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The ASEAN Journal of Education ASEAN Journal of Education

Pedagogical Practices of Tutors at DMMMSU Open University System


Jonald Fontanilla Carrera,


Abstract

Pedagogical practices support students’ learning. This is in line with the dynamic teaching pedagogy that facilitates student’s professional growth and career advancement. In so doing, classroom teaching models are introduced to spearhead the needs of the students along their way to a higher career choice. Quality education rests primarily on the ability of the teachers to deliver quality instructional performance. It has been said that the best instructional medium inside the classroom is the teacher. It is imperative then that the teacher is equipped with an outstanding or excellent personal facility and teaching attributes that ensure effective teaching and learning outcomes that contribute immensely to the attainment of quality education. The study assessed the pedagogical practices of tutors at DMMMSU Open University System. The descriptive method was used in this study. The primary instrument used in gathering data was the two-part guide questionnaire. Data were collected, tallied and analyzed in accordance with the study. The quantitative data were analyzed using mean under the Microsoft Analysis Tool Pack. In light of the findings of the study, the pedagogical practices of tutors were globally competitive and highly recommended for quality distance learning education at its finest, the stakeholders and the clientele were key components for quality distance learning education, and the formulation of an enhancement program contributed to the sustainability of the best instructional practices of DMMMSU Open University System.

Introduction

  Pedagogical practices support students’ learning. This is in line with the dynamic teaching pedagogy that facilitates student’s professional growth and career advancement.   In so doing, classroom teaching models are introduced to spearhead the needs of the students along their way to a higher career choice.

  Quality education rests primarily on the ability of the teachers to deliver quality instructional performance.  It  has  been said that the best instructional medium inside the classroom is the teacher. It is imperative then that the teacher is equipped with an outstanding or  excellent  personal  facility  and  teaching  attributes  that  ensure  effective  teaching  and learning outcomes that contribute immensely to the attainment of quality education.    With the mounting competition among higher educational institutions, one of the keys to their survival is setting instructional and local standards. Teachers take the vanguard role for this crusade in ensuring quality instruction. It is imperative however, that teachers do not  only  display  good  instructional  practices,  but  the  best  instructional  practices.   The  competency  of  teachers  then  to  deliver  the  best  instructional  practices  becomes  the competitive  advantage  of  the  school  to  survive  the  competition  for  instructional  service delivery and in meet reforms.

  Best instructional practices are specific teaching methods that guide interaction in the classroom. These  effective  practices  have  been  identified  through  research  on  student learning. Best instructional practices are like vehicles used by teachers to efficiently improve learning of more students (Librory of congress, 2016).

  According to Quiros, as cited by the best teachers in the classroom are world class. Being  world  class  does  not  mean  going  internally  and  showing  their  best  out  there,  but instead entails passion and commitment to the teaching profession. Being world class is giving the best to teaching and starts right inside the classroom.

  DMMMSU-Open University System (OUS) is one of the academic units of Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University recognized as an operating unit of the University directly under the Office of the University President pursuant to BOR Resolution No. 98-024. It aims to provide distance education to people who have no access to schools, colleges, and universities or those who, for one reason or another, cannot profit from the formal education system. As such, it offers formal, and non-formal distance education programs in agriculture, science, education, business education, and development administration that will promote access, quality, effective and efficient education (www.dmmmsu.edu.ph).

   Anent  thereto,  the  modes  of  learning  include  group-paced,  individualized,  and on-line services. Tutors are selected based from the qualifications set forth by the University to the extent that all of them are vertically aligned, qualified, and competent to teach the subjects being offered.

  However,  becoming  the  best  teacher  in  the  classroom  and  manifesting  the  best instructional  practices  are  easier  said  than  done.  Based  on  the  tutor’s  evaluation (Second Semester, School Year 2014-2015), much is expected for the delivery of instructional practices in view of the categorical commentaries of the students relative to the performance of  the  tutors  (although  arguably  half-truths  may  ignite  curiosity  and  warrant  further investigation). Stated differently, DMMMSU Open University System expects its tutors to be delivering an outstanding performance in the realm of a globally competitive and a world class academe.

