the UP Open University’s (UPOU) Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) and the Office of Gender Concerns (OGC) spearheaded the conduct of the Let’s Talk It Over (LTIO) on “Kababaihan. Kalikasan. Komunidad.” The activity was held on 21 March 2017 at the UPOU Audio-visual Room in Los Baños, Laguna.

Prof. Primo Garcia, Dean of FMDS, welcomed the participants who attended including those who joined virtually, as the forum was livestreamed over He mentioned that “UP Open University mainstreams gender and development by celebrating both events this month of March as well as conducting programs and activities for the rest of the year through its Gender and Development plan.” He also explained that the LTIO on Kababaihan, Kalikasan, Komunidad will “delve into the role of social work in community and environmental sustainability and into the role of women in climate change.”

Two speakers were invited to talk. The first speaker was Director Marita C. Pimentel, Director for Field Operations of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and a member of the National Gender and Development Resource Pool of the Philippine Commission on Women. Director Pimentel gave a short, sweet and straightforward presentation about the DSWD Programs that caters to the women sector. She also mentioned that DSWD operates on the mantra “Gikan sa masa, Para sa Masa” and its core values as maagap at mapagkalinga, walang puwang sa korupsyon, and patas na pagtrato sa komunidad.

The second speaker was Dr. Thelma R. Paris, Independent Consultant and former Gender specialist for Climate Change who spoke about “Women, Agriculture and Climate Change.” She discussed the gender dimensions, changing roles, the impact and the coping mechanism involved in men, women, agriculture and climate change. She also gave some suggestions for research on climate change, agriculture, food security and gender and detailed some of the climate smart agriculture and farming practices. She concluded her presentation stating that “the goal of reducing poverty and hunger, improving human health and nutrition, climate resilience can be achieved if agricultural research institution in partnership with extension and NGOs will provide women and men equal access to opportunities and empower women to maximize their skills, talents and inputs for their benefits, their families, the society and the future generation.”

Both talks were thought-provoking, inciting a number questions and comments from the audience. Every question was aptly answered by the resource speakers. The program ended with Dean Garcia handing out the certificates of appreciation and Asst. Prof. Finaflor Taylan, Program Chair of the Diploma and Master of Social Work and Diploma in Women and Development programs, and Director of the UPOU OGC, officially closing the event and thanking everyone who participated and shared their views and expertise.

The World Social Work Day is jointly organized by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), the School of Social Work Geneva (HETS-Geneve) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) where UPOU is an institutional member through its Diploma/Master of Social Work program. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

Prof. Habito presents her paper at the WWD2017. (Photo by CdLHabito))

Dr. Consuelo dL. Habito, faculty member of the Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), UP Open University (UPOU) and Program Chair of the Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management (MENRM) program of FMDS, UPOU represented the Philippines to the celebration of the 2017 World Wood Day (WWD) on 21-26 March 2017 at the Long Beach Convention Center in California, United States of America. Dr. Habito presented a paper on the “Wood Carving Tradition of the Indigenous Peoples of Palawan, Philippines” during the Wood Symposium.

This year’s celebration, with the theme “Roots,” aimed to reflect on the identity and appreciation of culture as well as respect for diversity through the medium of wood.

With participants from over 100 countries and regions, this grand celebration became a feast of cultures featuring woodcraft activities, wood design and temple bus programs, folk art workshops, children's events, musical festival, wood symposium, dancing and chants by the Native Americans, and tree planting. All of these were simultaneously launched from 21-26 March 2017. Collaborative wood carving installation art and projects featuring woodcarving artists from various parts of the world were also featured. Mr. Ricardo Bagabaldo of Paete, Laguna was the lone Filipino woodcarver representing the Philippines.

As public service has always been a part of the university’s mission, the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) will host another blood donation activity this year. This will be held on 6 April 2017, starting 9:00 AM, at the UPOU Oblation Hall, UPOU Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna.

