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The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila is ramping up preparations for its virtual campus and is building up the capacity of its faculty under the “new normal.”

PLM personnel joined the “Faculty Online Teaching Training” sessions from June 15-26, 2020 through Zoom meetings hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The University tapped its in-campus experts — its own faculty members — for the online sessions, banking on their collaboration as they mount the University’s vision and mission onto the virtual realm.

The virtual training started with online presentation tools, as well as of videos and platforms or learning management systems such as Microsoft Teams, led by faculty trainers from the College of Engineering and Technology (CET). Discussions on broadcast and online communication followed, with experts and practitioners from the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS).

To emphasize the role of teachers and assessment tools in online teaching, faculty members from the College of Education (CED) demonstrated the differences between teaching in a virtual environment and in a classroom or face-to-face setup. Also covered were some techniques on how to prepare and conduct online tests and other forms of assessment of student learning.  The last virtual meeting for this series was about online science laboratory classes, with faculty members from the College of Science (CS) serving as resource persons. Virtual lab facilities and web-based teaching materials were exhibited for holding science, mathematics, and psychology courses.

Full-time and part-time faculty members participated in the online training, with some colleges joining either morning sessions between 9 to 11 a.m. or afternoon sessions from 2 to 4 p.m.

Level 2 trainings for online learning sessions began on July 3, 2020. CET faculty members were trained in the PLM computer laboratories while observing physical distancing and minimum health standards. Since not all CET faculty members can report to PLM for now, an online feed was set up to serve other instructors and professors for the hands-on training. On July 6, 2020, other colleges underwent the same hands-on training in the computer laboratories. To observe health protocols and prevent the possible transmission of COVID-19, three colleges sent three representatives each to the laboratory and use the physical computer units for the training. There were again two sessions at 9 to 11 a.m. for six colleges, and at 1-3 p.m. for the second session serving the remaining colleges.

After completing the sessions, faculty members are now exploring more strategies and are developing online modules for virtual classes for the upcoming Academic Year 2020-2021, which will start on September 3.

PLM is committed to fulfill its mandate to deliver quality, socially relevant education to the youth despite the pandemic.  PLM will utilize all resources within its means to pursue public interest.  Thus, PLM will use digital formats and printed materials for its off-campus learning activities. Admittedly, the ongoing pandemic will affect both quality and the ability of students and faculty to engage in a meaningful learning experience, but PLM will do its best to overcome these challenges.

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