Opening educational opportunities to everyone is UP Open University’s (UPOU) mandate as a public service institution. Through the years, UPOU has been involved in the improvement of the practice of open learning and distance education. UPOU explores and implements different pedagogies to reach more students and help improve education in the Philippines.
UPOU is an advocate of openness and adheres to the philosophy of Open Education. When the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was introduced in 2012, UPOU immediately explored this new technology and pedagogy. A series of MOOCs workshops and conversations were conducted to understand how MOOCs could target specific skill sets and social sectors.
The first MOOC offered by UPOU was the Introduction to Mobile Application Development Using Android Platform. It was developed by the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS). It has received a Merit Awards in the PR Programs Merit on a Sustained Basis (Education/Literacy Category) at the 49th Anvil Awards held on 26 February 2014 at Solaire Resort Grand Ballroom. The course was launched in July 2013 through the FICS online platform @RAL and aimed to equip students with the necessary skills and know-how to deploy android application for android phone and tablets. It was developed and offered in collaboration with SMART Communications, Inc.
According to Chancellor Melinda dela Pena Bandalaria, who was then the FICS Dean, “If there will be more MOOCs on relevant skills and knowledge to meet the demands of lifelong learners, then it will make more Filipinos attuned with the demands of the changing time. Education, being the great equalizer, will be made accessible to all.”
Since then, UPOU has developed a total of 36 MOOCs, wherein 31 courses are currently offered. These courses that are currently offered are under the following category: Child Rights Protection and Promotion; eService Management Program; ODEL Teacher Accreditation; Sustainable Development; and Technology for Teaching and Learning. Other courses that have been previously offered were Arts in the ASEAN; eFilipiniana; Interlocal Cooperation; and Satoyama Online.
Access to these courses is open to everyone at no cost. Those who are interested to receive a certification will have to comply with certain requirements and pay a certification fee.