 

Methodology

  The descriptive method was used in this study. A descriptive research states that the focus of the study is the present condition. The purpose is to find new truth. The truth may have many different forms such as increased quantity of knowledge, a new generalization or new law, increased insights into factors which are operating, the discovery of a new causal relationship,  a  more  accurate  formulation  of  the  problem  to  be  solved  and  many  others (Fraenkel & Wallen, 2006). Anent thereto, information relative to the study to be taken from DMMMSU-Open University System were gathered, reviewed and analyzed. A questionnaire was prepared by the researchers to determine the extent of implementation in order to gather additional data. Respondents included the three-hundred ten (310) students of DMMMSU Open University System who were enrolled in grouped paced learning within the second semester (SY 2014-2015) and twenty-nine (29) tutors under bachelor’s program/s for a total of  three-hundred  thirty-nine  (339).  Unfortunately,  only  two-hundred  eighty-five  (285) students  and  twenty-six  (26)  tutors’  responses  were  collected;  this  can  be  explained  by student  absences  during  the  administration  of  questionnaires.  Since  the  total  number  of respondents was less than 500, total enumeration was utilized. The questionnaire that was utilized was prepared by the researcher. The statistical tools used were: weighted mean and   t-test. Data categorization was based on the institutional standard for rating the tutors as prescribed hence, the following scale:

 

  Point Value     Statistical Range                 Descriptive Equivalent

   5                           4.20 – 5.00                           Excellent

   4                           3.40 – 4.19                           Very Good

   3                           2.60 – 3.39                           Satisfactory

   2                           1.80 – 2.59                           Fair

   1                           1.00 – 1.79                           Poor

 

Results and Discussion

  Implementation of Pedagogical Practices of DOUS

  Teacher’s Personal Attributes

  Table 2 reflects the teacher’s personal attributes of the respondents of DMMMSU-Open University System. It can be gleaned from the table that teacher’s personal attributes obtained an overall mean of 4.45, described as excellent. This signifies that the personal characteristics of teachers of the respondents contributed to excellent performance and highly profound quality instruction.

 

Table 2  Teacher’s Personal Attributes

 

 

  Taking  it  singly,  treating  the  students  without  any  discrimination  on  account  of gender, status, or religious affiliation garnered the highest mean rating of 4.52, described as Excellent. This implies that students of DOUS were treated with high regard to fairness, equality and sound discretion in the learning environment.

  In  the  study  of  good  instructional  practices  included  the  following:  treating  all students in a fair and equitable manner, involving the whole class and not just calling on any particular group of students based on gender, race, or ethnicity, and offering both shy and extroverted students opportunities to excel in the classroom. Maintaining an equitable and fair teaching  relationship  with  all  students  is  a  key  practice  to  discourage  any  unnecessary competition in the classroom. This sometimes involves the teacher-student role.

  On  the  other  hand,  does  not  embarrass  students  and  considers  their  individual differences obtained the lowest mean ratings of 4.36, described as Excellent. Apparently, this indicated  high  respect  for  individual  capacities  and  consideration  of  the  needs  and convenience in harmonious development of the student.

  One  good  instructional  practice  is  to  encourage  students  to  be  engaged  in  and responsible for their own learning. She/he must challenge and motivate students to achieve at higher levels. The teacher communicates to all students their progress so they know where they stand grade-wise at any moment of the semester. When there is a guest speaker, the instructor requires students to develop questions in advance. As such, the students go to the white board to demonstrate their knowledge in math and accounting class.

