Loyola Schools Graduate Classes in the First Semester SY 2022-2023 (OADGP Memo)
19 Jul 2022 | Office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs
Department Chairs/Program Directors
Graduate Program Coordinators
Graduate Faculty, Mentors and Research Advisers
(Sgd) Fr. Rogel Anecito L. Abais, SJ, STD
OIC, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs
Subject: Graduate Classes in the First Semester SY 2022-2023
In the last two school years, the integration of technology in graduate-level courses, research and community engagement has maximized students’ interaction with non-traditional sources of information and learning communities. Research groups and other collaborative activities have also benefited from these enhancements.
As we move forward, we acknowledge that the needs of the world have dramatically changed as a result of the pandemic - a world that is increasingly complex and unpredictable, but also profoundly innovative and collaborative.
In view of moving forward better, we continue to support a technologically enhanced teaching and learning environment which acknowledges graduate students as independent, mature and self-directed learners. Therefore, our policies are established based on principles rather than rules. These principles are the following:
- Focus is on the learning outcomes rather than inputs (OBE)
- Use of technology to mediate teaching and learning is deliberate and by design
- Assessments must measure the achievement of learning outcomes
In the spirit of outcomes-based education and along the lines of the principles above, we are reminded therefore, that:
- a student's final grade is a reflection of the extent of his/her fulfillment of the course's learning outcomes; and
- attending synchronous sessions, whether onsite, flex or fully online, is not about being “present” but it is about the opportunity to develop and assess how well students have learned certain concepts or gained skills.
For Department Chairs and Program Directors:
- The appropriate modality of classroom instruction including course-level assessment must be evaluated based on the principles outlined above.
- Program-level assessment such as Comprehensive Exam and thesis, dissertation and capstone project- related activities may also be fully online, flex or onsite depending on the nature of the examination and the need of both the students and the department.
- Graduate research mentoring may take place fully online, onsite or both depending on the agreement between the student and the faculty mentor.
For Graduate Course Instructors and Graduate Research Advisers:
- The modality must be determined by the instructor/research supervisor, together with the department’s graduate program coordinator and chair/director based on the principles outlined above.
- A table of contributions to the course’s assessments vis-a-vis learning outcomes should be included in the course syllabus and discussed during the course orientation.
- Research advisers for Thesis, Dissertation and Capstone Project (TDCP) are required to submit a syllabus for TDCP. The learning outcomes as well as the timeline of learning/research activities and deliverables should be clearly indicated. Kindly use Canvas to monitor the student’s progress, facilitate research groups and discussions, and maintain a healthy presence between mentors and mentees. A separate memo on Thesis, Dissertation and Capstone Project will be released soon.
- Required attendance in synchronous sessions and participation in learning activities should be linked to the achievement of learning outcomes. How these sessions contribute to the course’s learning outcomes must be clearly indicated in the syllabus and communicated to the students at the beginning of the semester. The date/s and place/s (i.e., on-campus, fieldwork, Zoom, etc.) should also be indicated in the syllabus.
For Graduate Students:
- Students are expected to actively participate in all learning activities in order to achieve the course’s learning outcomes and maximize their graduate education. This includes attending synchronous sessions onsite and online, accomplishing assessments, engaging in independent and/or group work, and attending seminars, colloquia and consultation meetings in relation to their thesis, dissertation and capstone project.
- Coursework: Since graduate education remains predominantly online, the grade of W does not apply. Students’ final grades, therefore, shall be based on the extent to which course requirements were fulfilled as indicated in the syllabus.
- TDCP: It is expected that milestones are set together with the research adviser at the beginning of the research project. (Example: an approved thesis proposal at the end of 299.1). Students are expected to re-enroll if they are unable to achieve set milestones at the end of the semester. No grade is given, but an asterisk appears in AISIS.
- A student is required to fill out the course evaluation and other similar quality assurance tools during the course of their studies.
We are presented with an opportunity to pivot graduate education towards building a more digitized student-centered learning. Adjustments to the way we view where and how learning takes place are, however, necessary. These will include: (1) implementing flexible ways to deliver instruction, (2) developing alternative assessment strategies that uphold academic standards and integrity, (3) enhancing collaboration with mentors and peers in spaces beyond the classroom and laboratories, and (4) engaging in solving real-world problems using digital technologies.
The pandemic has taught us many valuable lessons, but most importantly it reminds us to be more thoughtful and creative in our teaching, research and service. I, therefore, enjoin everyone to use this school year to test new ways of implementing graduate programs so we may all pursue a more sustainable academic life.
I wish to remind everyone that the fully online modality is a concession made by CHED in consideration of the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the pandemic. While it may have served us well, CHED may require at any time that schools return to fully onsite mode. We should prepare ourselves for this eventuality.
In the meantime, fully online modality may still continue in the first semester. We plan to have most of our coursework delivered partially onsite by the second semester. Departments and programs who would like to explore a fully online program delivery are asked to propose this to the Curriculum Committee, being mindful of the requirements of CHED for distance education (CMO 27 Series of 2005, CMO 62 Series of 2016, CMO 15 Series 2019).
Finally, we thank you for your inputs and contributions most especially during our regular rounds of consultations. Rest assured we will continue to have conversations with you as we value your feedback and suggestions as our key stakeholders.