Initiated in 2012, the blood donation is now the fourth time that the university will be undertaking this activity. With the hope of helping the community on its ever increasing blood requirement, the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) spearheads this project in partnership with the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Administration. (Emely M. Amoloza)

As President of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, Chancellor of the UP Open University (UPOU) was invited to participate in the 1st Asia-Pacific MAssive Open Online Course (MOOC) Stakeholders Summit (2016) on 2-3 March 2017 at the Windsor Suites Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

Three areas were tackled in the discussions in the Summit, namely, sustainability model including policy level, platform level, institution/subject/program level; sharable case studies and best-practices of MOOC educational models; and possible area for cooperation among Asia-Pacific regions and European countries.

Chancellor Bandalaria shared about sustainability model in the platform/portal level. She presented the AAOU’s “Asian MOOCs”, an integrated portal for all the MOOCs in the Asia Pacific, especially those offered by AAOU member institutions. Asian MOOCs was launched in October 2016, during the AAOU’s 30th Annual Conference in Manila, Philippines. In addition, Dr. Bandalaria also mentioned the researches on MOOC assessment that UPOU is currently developing.

The Asia-Pacific MOOCs Stakeholders Summit is a platform for sharing and discussion among policymakers, platform/portal providers, and practitioners in MOOC education, and is organized by the Thailand Cyber University Project (TCU), Office of the Higher Education Commission, Ministry of Education, Thailand, in collaboration with JMOOC, National Institute of Lifelong Education (NILE), Republic of Korea, and UNESCO Bangkok.

The UP Open University (UPOU) held the launching session for the Round Table Discussion (RTD) Series on Assessment on 17 March 2017 at the UPOU Oblation Hall in Los Baños, Laguna. Dr. Kunchon Jeotee, Assistant Professor at the Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU), lecturer for the Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management (MENRM) program and assessment research collaborator at the ASEAN Studies Graduate Program, was the session’s lead discussant on “Assessment at STOU.”

Dr. Kunchon, an expert in statistics, online learning and evaluation in education, shared how evaluation is done at STOU especially at the STOU Office of Registrations, Record and Evaluations where he is currently connected. According to Dr. Kunchon, STOU has a very strong and strict exam system for both their regular exam and walk-in exam, starting from the production of all subject textbooks written by recognized experts in STOU. These experts create test questions about the chapters they wrote which are then compiled to compose the 100 items for the subject’s exam. The questions go through a long series of checking and evaluation before and after printing and distribution to the STOU regional centers and partner schools in the 78 provinces of Thailand. STOU has an item bank for questions for the random generation of questions in walk-in exams. Students who opt for the walk–in exam, take tests simultaneously all over the country.

The UPOU Faculty and Research, Extension and Professional Service (REPS) members who attended the RTD actively participated in the discussion by contributing their experiences in the different assessment methods done by UPOU. Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, UPOU Chancellor, explained that UPOU used to print and send out exams to the students based all over the country and abroad, but now, online examination is being explored and will be shared in the succeeding sessions of the RTD Series. RTD Series on Assessment is spearheaded by the UPOU Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA), in partnership with the three UPOU Faculty Offices. Prof. Melinda Lumanta, UPOU Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, explained that the the RTD Series on Assessment stemmed from the idea of discussing the results and recommendations of the UPOU Task Force on Examination Systems, and was expanded to become a venue to tackle and share experience and knowledge about the different types of assessment applicable to open and distance e-learning (ODeL). Chancellor Bandalaria applauded this initiative and hopes for a publication at the end of the series so other ODeL institutions may also benefit from this activity. The RTD series is set to be held twice a month, with the definite schedule to be circulated to everyone. Inquiries about the RTD Series on Assessment may be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

The UP Open University (UPOU) will be offering once again its Child Rights Promotion and Protection (CRP) Certification Program as massive open online courses (MOOCs) starting April 2017. These courses are free and open to everyone especially for those interested in and advocates of child rights protection and promotion such as those working in non-government organizations and other professions dealing with children.