  Instructional Efficiency

  Table 3 shows the instructional efficiency of the respondents of DMMMSU-Open University System. It had an overall mean of 4.47, described as Excellent. Chief among these is the assigning grades according to the academic requirements prescribed by the academe, which obtained the highest mean of 4.60, described as Excellent. This implies high regard of evaluation as to academic requirements of the students with utmost equality and good faith according  to  the  standards  set  forth  by  the  academe. This  is  supported  by  the  study  of   Schraw (2011). which states that students need to be challenged academically and they should be expected to meet high standards. Just because the teacher expects a high quality of work from  them  does  not  guarantee  they  will  produce  high  quality  work.  Part  of  the  process requires the teacher to provide excellent feedback, and give very specific comments so that students can improve their work. On the contrary, explaining the objectives and expectations of the course garnered the lowest mean of 4.16, described as Very Good. This implies that objectives and expectations should be given priority in the outset of formal and informal education,  to  introduce  the  framework  of  the  course  and  sustain  its  goals.  Moreover, information and communication technology is also essential to sustain learning objective integration. According to the study conducted by Parkes and Harris (2009). one of the best practices   along instruction is providing an overview of what the class will cover through the class learning objectives. Learning objectives let students know the skills and knowledge that will be taught in a particular  class. Think  of them as  a road map to follow. This  is  accomplished  by  the  instructor  distributing  a  clearly  written  syllabus  to  students.   A well-written course syllabus is a very effective learning tool that helps students prepare for the class, lists the resources that are available to them, facilitates comprehension of the goals of the class, and provides the philosophy of the instructor.

 

Table 3  Instructional Efficiency

 

  Time Productivity

  Table  4  shows  the  time  productivity  as  perceived  by  the  respondents.  It  can  be gleaned  from  the  table  that  the  over-all  mean  is  4.58,  which  is  described  as  Excellent.   Among the indicators, not incurring under time obtained the highest mean of 4.72, which is described  as  Excellent. This  implies  that  time  is  really  of  the  essence;  this  should  be considered to assure learning satisfaction of the students according to the lesson prepared by the tutor under the module assigned. On the other hand, starting the classes on time obtained the lowest with a mean of 4.46, albeit described as excellent. This signifies that the tutors were well-prepared as to their modular lessons and gave their fullest interest to teach for the welfare of students. 

 

Table 4  Time Productivity

 

 

  Summary Table of the Pedagogical Practices

  Table 5 shows the summary table of the pedagogical practices of tutors. Among the indicators below, time productivity obtained the highest with a mean of 4.58, described as excellent,  while  instructional  efficiency  obtained  the  lowest  with  a  mean  rating  of  3.82, described as Very Good.

 

Table 5  Summary Table

 

  Table  6  shows  the  differences  in  the  instructional  practices  as  perceived  by  the  2 groups of respondents compared. The table also shows that the weighted means were 4.26 for tutors and 4.30 for students. The computed F-value stood at 0.0026 vis-à-vis the p-value of 0.96 which means that there is no significant difference in the respondents’ perceptions as to the extent of instructional practices of the tutors of DMMMSU Open University System. The two groups of respondents fell squarely as compared that their perceptions to that extent are excellent. These would only mean that all of them were key factors in providing the best instructional practices of the academe in line with the school’s goals, mission and vision.   An enhancement program is indeed vital to the sustainability of these effective instructional practices.

 

Table 6   Comparative Analysis  between  the  Instructional  Practices  as  Perceived  by  the    Respondents

 

Pedagogical Practices of Tutors

  Teacher’s Personal Attributes through Total Human Formation

  Tutors of the institution reflect high regard of character and value education in the learning environment, notwithstanding their fields of specialization. As tutors of the academe, they  are  not  merely  to  teach  but  also  to  transform  human  resources  into  productive,   self-reliant citizens, and responsible leaders in the community. 

  Instructional Efficiency through Quality Instruction

  Since the mission of the university is to provide relevant quality instruction, research, and extension, it is essential that teaching pedagogy is effective and efficient. This is evident among  the  tutors  of  DMMMSU-Open  University  System  who  inculcate  outcomes-based education  in  the  existing  curriculum  by  integrating  the  current  trends  in  educational technology.

  Time Productivity through Pedagogical Planning and Development

  Time is of the essence. Tutors prepare lessons according to their respective lesson plan as what transpired in the syllabus or even in the curriculum. Since the academic unit is a distance education, modules are prepared as the main learning materials vis-à-vis the existing curriculum.  In  fact,  the  university  has  an  operational  and  academic  plan  that  is  geared towards  the  direction,  as  well  as  the  implementation,  of  the  series  of  activities  under instruction for the new school year.

