This article features the author’s observations and first-hand experience on the effects of modular learning on students in the K-12 program of the Department of Education in the Philippines. She offers some recommendations based on the listed concerns. – Editor
The entire universe was accustomed to freely moving around in one’s accord and traveling a lot whenever you have the time to loosen up a bit, chill out, move about, de-stress, even do some simple groceries for the family, and a lot more. However, unanticipatedly, it all has befallen and came to an abrupt categorical halt—ECQ, MCQ, lockdown, QR code, facemask, etc.
From enjoying the absolute freedom and complete liberation to do and go as you like to—to the current existing phenomenon of this universal COVID-19 pandemic that has originated from China, everything has come down to a primal stop. Everything in our daily routine activities came to a total pre-eminent reformation.
Suddenly, people from all walks of life, the young and old alike, were all together catapulted to the confinement of their own homes, albeit reluctantly. An emergency measure warded off the populace from entering and or leaving restricted areas on school buildings, offices, malls during a period of the threat of danger from COVID-19.
Thus, the outgrowth of the online class or modular learning procedure for schools of all levels worldwide to prevent further spreading of the CoViD virus came to the fore. People are still in the adjustment period to date.
Now, what effects did modular learning have on children and students?
Henceforth, I came up with a list of 14 modular learning effects, both negative and positive, for our mentors to contemplate. Perhaps even better, they should undertake the necessary action to address these woes.
Table of Contents
14 Effects of Modular Learning to Students
7 Common Encountered Concerns and Corresponding Recommendations
1. Children dislike modular learning
Generally, the children don’t like online and modular learning; they get weary, and restlessness sets in. Be understanding with your students as it’s not the same as the regular normal classes prior to the pandemic.
Recommendation No. 1
Lessen online classes; don’t hold classes daily. Shorten the period from 45 minutes down to 30 minutes. Hold classes on MW and TTh, but have no classes on Fridays. Leave it for answering modules only (Table 1).
Table 1. Recommended class schedule.
2. The parents or adults in the family answer the instructional modules
It’s not always the elementary, high school, or even college students themselves who answer instructional modules responsibly, but the parents. That’s the reality occurring in the homes.
That brings up the question: “Are the parents being trained here or the students?” There should be regular monitoring and evaluation of the students’ accomplishments. If the output is too good to be done by students at their level, then there should be a follow-up evaluation to confirm their work as truly theirs.
Recommendation No. 2
Parents should refrain from answering the modules to promote honesty for learning to be effective, they can guide and assist only. Ideally and supposed to be, the students will be the ones who should independently answer the modules.
The school ought to emphasize this rule on parents upon enrollment and payment of tuition and examination fees. The teachers should also figure out what teaching strategies to employ to prevent this from happening.
3. Virtually no meaningful interaction between the students and their online learning modules
There are hardly any meaningful interactions of formulated thoughts and opinions on online learning or modular learning.
Recommendation No. 3
Instructors should promote engaging lessons and enterprising activities that are highly enjoyable for students.
4. Not all subjects are tackled
With online learning or modular classes, students do not take all subjects—it’s usually down to 5 to 6: PE, Music, Mother Tongue, Values, MAPE, etc.
Recommendation No. 4
Still integrate, but say once or twice a week only so that students won’t overlook and forget values and the relative worth of some omitted subjects.
5. Printed materials are of poor quality
Printed photos on the xerox copier are not crystal clear. The blurry pictures and text prevent the learners from answering the questions correctly.
Hence, the desired outcome of the school’s medium of teaching fails. Students can’t answer well with indistinguishable, indiscernible photos on the modules.
Recommendation No. 5
Do not transmit learning materials of photos in print anymore for the students to answer on modules. You can save more trees on this aspect.
Instead, why not provide your students with many ideal downloading materials like the ubiquitous Universal Serial Bus or “USBs,” or better yet, take advantage of the school’s group chat room, or perhaps the less expensive medium like Messenger? Use Facebook for educational purposes.
This mode of knowledge transmission matches the needs of students who can’t afford to spend money on USB, especially for public schools.
6. Difficulty in solving equations
When your learners can’t solve problems using formulas, that means that even the parents have difficulty doing so.
Recommendation No. 6
Simplify your lessons and provide more examples, as not all students are walking calculators.
Always think outside the box. Simplify your educational tools and/or medium of instruction. Remove the complexities from your figures and give more and more examples that are easier to grasp.
What happens when you teach lessons in Greek to Filipino students or when you teach French to American students?
The result will be indeed a Big Flop, your style of modular and or online learning is not effective at all as you speak a different language with your students. So, again, go back to basics—simplify and simplify.
Let’s always remember that not all students have the admirable genius minds of Aristotle or Plato or Einstein or Doctor Jose Rizal—our goal is only to teach clearly and make the students’ learning experience enjoyable.
7. Poor connectivity
Because of poor Wi-Fi connection, students can’t access the internet often as the need arises—loading usually pops up on your screen, or worst they get disconnected upon ongoing online classes.
Recommendation No. 7
The government should oblige internet providers to upgrade their signal towers to provide better service. Else, they penalize companies who won’t comply at all.
7 Positive Effects of Modular Learning on Students
The following are the positive effects of modular learning on students:
- It helped students economize on daily transportation, fares, gasoline for those who have cars or vehicles.
- Parents economize on children’s weekly monetary allowances.
- Online classes helped save time and energy on travel to and from school.
- You now have a stress-free life from the everyday monotonous road congestion, thus avoid heavy traffic.
- As everyone stays in the comfort of their own homes, our beloved Mother Nature significantly recuperates her energies. That’s because the environment can now breathe easily to provide you and your family with cleaner air, more clean oxygen because of fewer cars, and fewer vehicles moving along the roads. The temporary closure of plantations, companies, factories implies less harmful chemical emissions. The earth recovers from toxic chemicals coming from automobiles and factories.
- Students get to save more on their paraphernalia, cologne, perfumes, lotions, face powder, make-up, hair gel, and hair spa.
- The pandemic made room for the family to spend more quality time at home. For mommies with younger children, this time allowed a more productive interaction between family members by promoting and engaging the family on simplified bible studies and bible reading and fun lectures on “Jesus Awareness and Salvation.”
To all mothers out there, educate on the importance of prayers and praying collectively as a family. Make it a habit to pray as a family.
Teach your children to pray every day upon waking up and before going to bed, and every mealtime say grace. Then be surprised with the wonders of prayers and happy children.
Prayer from your heart, not a memorized one; a prayer where you humbly talk directly to our One and Only Sovereign God (and not to pagan, man-made Gods because that is a sin to God.)
Baker, R. L. (2014). Designing LibGuides as instructional tools for critical thinking and effective online learning. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 8(3-4), 107-117.
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