NOWADAYS, the fusion of education and technology in the University no longer seems like a far-off idea, with the introduction of the electronic learning access program (E-leap). But despite the technological advancements that E-leap provides, my experience with the technology was a mixture of love, frustration, and ultimately, appreciation.

I was given my first taste of the program in my sophomore year through the Literacy Training Service (LTS) of the national service training program. The training program’s first semester mostly dealt with lectures, quizzes, and examinations which were administered through E-leap. Since assignments were given occasionally, I encountered no problems with this new computer-based set-up. So far so good.

My junior year was a different case, as it gave me more time to get acquainted with E-leap. Our first experience for that year may have induced trauma among us, which almost carried over to our next encounter with the program. As usual, everything used in class—lectures and homeworks—was online except for discussions by the professor. What came as a shock were the quizzes, which were identification types or even essays. Many of us were disappointed when we learned that some of our answers were marked wrong just because we had different tenses, subject-verb agreement, or letter cases.

After that semester, professors suddenly developed a liking for online major examinations. With the previous semester’s experience in mind, my classmates and I would stare at the professors in horror upon hearing them announce that major examinations would be in the computer laboratory. But as time progressed, we became used to the idea of taking exams online, since the professors let up on giving identification questions.

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Looking back and as I weighed things, I realized that there are a lot of advantages to E-leap and that some of its disadvantages could easily be sidestepped.

As a student, I hated the “no backtracking” rule of some online exams, but I appreciated the exams’ value when I was saved from days of waiting for exam results. Alas, with E-leap, results are flashed seconds after hitting the “submit” button.

I also enjoyed answering questions with microscopic images whereas before, I had to put up with blurred photocopies. Without the program, we would have been required to attend Sunday classes to do our LTS activities, which would have been a problem given my usual load of everyday quizzes, article deadlines, and extra-editorial tasks.

As for the only major problem that plagued my E-leap experience — test types during online examinations — I think it could only be solved if the program’s users realize that although E-leap is a flexible teaching aid, there are certain areas where lines would have to be drawn.

The program, after all is computer-based, objective and unbiased. However, there are some things about classroom situations, virtual or not, that should be handled with consideration by authorities, such as test adminstration.

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