FAQs: Remote Learning on Term 3

De La Salle University answers Frequently Asked Questions to clarify the concerns of our students on what they can expect from Term 3 online learning and what their workload will be.

Remote Learning FAQs in slide format

On Term 3, AY 2019–2020

Faculty will use the 6-week break from May 19 to June 30 to (a) hone their online delivery skills and (b) develop full-online courses for Term 3.

College deans and department chairs shall (as it is also true under normal conditions) exercise academic supervision over the conduct of online classes to ensure the quality of learning.

1.2 Will there be an enrollment cap/maximum class size for classes on online mode?
Class sizes will remain the same, which is maximum of 40 students per class.

2. On student workload

The setting of a 7.5 hour-workload per week for a 3-unit course is simply standardizing the workload of students in and out of the classroom. In the past, only the in-classroom hours were accounted for, so a 3-unit course meets for three hours in the classroom. Nothing was set about the work done outside the classroom. This resulted in some classes having very heavy workload, and some courses are very light. By having a standard work hour per unit, we are regulating the workload of each course so that all 3-unit courses will have the same workload.

The 7.5 hours include not just the class hours, but also the hours spent outside the classroom for alternative activities, homework, reading assignments, projects, term papers, digesting the lessons and reflection, reviewing for exams, and other activities related to the course.

The 7.5 hours is the average time that an average student is expected to spend for the course on a given week. There might be variations in the work done each week. Some weeks will be heavier on readings, others on homework, still others on alternative activities, and some weeks on reviewing for exams. Other requirements like projects and term papers will be factored in several weeks of workload.

Sample calculations of workload-unit equivalency

Case 1:
A 3-unit lecture course (Purely In-person or face-to-face course)*
Activity Trimester Hours
In class (including exams) 36
Alternative class 5
Reading and digesting lessons 20
Project/term paper 20
Reviewing for exams 12
Homework and others 12
Total: 105

Case 2:
A 3-unit lecture course (Full online)*
Activity Trimester Hours
Synchronous classes and exams 16
Mainly asynchronous discussions with
teacher and classmates (chats,
discussion boards,
Q&A on lesson slides/videos) 20
Alternative class 5
Reading and digesting lessons 20
Project/term paper 20
Reviewing for exams 12
Homework and others 12
Total: 105
*Distribution of hours will vary according to course

2.2 What measures will be in place to help ensure that faculty do not overcompensate on the requirements, or alternatively, do not become too lax with delivering the lessons?
The 2.5 work hours per week for each unit of lecture course is precisely the mechanism we have put in place to regulate the workload expected of students in each course.

2.3 It was stated “effective Term 3” for the adjusted hours per unit; would this be carried over to the succeeding AY, especially if physical distancing measures continue?
The 2.5 work hours per week for each unit of lecture course is not an adjustment of hours per week. It is a setting of standard that accounts for both in-class and outside class work hours.

This was already being discussed prior to COVID-19 and this is part of our new normal. We are also aligning ourselves with globally accepted practices such as the European Credit Transfer System in Europe, and the credit hours in the US, and similar methods of accounting of student workload applied in many Asian countries.

2.4 Will we be needing to take fewer courses next term to accommodate the increase in class hours per course?
There will be no increase in class hours. The 2.5 hours per unit will cover both in-class and outside class activities.

2.5 Would the professors be required to give homework per week? How are they going to regulate it if some profs do not give homework?
The 7.5 hours per week for a 3-unit course is the average. The workload for a term paper that will be done over 4 weeks, for example, is accounted for as part of the 30-work hour equivalent for 4 weeks.

2.6 Are the challenges and circumstances brought about by COVID-19 taken into account for the new number of hours?
Yes, the challenges and circumstances brought about by the pandemic have been taken into consideration. This also checks the overcompensation in terms of assigned work that may happen.

2.7 Does the change in hours mean that per week a 3-unit class will have to have 7.5 hours of class time in school or is it simply to recognize that students spend time outside of class hours for a subject? If so, is 1 hour per unit still possible just like in regular lecture classes?
This is not so much a change in hours, but the new set-up takes into account the hours spent outside the classroom. In the past, only hours in the classroom were counted, and there was no commonly accepted limit on how much work a faculty can give the students to do outside the class. Setting a standard work hour per unit will allow faculty and students to better manage the workload for each course, so that for the same number of units, a course would not have a heavier workload than another.

3. On Internet accessibility

3.2 How will I get the latest University announcements?
The Office for Strategic Communications relays communications through various platforms such as the official accounts of DLSU in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram.

3.3 What happens if a student is unable to attend an online class session?
Synchronous sessions will be recorded so students who were not able to attend can catch up with the session. Students who attended the session can also review the session through the recording.

3.4 There are situations when professors are not responsive to the students nor the dean, due to internet access problems. How will the University address this?
The University is coming up with arrangements with Telcos for the provision of Internet access. Likewise, there will be an arrangement for the purchase of laptops for faculty and staff. If we are able to get a good rate for the bulk purchase with suppliers, this may also be offered to students.

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