Revolutionizing Remote Learning: FEU Tech Proves Itself MILES Ahead
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down schools across the nation, the prospect of holding face-to-face classes is certainly out of the question, with President Duterte himself even declaring that students will not go back to school until a vaccine is found. It’s under this “new normal” that schools have had no choice but to hold classes online, presenting unprecedented challenges to both students and educators everywhere.
For one, there have been definite concerns around the effectiveness of learning remotely considering. Some schools, for instance, elect to simply transfer their classes to online platforms like Zoom and find varying degrees of success.
Yet FEU Tech is proud to announce that their Mastery-based Individualized Learning Enhancement System (MILES, for short) is ready to streamline the adjustment to a remote learning set-up. Built with the use of online learning platform Canvas, students, parents, and educators working with MILES can expect a learning experience like no other.
According to FEU Tech Executive Director Dr. Benson Tan, he and his team have high hopes for MILES because the program was built based on the idea of mastery learning. This method of instruction revolved around the idea that rote memorization is not enough, but students should be able to demonstrate a deep knowledge of the topic they’re studying.
“In a regular classroom setting, a student may be pressured to keep up with their peers and may just go through the motions of learning,” said Dr. Tan. “The MILES program can provide an alternative to that by providing a curriculum that ensures students truly understand their lessons.”
For example, MILES is unique because of its utilization of its “Mastery Network”. This is a framework in every course that posits students must achieve a certain level of mastery in one topic before they can go study the next. How this will work is that students will have to achieve a certain minimum score on formative assessments in order to demonstrate mastery, with the option to try as many times as they need.
Take the subject of trigonometry. Under a normal classroom setting, students may only have a few weeks to fully master the sin, cos, and tan operations needed to find certain angles. With MILES, students can undergo a formative assessment as many times as they need to, solving different trigonometry problems each time. Eventually, the students will come out with a better understanding than if they were rushed.
This will then go a long way in preparing students for the summative assessments at the end of the course, a final exam that they must take once alongside other students. FEU Tech is proud to be the first institution in the Philippines to formally integrate such a concept in its curriculum.
MILES, tailored for you
Additionally, the MILES program offers individualized learning, where the curriculum and learning materials are arranged in a way that best responds to a student’s needs. Students learning with MILES can take advantage of the program’s option for asynchronous learning, where they can easily access learning materials online at any point in the day. Under this set-up, students can learn at their own pace.
“On top of a self-paced learning environment, our faculty are ready to lend assistance at any time,” said Dr. Tan. “Whether that means simply asking a one-off question about the lesson or even taking time to give students one-on-one tutorial sessions.”
The easy access to additional help is another prominent feature of the MILES program. Through Canvas’ Big Blue Button feature, students will be able to easily consult professors on the course material. Dr. Tan explains that the feature is best compared to a shop that is constantly manned. For every course, faculty will be ready to answer questions as they come. At least one professor will be online from 7am to 9pm, ready to ensure students fully understand their lessons.
It isn’t just the academic side of school life that MILES is transforming either. From 8am to 5pm, the Big Blue Button feature will also be used to provide access to various offices and departments around campus, such as the clerical office, the library, and even the guidance counselor. The inclusion of these facilities in MILES helps students get the most out of campus life while still staying safe at home.
Indeed, the MILES program aims to show that remote learning presents a unique opportunity to transform education for the better. Though the MILES program was rolled out in FEU’s Tech, Diliman, and Alabang campuses in August, enrollment for the program continues on even to the 7th of September.
“We want as many people as possible to benefit from what MILES has to offer,” explained Dr. Tan. “For students, of course, the benefit is a learning system that realizes they may be adjusting to the practice of remote learning and accommodates them accordingly. For parents, however, we want to show that they don’t have to look too hard for a comprehensive and quality education that adapts to the current circumstances.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly disrupted education and in many ways, education may never truly be the same ever again. With FEU Tech’s MILES program leading the way, however, it’s shown that this doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.