Massive open online course or known as MOOC is now the trend in providing education, not only to young students but also to our not-so-young people around. To provide you with information, I have here an interview with one mooc camp leader in the Philippines, none other than Ms Alyanna Mae Lazaro Capiral!
As a mooc camp leader, what are the challenges one has to encounter personally and managerially?
At first, it was quite difficult to be leader of teachers as these teachers have their own personalities and careers already but after few courses, it was a breeze already. Managerially, there is one member who became angry at me because she could comply with one requirement which is a 1-video instead of attending a General Meet up in one of the past courses. Financial aspect is challenge as well, as I had been doing things for my camp for free example I had to place order and claim orders of MOOC T-Shirts in Quezon City or Manila— the “transpo” cost and effort especially the supplier most of the time does not follow the agreed time for pick up and I had to wait for hours.
How did you ace out those challenges? And what learning experiences been, so far, gotten from such?
I just try my best to manage the camp and be professional, sympathetic, and motivating to my members. I improved a lot when it comes to social skills, communication skills, and interpersonal skills.
How long have you been moocing? What are the courses have you taken up so far?
I started MOOCing last July 2018. I took up the following courses:
English for Career Development, Moving the Margins: Fiction and Inclusion, Professional Development for Teacher-Trainers, English for Media Literacy, Content-Based Instruction, and Teaching Grammar Communicatively.
In managing a camp, what are qualities one must have in order to ensure high turnout of completers?
It is not actually more on the camp leader but more on the camp members whether they really want to finish the course or not. With my experience, those who are self-motivated and are not only after the certificate but more on the actual learning and professional growth finish the course.
Maybe for qualities, a MOOC camp leader should be passionate and a real-doer which means they must see that you really like MOOCing, and helping others as well.
In case of conflicting schedules between you and group or among them, how do you handle loafers and half-baked attitudes of some, if there has been any?
Like I said in number 1, there was one MOOCer who really gave me a hard time because of her attitude. For some members, I usually plan ahead and ask them when would be the best time to conduct the General meet up and the outreach. I suggest a specific date and time, then we will agree. Attitude wise, I removed MOOCers in our group chat if they do not answer my queries or acknowledge my announcements aft a week of “seeing” those. I even tag them in group chats to make sure they read the pieces of information.
In hindsight, has there been any instances of non-completers? And how did you handle the situation?
My camp is actually composed of people from different schools and areas in Bulacan. There are non-completers but that would be around 20 percent from those who signified to enroll. They are usually I what call “referral-strangers” which mean nobody knows them personally from my group and actually just joined because of the Facebook page MOOC Camp PH. If personally, I know you or we have a common friend, I will try to help you in addressing your concerns especially in the mid-weeks of the course, by second week usually I have an idea who will finish the course or not, then I will just confirm it before the outreach.
Professionally -wise, how has the mooc journey been to you? Elaborate.
Professionally, I met research enthusiasts like myself. They have been my inspiration to help others in becoming better teachers. Most of the leaders in our group hold important positions in their provinces or schools. Also, most of us are completing our Masteral degrees if not they have their Doctoral degree already. That’s how competent the MOOC leaders are. I had been invited to judge university-based contests, and to conduct talk/s to some of the schools of my members. Because of our MOOC father—Professor Mabuan who shared the call for papers for an international research conference in Taiwan, I was able to submit a research abstract entitled “A Morphological and Syntantic Analysis of Gen. Z words as Used by Filipino Students” and luckily the said paper was accepted in the conference. I was able to share too my paper on How to Contextualize Post Modernism in SHS class which I presented at Philippine Normal University during the National Conference in Literature last October 2018 to a bigger group which was about 150-200 participants during one of the MOOC outreach. More than professionally, I gained friends and family in MOOC Camp PH.
Aside from moocing, what are other things you have been busy with?
I am busy with my thesis in my Master’s of Arts in Education in Literature. I am teaching Purposive Communication subject in the Tertiary level. I also organize events for Young Living-Philippines under Mayo Makemasters team which promotes healthier toxin free lifestyle through the aid of Essential Oils and other products. I am busy looking for more academic conference hahaha! I am busy planning my travels and travelling as well.
Would you recommend moocing to other people around?
Yes! But only to people who are very eager to learn. MOOCing is not for everyone as it requires dedication, time, and love for learning and love for others. It follows my Alma Matter’s motto “Truth, Service and Excellence” which is very PNU.
10. One word to describe Alyanna Mae Lazaro Capiral.
So there you have it. Straightforward and honest sharing of her experiences as a moocer plus being a mooc camp leader herself. Thank you, Miss Alyanna!
Ma. Alyanna Mae L. Capiral, LPT finished a double degree in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Secondary Education in Literature at Philippine Normal University. She is a thesis candidate for Master of Arts in Education degree in Literature from the same university. Moreover, she pursued Certificate courses sponsored by the US Department of State.
Since 2015, she is affliated with Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila as part-time Lecturer of College of Humanities, Arts and Social Science where she handled other responsibilities such as textbook evaluator, thesis adviser and editor. Also, she presented papers in local and international conferences.
She has been teaching different subjects in Senior High School since its initial implementation. She serves as Massive Online Open Course for Camp Bulacan leader under the Regional English Language Office-Manila.