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Level up your skills with UP Open University’s free short courses 

by Leila Salaverria

ARE you hoping to improve your skills, broaden your knowledge, or increase your chances of landing a job? 

THE University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) could help. It is offering free short online courses on various topics throughout the year. 

Those who complete a course will earn an e-certificate that they may include in their resume or curriculum vitae as a 16-hour training session. 

No tuition, no fixed sched 

The online courses allow for flexibility.

These are free, self-paced, and open to everyone, the UPOU said.

This means people could fit these around their schedule and complete them at their own convenience.

The courses are offered through the UPOU’s Massive Open Distance eLearning (MODeL), which is its official platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs).

The Commission on Higher Education has endorsed the courses.

Courses offered

For February, the courses offered will be Gender Sensitivity Training (Feb. 13 to March 10), and Basics of Graphic Design (Feb. 13 to March 27).

For March, the courses will be Introduction to ODeL or Open Distance e-Learning (March 1 to 31); Strategic Planning in ODeL (March 1 to 31); Understanding the Child Better (March 6 to April 14); and Intro to Technology for Teaching & Learning (March 13 to April `4). 

For April, the courses will be Scriptwriting for a Video Material (April 3 to May 22), and Quality Assurance in ODeL (April 10 to May 12).

Check out the other expected courses for the rest of the year:

How to register and enroll 

Those who are interested in taking up the courses must create a new account here so that they could log in at the MODeL site. 

They will also need to finish the Distance Education Readiness Module to enroll in the courses. 

This is a preparatory course that aims to help leaners understand what it is like to study under the UPOU MODeL, and allows them to learn about the UPOU and its processes.

Applicants must first complete the module to receive their DE Readiness badge, which will allow them to enroll at the courses. 

To enroll, they just need to go to the homepage and scroll down to the featured courses or click on the categories. 

Those who fail to finish a course may enroll again as there are no limitations on the number of times they may take the same course. 

Mobile access

The courses may also be accessed through phones.

People may download the Moodle Mobile app on Google Play store or Apple Appstore, and then log in using their MODeL name and password. 

After logging in, they may access all their enrolled courses. They may also view course activities and download course materials for offline use. 

Course completion

Those who complete the course will get their certificate at least two weeks after it ends. But the time may also vary depending on the number of students. 

They will know if the course has ended when the progress bar is already at 100 percent. But there may be times when the teacher will have to acknowledge the submissions first for the course to be marked as complete.

The easiest way for those who took the course to know if they are qualified for a certificate is if they have submitted all the requirements and received a passing grade in the assignments and quizzes.

Not qualified for certificate

Some of the course takers may not qualify for a certificate. This will happen when:

  • They fail to complete the requirements
  • They did not follow the directions  
  • They did not provide the right answer to the questions in the activities, or the explanation is not valuable enough
  • They committed plagiarism
  • They copied their answers from somewhere or someone else 

AI checking, human oversight 

Sometimes, course takers may be unsatisfied with the scores on their essay.

The UPOU advises the distance learners to adjust to automated assessment. It said they should anticipate how a machine, usually run by artificial intelligence, will read their answers.

This means they have to keep machine logic rather than human emotions in mind when writing their essay. The technique, the university said, is to provide the accurate words and phrases that cropped up in the course. 

But it also said this is just a step in the process and would not determine the decision of whether or not the participants satisfactorily met the course requirements 

There will still be faculty coordinators who will monitor and double-check the participants’ course activities before the release of the completion certificates. 

“In terms of learning, regardless of the result of the automatic assessments, it is our hope that the open nature of the educational resources prepared and used for the MOOCs may also prove helpful for the participants as their study independently and or with the rest of the lifelong learners in the MOOCs,” it said. 

Banner photo credit: UP Open University Facebook



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