 

Pedagogical Media

  1. Main Media

  The  institution  uses Course  Modules/printed  materials  which  serve  as  the  main learning  materials.  These  materials  contain  the  discussions  of  lessons/topics,  course descriptions,  course  objectives,  study  methods,  instructions  on  how  to  use  the  modules,   self-evaluation every lesson, learning exercises and reports, together with summative tests for each module.

  1. Supplementary Media

  The institution provides Tutorials/Consultations to individualized learners at the DMMMSU Learning Centers. The purpose of tutorials is to expand students’ knowledge and understanding  of  the  course  content,  which  they  study  on  their  own. The  unit  utilizes communication tools such as fax, telephone, mobile phone for short messaging services, and internet for electronic mail.

  1. Student Support Services

  This includes: scholarship grants, student loan assistance, students’ awards, guidance and counseling, accommodation services, student body organization, library and IT-related services, and students’ publications.

  1. Online Services

  This  includes  online  learning  using  the  learning  management  system  under www.edu.2.0 since the unit is a distance learning institution wherein students exchange ideas, submit  modular  assignments/exercises,  take  examinations  with  their  respective  tutor/s through online. Close coordination is essential between the tutor and the student to monitor/supervise the activities of the latter.

 

Discussion

  This study entitled “Pedagogical Practices of Tutors at DMMMSU Open University System”  utilized  the  descriptive  research  design.  The  set  of  questionnaires  about  the implementation of instructional practices in the aforementioned study was assessed.

  Specifically, this study sought to answer the following: 

  1. Extent of implementation of the pedagogical practices of the tutors of DMMMSU Open University System for:
  2. teacher’s personal attributes
  3. instructional efficiency
  4. time productivity
  5. Significant  differences  in  the  extent  of  implementation  of  the  pedagogical practices of the tutors when they were grouped.
  6. The pedagogical practices of the tutors for the identified dimensions.

  The  study  assessed  the  pedagogical  practices  of  tutors  at  DMMMSU  Open University  System.  The  respondents  of  this  study  comprised  two  sets:  (1)  Tutor  and   (2)  Students.  They  were  considered  as  respondents  in  view  of  their  awareness  and observation  with  regards  to  the  subject  matter  of  the  research.  Since  the  number  of respondents was less than five hundred (500), the total enumeration was utilized. Data were collected, tallied and analyzed in accordance with the study. Mean values and t-test were the statistical tools used in the computation of the gathered data.

  The data gathered, analyzed, and interpreted produced the following salient findings:

  1. The extent of implementation of the pedagogical practices of tutors along the identified dimensions was excellent.
  2. There were no significant differences of the pedagogical practices as perceived by the respondents.
  3. The pedagogical practices of DMMMSU Open University System included: total human formation, quality  instruction, pedagogical planning and development, as well as pedagogical media.

 

Conclusions

  Based on the findings of the study, the following conclusions were made:

  1. The  pedagogical  practices  of  tutors  are  globally  competitive  and  highly recommended for quality distance learning education at its finest.
  2. The stakeholders and the clientele are key components towards quality distance learning education.
  3. The pedagogical practices embrace world class standards in the realm of distance learning.

 

Suggestions

  Based on the findings of this study, the following are highly suggested:

  1. The University should maintain the distinct characteristic of DOUS as the only distance learning of best instructional practices worldwide.
  2. The University should provide more innovative instructional designs to cater to the needs of the clientele.
  3. The University should ensure employment opportunities among its clientele, both domestic and abroad, as the springboard of a world class open university system.
  4. The  tutors  should  sustain  the  best  pedagogical  practices  during  the ASEAN integration to encourage distance learning towards global competitiveness. 

 

References

Fraenkel and Wallen. (2006). How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education (6 th  edition). Ladson-Billings, (2005). Is the team all right? Diversity and teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 56 (2), 229-234.

Library of congress. (2016). Bring the Library of Congress to Your Classroom Retrived from http://www.tpsnva.org/

Parkes and Harris (2009). The Purpose in Syllabus. College Teaching, 50 (2), 55-56.

 

Author

  Jonald Fontanilla Carrera

    Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University

    San Fernando, La Union, Philippines

    Email: Promising_Ij@yahoo.com


Key words: pedagogical practices, instructional practices, implementation
     
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