THE EDUCATIONAL Technology Center (Ed Tech) launched the Blackboard Learning Management System 7.0, an upgraded version of the E-leap Blackboard version 3.0, at the Engineering Conference Hall last Aug. 28.

“The 7.0 version features are both enjoyable and easy to use for the professor and the student,” Ed Tech director Alberto Laurito told the Varsitarian. “Instead of the usual multiple choice type of exam, it now has a factual-based essay where students can answer essays via the computer program with objective answers. Students can also view the results of their online examinations immediately.”

“We are going to limit ourselves to questions that have concrete answers which we will feed to the computer like names of people, places and events. Each answer will then have a corresponding point that the computer immediately verifies,” Laurito said.

Blackboard 7.0 version also prevents online cheating as it would not allow questions to appear in the same order to other examinees.

“It’s a good program because students may take the examinations only in a limited number of times,” Mathematics professor Rumelo Amor of the Faculty of Pharmacy said. “Students cannot simply view the notes covered in a lesson just to proceed to the next lesson because we can divide them into smaller subtopics. In effect, students will really have to view the notes, master them, so they can pass the test.”

Laurito said that since E-Learning Access Program was first offered in 2003, few professors were willing to learn and try the method. They still preferred the traditional one where examinations and encoding of grades are were done manually.

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“UST students are more prepared to use it. Faculty members, however, need to be convinced more that the blackboard learning system is user-friendly,” Laurito said.

To show the Blackboard’s advantage, Laurito introduced it through a competition titled, “BB7 Magic Web Jam: Enchanting the Thomasian Community.”

“The University is now the biggest implementer and perhaps holds the most advance E-leap in the country or even in Asia to date,” Laurito said. “UST has been pioneering over other colleges and universities in this field. In fact, we are going to Australia this summer to present a paper about the “E-mazing Race” competition so that we can share our unique experiences with the global community.”

“E-mazing Race” is one of the innovations of Ed Tech in promoting E-Leap through an inter-collegiate contest composed of a student, faculty member and administrator racing under time pressure in a mixture of physical competition and the use of Blackboard application.

This year, Ed Tech gave away Kalukso awards to professors who used e-learning without the supervision of Ed Tech. Dr. Maribel Nonato of the College of Science was awarded the Outstanding Self-Initiated Course Site Developer; Engr. Jocelyn Poblete of the Faculty of Engineering, the Outstanding Course Site Developer; Frieda Hapan of Pharmacy, the Outstanding Course Site Development; and Donald Lipardo of the College of Rehabilitation Sciences, the Outstanding E-Teach Award. Marc Laurenze Celis and K. J. Liu

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