To further enhance their knowledge and skills in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of distance learning systems for various stakeholders, senior BS Development Communication (BSDC) students of the University of the Philippines Los Baños participated in the FAO e-learning course on Communication for Rural Development.
As part of the requirements in their DEVC 145 course (Distance Learning Systems in Development) for Academic Year 2017-2018, BSDC students are expected to produce and manage a broadcast-based and an internet-based distance learning system to address a specific communication and learning need identified by target stakeholders. Through the FAO e-learning course, they gained first-hand experience in using an online learning platform as a tool for distance learning, and in facilitating a self-paced and interactive learning environment for a specific development initiative. In addition, this e-learning course provided the students a general framework in participatory ComDev planning and in designing communication strategies, especially using the distance learning approach.
Applying the participatory approaches in addressing the communication and learning needs of different stakeholders, the students conducted a learning needs assessment in the community and identified four topics for their distance learning project. These topics are: 1) skills-based training on documenting indigenous political structuresto empower indigenous communities in the Philippines; 2) basics of campus journalism for public school teachers; 3) disaster risk reduction and management for high school students; and 4) cooperative management and marketing strategies for members of a community cooperative.
In cooperation with their target learners and partner organizations, the students are now in the process of developing their broadcast-based and internet-based distance learning systems. These will be implemented and evaluated during the last week of November 2017.