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Dr. Primo Garcia, Dean of UPOU’s Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), was one of the keynote speakers at the "International Seminar for Research Month 2016: Innovation, Development, and Utilization of Research Community Services" held at Ibis Hotel in Surabaya, Indonesia on 15 November 2016.

In his presentation titled "Research, Instruction and Public Service in an Open Learning System: An Exploration into the Innovation Nexus at UP Open University," Prof. Garcia discussed the different modes of connections between instruction, research, and public service in an open and distance e-learning (ODeL) institution and the implications of which on managing research and innovation. Dr. Incocencio E. Buot, Jr., former FMDS Dean and currently an Affiliate Professor at UPOU, was also one of the keynote speakers. He talked about "Biodiversity Research and the Community: Experiences, Gaps, and Recommendations." The other two keynote speakers were Dr. Wolfgang Busse and Ms. Zulaicha Parastuty.

Organized by the Universitas Pembangunan Nasional (UPN) in Surabaya, the annual seminar is a venue for researchers to share their research and development findings with other researchers, industry, and society as they address social problems and support national industrial development through innovation.

The Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) launched the “Asian MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)” during the  the recently concluded 30th AAOU Annual Conference held  on 26-29 October 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Manila, Philippines.

Dr. Kam Cheong Li, Secretary-General of the AAOU and member of the Asian MOOCs Steering Committee, explained that Asian MOOCs is an initiative of the AAOU to promote open education and use open educational resources in Asia. It is an online portal which serves as a hub integrating MOOC offerings of AAOU-member institutions. This portal allows the institutions to promote their courses. and reach more learners around the world. Asian MOOCs aims to advance open and innovative education, and is accessible through www.asianmoocs.org.

Asian MOOCs was conceptualized in 2015 when surveys, explorations of options and planning were done. In 2016, the Asian MOOCs Steering Committee was established leading to the launch of the portal on 26 October 2016 during the Welcome Dinner of the 30th Annual Conference of the AAOU in the Philippines.

Members of the Asian MOOCs Steering Committee includes Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, Chancellor of UP Open University; Prof. Daryono Daryono, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Science of Universitas Terbuka, India; Prof. Kandarpa Das, Former Director of the Institute of Open and Distance Learning of the Gauhati Univerity, India; Dr. Kam Cheong Li, Director of Research of the Open University of Hong Kong; Dr. Andy Liew, Registrar and Director of the Directorate of Quality Assurance and External Relations of the Wawasan Open University, Malaysia; Dr. Tran Thi Lan Thu, Director of the E-Learning Center of Hanoi Open University, Vietnam; and Prof. Tsuneo Yamada, Professor at the Center for Open Distance Education of the Open University of Japan. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

In the UPOU Research Conversation on 7 October 2016, Dr. Ricardo Bagarinao, University Scientist I and University Registrar of the UP Open University,  discussed “GIS as a Planning and Decision-making Tool: Applying in ODeL Environment. ” The activity was held at the Sandbox, CCDL Building of UP Open University in Los Baños, Laguna, and is organized by the UPOU Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA).

Dr. Bagarinao’s presentation focused on spatial analysis, the role of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in spatial analysis, and using GIS as a research and decision-making tool. He cited esri.com’s definition of spatial analysis as understanding the world by “mapping where things are, how they relate, what it all means, and what actions to take.” In relation to the role of GIS as a research tool, he explained that “GIS divides the world into objects and attribute tables, both of which can be represented spatially by raster or vector datasets.” Raster datasets come from grids while vector datasets come from mathematical calculations and functions.  He added that that decision-making from spatial analysis involves the consideration of an objective understanding of the reality, specific guidelines to base future decisions, the availability of a data set for modeling/quantitative analysis and awareness of the social and environmental constraints. In conclusion, he stated that GIS aids the decision-making process by integrating and displaying data in an understandable form and GIS analyzes relationships among different kinds of data.

