The College of Development Communication (CDC), in partnership with the Association of Development Communication Educators and Practitioners (ADCEP) Philippines, Inc., held Remote Learning Conversations on 17 May 2021. About 75 Devcom educators from more than 30 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the country participated in the online event. The CDC Department of Educational Communication (DEC) spearheaded the Remote Learning Conversations as part of the Department’s research project, “Documenting Remote Teaching-Learning Experiences in Development Communication: Challenges, Opportunities, and Best Practices”. The Project serves as a co-learning opportunity for Devcom educators to share and exchange their challenges and best practices in the delivery of Devcom courses in remote learning set-up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. graced the opening program and expressed his commendation for CDC’s efforts for being a trailblazer in distance education, which CDC has already been engaging in even before the pandemic. In her welcome message, CDC Dean Ma. Stella C. Tirol challenged ADCEP to create a framework for remote learning education in development communication, which can guide curricular improvements in the new normal. 

The Remote Learning Conversations had two parts: the plenary and  breakout sessions. In the plenary, two distinguished speakers shared their expertise and insights in stirring the discussion on remote learning.  First was Dr. David Michael M. San Juan, Professor at the Departamento ng Filipino and affiliate at the Southeast Asia Research Center and Hub (SEARCH) at De La Salle University (DLSU) Manila, who talked about the current situation faced by educational institutions in the time of the pandemic. He highlighted the economic, technical, and administrative concerns of students and educators alike in remote learning. Second was Dr. Edmund G. Centeno, CDC-DEC Associate Professor and Director of UPLB Interactive Learning Center (ILC), who discussed the basics of educational technology. He gave recommendations on maximizing the use of various distance learning approaches in DevCom instruction. As the ILC director, he also shared some initial findings from the UP system-wide assessments done among faculty and students on remote learning.

After the plenary, the Devcom educators were assigned to six breakout groups where members in each group shared the adjustments they made to adapt to the situation and minimize the difficulties experienced in remote learning, including adjustments in learning modalities, classroom management, delivery, and assessment activities, among others. Participants also brainstormed possible topics for research collaborations between and among HEIs.

Concluding the event, Prof. Sorhaila Latip-Yusoph, ADCEP president, in her closing message acknowledged the challenges faced by Devcom educators but emphasized the value of working together to address these challenges.  She also thanked CDC for another fruitful collaboration with ADCEP. (Miguel Victor T. Durian, Charlene Mae B. Arkaina, and Elaine DC. Llarena)