DepEd asks teachers to have ‘once a quarter’ conversation with students under distance learning

Published October 17, 2020, 4:53 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Department of Education (DepEd) enjoined teachers to hold “conversations” with their students at least once in every quarter, to be able assess how well lessons under distance learning are processed and understood, 

DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio, during this week’s virtual briefing, said teachers are trained to detect or gauge the students’ understanding of a specific topic and if they were the ones to complete their homework. 

“One of things we’re expecting from our teachers is for them to hold once a quarter conversation with the children,” San Antonio said in Filipino. “It does not have to be a question and answer type conversation or those with definition, it can be like a simple conversation just to gauge their understanding on the concepts that the student needs to learn,” he added.

San Antonio said that this is one of the ways by which teachers can guarantee that academic requirements are completed or submitted by the students themselves and not by the adults at home.

“The portfolios would demonstrate their competencies and we also asked the schools to come up with other formal schemes to assess the students,” San Antonio said.

For students under online distance learning, he explained that teachers and the students can discuss topics. “The students can also ask questions and clarification from their teachers and our teachers can also ask about the outputs submitted by the students,” he added.

This school year, DepEd has revised its assessment and grading policy for students in basic education level as it implements distance/blended learning approach.

Without face-to-face classes, students learn inside their homes through printed and offline modules, online, and through television or radio-based instruction. Regardless of the chosen learning delivery modality, DepEd assured that the self-learning materials (SLMs) will be available to all students enrolled this school year.

This new learning setup is, however, challenging especially when it comes to assessment and grading. Given this, DepEd decided to come up with an assessment and a grading system that is “flexible” depending on the chosen learning modalities.

Before classes formally opened on Oct. 5, DepEd released the interim guidelines for the assessment and grading of students for SY 2020-2021 directing schools to “adopt assessment and grading practices that can most meaningfully support student development and respond to varied contexts at this time.”

As cited in the new policy, teachers must also communicate regularly to their students as well as their parents, especially on monitoring and recording the children’s academic progress.

“Teachers need to be creative and flexible in assessing student learning, while still adhering to the principles of quality assessment practice,” DepEd said in the policy.

Likewise, the agency reminded teachers to “set realistic expectations and use their professional judgment” so they can find a good balance between what is deemed effective and what is feasible to accomplish especially under the remote set-up.