The University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) developed the Learning Management System (LMS) as its new platform for remote learning.
A team of IT experts led by Prof. Nilo Araneta developed the LMS in two months. The project, which costs Php 345,000, was under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
“We didn’t create the LMS from scratch. We used and customized the Moodle platform, which is one of the most popular systems available. From July to August, we worked on configuring the LMS, changing its appearance, removing unneeded features, and testing functionalities,” Prof. John Roy Daradal, a member of the IT team and a Computer Science faculty said.
The LMS development met several challenges like time constraints, lack of human resources, problematic Moodle features, and incomplete Computerized Registration System (CRS) data, including class lists, teacher-assignments, problems with student email addresses, and other enrollment concerns.
“To have a usable LMS by the start of classes, I had to pull all-nighters and even work on weekends for the last three weeks of August to beat the deadline. I was basically a zombie and had little to no sleep during this time. Teachers have hell weeks too,” Daradal said.
The team also invited several students and teachers to test the new platform to ensure that the system worked before the opening of classes.
“We did user testing, where we asked some faculty members and students to test the LMS prototype. We also did four training sessions for faculty members on how to use the LMS,” he added.
Students and teachers have expressed their thoughts regarding the implementation of the new learning platform.
“It is more organized since all requirements and learning materials are posted there. However, it lacks notifications in the posting of modules and requirements. Overall, remote learning is bearable because of the LMS,” Shanely Jane Vanidad, BS in Food Technology II student, said.
Prof. Lhumen Tejano, a Faculty Member at the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, highlighted the LMS’s advantages.
“I think the advantages of having an LMS is being able to organize all the learning materials that will facilitate both the learning experience of the students and classroom management by the professors,” Tejano said.
However, he also pointed out the difficulties experienced by teachers, especially in conducting exams.
“It’s really tedious. When you prepare for a quiz or an exam, you have to type the questions and the choices in separate boxes. You need to press a lot of buttons just to come up with an organized exam,” he added.
To address the issues being raised by the students and teachers, plans are currently underway to improve the system, like adding support materials.
“For UPV LMS plans, more customization and optimization is needed to improve operations and facilitate ease of use. The user guides for faculty and students also need to be improved. If the UPV admin permits, we can connect UPV LMS and CRS for synchronization of data,” Araneta said.
(This was originally posted on the UP Visayas website on November 10, 2020)