Ms. Maripres Sarinas, REPS at the UPOU-Faculty of Management and Development Management (FMDS), co-authored this study with Dr. Bagarinao. She demonstrated how to use the ArcMap – an application for converting excels files to GIS. She used the data from the graduates of the Master of Environment and Natural resources Management (MENRM) from AY 2011-12 to AY 2015-16 in determining the spatial distribution of UPOU graduates. After this, she overlayed the analysis of the enrollment data from 2010 to 2014 of the new MENRM curriculum.  Ms. Sarinas said that the resulting data may be used for program review, planning, and promotion. The program can be promoted in critical areas frequented by national disasters. UPOU can use the data to provide student support services and help the students complete the program. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) hosted the 30th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) on 26-29 October 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria with the theme “Open Education in Asia: Changing Perspectives”. The four-day event was attended by 559 participants from 96 institutions in the Philippines and 24 countries from around Asia and the world.

The conference opened on 26 October featuring messages from UP President Alfredo Pascual represented by Vice President for Academic Affairs Gisela Concepcion, AAOU President Yuk-Shan Wong and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) – Office of Programs and Standards Development Director Amelia Biglete. UPOU Chancellor Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria officially opened the conference.

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) will be offering three Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as follows:

  • Understanding Philippine Art and Culture: This MOOC talks about the relationship of arts and culture.
  • Critical Approaches to Philippine Art and Culture: This MOOC discusses Philippine art in a cultural critical perspective through grounding research, teaching, and learning approach in a multidisciplinary platform and making use of interpretive areas of History, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Media Studies and Art Studies in making sense and meaning of art, artworks, artifacts, and artists as situated in public and private spaces.
  • Philippine Art as Cultural Text: This MOOC examines Philippine art as cultural text -- social practice, popular culture, and also looks at art and the other disciplines. It likewise takes up Philippine art and culture in the global context, the region, the nation, and art in diaspora and transnationalism.

These MOOCs will be offered from November 15 to December 29, 2016, and can be accessed at the UPOU MODeL site. As these are MOOCs, anyone interested can enroll in these courses for free. A certificate will be given upon completion of an individual MOOC and upon completion of all three MOOCs within the course.

Through discussions from various experts in art and culture, the course seeks to reinforce a sense of Filipino identity by understanding the role of Philippine art in life, its relationship with cultural practices in national communities, and its evolution in the context of societal changes. The student will be expected to read literary texts, listen to music, watch films or videos, theater plays, and performances, visit galleries and museums, experience art in the immediate environment, and create a cultural map of these art forms.

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The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) will be offering three Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as follows:

  • Kahulugan, Kasaysayan, at Pag-Unlad ng Wikang Filipino: This MOOC discusses the history and development of the Filipino language and its significant role in the Philippine society.
  • Wikang Filipino sa Pananaliksik at Diskurso: This MOOC explains the various situations, methods, and importance of using the Filipino language in research and academic discourse.
  • Wika, Kultura, at Lipunang Filipino sa mga Usaping Lokal at Global: This MOOC examines the current state of the Filipino language amidst challenges and cultural and societal issues in local and global contexts.

These MOOCs will be offered from November 01 to December 15, 2016, and can be accessed at the UPOU MODeL site. As these are MOOCs, anyone interested can enroll in these courses for free. A certificate will be given upon completion of an individual MOOC and upon completion of all three MOOCs within the course.

Wika, Kultura, at Lipunan, to be offered in Filipino, studies the relationship of the Filipino language, culture, and society by understanding the concepts, history, and value of the Filipino language and exploring Filipino worldviews. Under this course, the student will learn the many domains of Filipino culture, varieties of language, and how all of these apply to a society aimed towards a heightened sense of nationalism. The student will also be expected to take his/her own stands on national issues and present these through papers that will reflect his/her understanding of the concepts in the course.

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Professor Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, Chancellor of UP Open University (UPOU), is one of the speakers in Plenary Session 4 of the 30th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) on 28 October 2016 at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Manila, Philippines.