Eight courses under the three clusters of the CRP MOOCs will be offered through Massive Open and Distance e-Learning (MODEL), the UPOU’s platform for its MOOCs:

Cluster 1: Theoretical and Legal Framework for Children
Understanding Better the Child (22 April-2 June)
Legal Instruments for the Protection of Children (10 June- 21 July)
Institutional Mechanisms Towards Child Rights Protection and Promotion (29 July-8 September)

Cluster 2: Planning and Implementing Programs for Child Rights Protection and Promotion
Planning Programs on Child Rights Protection and Promotion (15 July-25 August)
Implementing Child Rights Programs (9 September-20 October)

Cluster 3: Communicating and Advocating for Child Rights Protection
Communicating for Child Rights Protection and Promotion: Theoretical Approaches (16 Sept-27 October)
Traditional and New Media for Child’s Rights Protection and Promotion (26 September-6 November)
Advocacy and Social Mobilization for Child Rights Protection and Promotion (4 November-15 December)

CRP MOOCs were first offered in 2015 as part of the collaboration of United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund-Philippines and UPOU. This re-offering is part of UPOU's openUP Flagship Program for 2016-2019. The openUP Flagship Program is aimed at mainstreaming MOOCs as part of UPOU's formal and non-formal program offerings. To avail of this free course and access more UPOU MOOCs offerings, visit (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

Speed painter Odette Cagandahan-Monfero
Will enrich the Women’s Month celebration on March 28, with animo
“Kulay, Galaw at Pinta”
Gaano man kahirap ang buhay, kababaihan, magtatagumpay ka!

Artist and artwork will be visually entertaining
Splash of colors will be intellectually stimulating
Modern music will be mixed in to create a unique experience
It will be a joy to be part of this launch, both wonderful and intense

The UPOU Office of Gender Concerns sponsors this pro-women project
With the UPOU Foundation and the UPOU Cultural Committee, women's rights protect
The Tempo Band, dancers, and surprises will make it great
Come one, come all! Visit Galeria Sinag before April 28 (Susan Janette G. Ealdama)

On 03 March 2017, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA) of the UP Open University (UPOU) held the third of its series of Friday Research Conversations about UPOU’s 12 Flagship Programs. Prof. Ricardo Bagarinao, Dean of UPOU Faculty of Education and Chair of the UPOU Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee (DRRM), was invited to speak about Climate Adaptive and Resilient UPOU (CAReUPOU) and share some possible research areas under this flagship program. In his presentation entitled “CAReUPOU: Concepts and Researchable Areas,” he mentioned that CAReUPOU is composed of two components – the (1) Green UPOU which aims for resource conservation, environmental education, ecological waste management and the use of renewable energy; and (2) the DRRM which is composed of disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster response and disaster rehabilitation and recovery.

With disasters claiming more lives and creating irreparable damages, the whole of the country and the world has engaged in widespread campaigns related to DRRM. At UPOU, where students are dispersed all over the world and much of its operations depend on e-systems, matters regarding DRRM are addressed through CAReUPOU. CAReUPOU is UPOU’s initiative to actively integrate the principles of sustainability and responsible resource utilization in its operation. It is also UPOU’s program to actively establish resilience and adaptive mechanisms against climate-related risks, geohazards, fire, and information security risks.

Prof. Bagarinao mentioned that in CAReUPOU, the researchable areas include baseline condition, criteria and indicators, modelling, and behaviour and response. He also gave examples of potential studies such as

  • UPOU Disaster Preparedness: A Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice Survey or Institutional Climate Change
  • Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Efforts Among UPOU Offices
  • Developing Sustainability Criteria and Indicators for an ODeL Institution
  • Risk Reduction Initiatives: Balancing Costs with Benefits
  • Modeling Behavioural Responses to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Initiatives

Faculty and staff of UPOU actively participated in the discussion and volunteered some creative research suggestions. Prof. Jean Saludadez, UPOUs Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration, suggested opening the research topics to all UPOU employees and even to UPOU students who are doing their special problems. Prof. Melinda Lumanta, Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, agreed that a system can be developed to disseminate research interest and allow people to sign up and form into groups. Assoc. Prof. Joane Serrano emphasized the importance of e-resiliency and in investing in servers in the cloud. She also mentioned that the UPOU Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) initiated the Green UPOU program a few years back and she is happy that the program has been elevated to include the effort of the whole university. Asst. Prof. Lacaste, the UPOU Registrar, suggested the evaluation of UPOU’s current practice of waste segregation including the disposal of e-wastes.

Prof. Lumanta thanked Prof. Bagarinao for sharing about CAReUPOU and presented him a certificate of appreciation. The activity was livestreamed via UPOUNetworks. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)