Constructivist Learning Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Investigating Students’ Perceptions of Biology Self-Learning Modules

International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research 20 (3):250-264 (2021)
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Modes of teaching and learning have had to rapidly shift amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As an emergency response, students from Philippine public schools were provided learning modules based on a minimized list of essential learning competencies in Biology. Using a cross-sectional survey method, we investigated students’ perceptions of the Biology self-learning modules (BSLM) that were designed in print and digitized formats according to a constructivist learning approach. Senior high school STEM students from grades 11 (n = 117) and 12 (n = 104) participated in a survey using a 3-point Likert-scale questionnaire uploaded online through Google Forms. The survey results indicate that majority of the students perceived the modules positively, suggesting that aspects of the modules that were salient to students corresponded to essential elements of constructivist pedagogies. However, during interviews, students reported several difficulties in learning with BSLM as it was constrained by, to name a few, the use of unfamiliar words, lack of access to supporting resources, slow internet connection, and time constraints. To address these problems, teachers reported that they gave deadline extensions, complemented modules with other channels of support, and used online and offline platforms for reaching out to students to answer their queries and plan out their schedule for the week. The findings across the data sources point to the complex demands of emergency distance education that teachers, as curriculum designers and enactors, need to bear in mind in order to craft productive pedagogies, constructivist or otherwise, during this unprecedented time.

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Aaron Funa
De La Salle University


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