New learning approach in the new normal

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YEAR 2020 has proven to be challenging in the education sector of our country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the current school year, schools nationwide have shifted from the traditional face-to-face academic instruction to the relatively new non-face-to-face approach of teaching and learning. In Baguio City, most, if not all, public schools resort to the use of self-learning modules as their primary mode of learning delivery. This approach mainly utilizes teacher-made learning modules that students are expected to independently comprehend the content and answer the given tasks and activities.

Kanchan (2016), in his study on the effectiveness of self-learning modules on the achievement of students, states that SLMs helps to inculcate self-study habits and self-confidence among students. These two characteristics are essential in this time where learners are basically the captain of their learning. Using modules as the primary mode of learning forces students to understand the learning contents of their learning material. As opposed to having their teacher provide lectures and discussions in school; they are left to read and comprehend the lesson with minimal supervision from their parents or guardians.

Reading what students and parents wrote on their query sheets, some commented that they do not understand the instruction written on a section of a module, or the lesson discussion from the module is difficult to comprehend. These comments tell you that students, and even their parents, have trouble grasping the content of a learning module. This forces the students to improve their study habits knowing that their teacher is not regularly available for consultation. In a situation where the only person they can rely on to study their modules is themselves, they slowly adjust to the new normal of learning.

Rabia et al (2017) mention in their research entitled, A Study on Study Habits and Academic Performance of Students, that study habits significantly contribute to the development of knowledge and perceptual capacities. With improved study habits, students will be able to gauge how much they will learn and how far they can go particularly in the accomplishment of learning tasks stated in their self-learning modules.

Reading habit is probably the most important study habit that learners need to improve on. Considering the nature of learning using self-learning modules, reading is the primary task that learners are required to undergo. So, when students say that they did not understand the given instructions or the written explanations in their modules, it can be attributed to their reading comprehension, rather the lack of it.

Improved study habits are probably the icing on the cake in this new normal of learning. Based on personal observation, students’ study habits are often disregarded as they rely on their teachers in understanding their lessons in face-to-face interaction. But this time, the pandemic paved the way for learners to develop their study habits suitable to their needs. If improved study habits result in improved academic performance, then students’ self-confidence improves as well.


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