FEU Tech is responding to the new normal in schools by launching its new online learning platform the Mastery-based Individual Learning Enhancement System (MILES). The new learning platform aims to instill mastery of a subject to students which is crucial in retaining learning in the new normal.
FEU Tech’s MILES is built using the learning platform Canvas and expanded to make students feel that they are still going to the university, with access to campus offices and resources, albeit digitally.
According to FEU Tech executive director Dr. Benson Tan, MILES is based on the concept of mastery learning. The method of instruction revolves around the idea that rote memorization is not enough; students should be able to demonstrate a deep knowledge of what they’re studying.
“In a regular classroom setting, a student may be pressured to keep up with their peers and may just go through the motions of learning,” said Dr. Tan. “The MILES program can provide an alternative to that by providing a curriculum that ensures students truly understand their lessons.”
Compared to other platforms, MILES has its unique “Mastery Network” framework, a framework in every course that proposes that students must achieve a certain level of mastery in one topic before they can study the next. This works by having the students achieve a certain minimum score on formative assessments or tests before they can proceed to the next lesson. The students will have as many times as they want in taking the assessment without any demerit to them.
FEU Tech gives an example of the subject of trigonometry. Under a normal classroom setting, students may only have a few weeks to fully master the sine, cosine, and tangent operations needed to find certain angles. With MILES, students can undergo a formative assessment as many times as they need to, solving different trigonometry problems each time. Eventually, the students will come out with a better understanding than if they were rushed.
The formative assessments go along way in preparing students for the summative assessments at the end of the course, a final exam that they need to take once alongside other students.
Additionally, the MILES program offers individualized learning, where the curriculum and learning materials are arranged in a way that best responds to a student’s needs. Students learning with MILES can take advantage of the program’s option for asynchronous learning, where they can easily access learning materials online at any point in the day. Under this set- up, students can learn at their own pace.
“On top of a self-paced learning environment, our faculty are ready to lend assistance at any time,” said Dr. Tan. “Whether that means simply asking a one-off question about the lesson or even taking time to give students one-on-one tutorial sessions.”
The easy access to additional help is another prominent feature of the MILES program. Through Canvas’ Big Blue Button feature, students will be able to easily consult professors on the course material. Dr. Tan explains that the feature is best compared to a shop that is constantly manned. For every course, faculty will be ready to answer questions as they come. At least one professor will be online from 7 am to 9 pm, ready to ensure students fully understand their lessons.
It isn’t just the academic side of school life that MILES is transforming either. From 8 am to 5 pm, the Big Blue Button feature provides access to various offices and departments around campus, such as the clerical office, the library, and even the guidance counselor. The inclusion of these facilities in MILES helps students get the most out of campus life while still staying safe at home.
“We want as many people as possible to benefit from what MILES has to offer,” explained Dr. Tan. “For students, of course, the benefit is a learning system that realizes they may be adjusting to the practice of remote learning and accommodates them accordingly. For parents, however, we want to show that they don’t have to look too hard for a comprehensive and quality education that adapts to the current circumstances.”
The MILES program was rolled out last August in FEU Tech-Manila as well as the Diliman and Alabang campuses. Enrollment is open until the 7th of September.