Plenary Session 4 focuses on Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in the 21st Century. Dr. Bandalaria will talk about UPOU’s contribution in the field of ODL in the country. She will bring her expertise and experiences from her 21 years of academic leadership in an open and distance e-learning institution. Dr. Bandalaria has recently been appointed as the 4th Chancellor of 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. Her public service work involved UPOU projects including the Massive Open Distance eLearning courses, the Community eCenter Program of the Philippines, Telecentre Women: Digital Literacy Campaign in the Philippines and the i-Pinay, which enhances participation, digital literacy and development of women and their communities.

Other distinguished plenary speakers who will be joining Dr. Bandalaria in Plenary Session 4 are Dr. Yoichi Okabe, President of the Open University of Japan and Dr. SA Ariadurai, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University of Sri Lanka. The AAOU2016 will start on 26 of October and end on the 29th of October. For details, you may visit the AAOU 2016 website.

Dr. Yoichi Okabe, President of the Open University of Japan, will give a Plenary talk at the 30th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) on 28 October 2016 at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Manila, Philippines. Dr. Okabe will be joining Dr. Melinda Dp. Bandalaria and Dr. SA Ariadurai in Plenary Session 4 - Open and Distance Learning in the 21st Century.

Dr. Okabe’s area of specialties and research interests include electronics, information technology, brain computer, superconductive electronics and MEG analysis. His career in the academe spans 44 years starting in 1972 by holding a lecturer position until he reached Professor Emeritus at University of Tokyo and his current Presidency at the Open University of Japan. In between, he became Director for the RCAST, Komaba Open Laboratory, and Information Technology Center at University of Tokyo as well as Vice President for the National Institute of Multimedia Education (NIME) and Open University of Japan. His expertise is widely shared across the academic community through radio broadcasts, podcasts and in Todai TV, University of Tokyo’s website broadcast of public lectures.

The Annual Conference of AAOU was organized to create an avenue for discussion on academic leadership in Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL), open education, open educational resources (OER), massive open online courses (MOOCs), digital and new media literacies, assessment of learning in ODeL, learning spaces and technologies in ODeL, learning analytics and learner support in ODeL, and quality assurance in ODeL. This year’s conference will see the congregation of 300 scholars, academicians, policy makers and researchers. The conference will run from 26 October to 29 October. For more details, you may visit the AAOU2016 website.

Dr. Samuel Anbahan Ariadurai, Vice-Chancellor of Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL), will deliver a plenary talk at the 30th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) on 28 October 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Manila, Philippines. Dr. Ariadura is one of the three speakers in Plenary Session 4 which focuses on Open and Distance Learning in the 21st Century.

Dr. Ariadurai brings with him more than 20 years of experience in open and distance learning being a key expert in curriculum development for distance education in Engineering Technology and self-learning instructional materials in textiles and apparel. After obtaining his PhD degree in 1998 from the University of Manchester Institute of Technology, Dr. Ariadurai became the Senior Lecturer and then Professor at the Department of Textile and Apparel Technology at the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) . Besides his post at OUSL, he was also a Visiting Professor in Textile Institute of Pakistan as well as Head for the Textile Research and Innovation Centre both in Karachi, Pakistan. Before becoming the Vice Chancellor of OUSL, Dr. Ariadurai was the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Technology.

This year’s annual conference of AAOU will be hosted by the UP Open University. The conference will run from 26-29 October 2016. The 30th AAOU Annual Conference will round up the best minds to exchange research, innovations and best practices in academic leadership in Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL), open education, open educational resources (OER), massive open online courses (MOOCs), digital and new media literacies, assessment of learning in ODeL, learning spaces and technologies in ODeL, learning analytics and learner support in ODeL, and quality assurance in ODeL. For more details about the conference, please visit the AAOU website.

In the spirit of disaster preparedness and management, UP Open University (UPOU) joined the Philippine Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in the conduct of the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill tagged #Pagyanig on 28 September 2016, 9:00 AM, at the UPOU Headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna.

Spearheaded by the UPOU Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management chaired by Dr. Ricardo Bagarinao, and the UPOU Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration (OVCFA) headed by Dr. Jean Saludadez, UPOU employees ducked, covered and held at the sound of the siren. Assigned marshalls and headcounters per building and per floor led the employees to the open ground in front of the main UPOU building. This was the area previously identified to be safest during earthquakes and other disasters.