CLASSROOM management in the University is going to the next level.

The Santo Tomas e-Service Providers (STePS) has begun developing the Quadricentennial Electronic Notebook (Quaderno), an Internet-based classroom management system for faculty members.

But the program—which is expected to be launched next semester—has yet to hurdle software testing by the Faculty of Engineering.

“Matatapos [ang pilot testing] by [the end of] September tapos kung meron mang babaguhin, definitely maga-adjust kami,” said Polly Blanco, STePS assistant director for software development and applications.

Quaderno, a brainchild of Fr. Arthur Dingel, O.P, assistant to the rector for planning and quality management, features an online seat plan that will monitor students’ attendance. Professors can arrange a class either alphabetically or randomly, with pictures used in student IDs.

Aside from the checking of attendance, the software also features a recitation “widget,” which will function as “a random name-picker.”

Moreover, Quaderno allows professors to write annotations on their students’ performance and behavior inside the classroom, said Dingel, who is also the regent of the Faculty of Engineering.

Should a student exhibit disorderly attitude in the classroom, the professor can place a remark on the student’s profile, which will be immediately sent to the guidance and counseling office.

With such features, Dingel said professors won’t have to depend solely on numbers in giving grades to their students.

“Lalong magiging solid ‘yung basis ng professors for evaluating the performance of the students,” he said.

‘Home-grown’ project

STePS has also been consulting the Educational Technology Center (Ed-Tech) for additional changes.

A home-grown product of the University, Quaderno can also be developed into a Blackboard Learning Management System (Blackboard), and become a part of the E-Learning Access Program of Ed-Tech, which has been operating for more than a decade.

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“E-Leap (Blackboard) is a learning management tool but eventually, Quaderno can become a learning management tool if you will further improve its features,” said Ed-Tech Director Anna Cherylle Ramos.

Blackboard is a foreign product developed by Course Info LLC and Cornell University, which are both based in the United States. It was launched in 2002 in UST.

The program runs discussion boards, hosts online storage system for assignments, and conducts examinations, seatworks, and essays.

Only two institutions are using this product in the country—UST and the Ateneo Graduate School of Business in Makati City.

Each classroom in the University will be provided with Internet ports, which are currently being installed together with the wiring system of closed-circuit television cameras.

“Ang problema kasi sa wireless [Internet] natin, ‘yung very thick ang walls ng University,” Blanco said. “Mahina ‘yung signal [at] napuputol-putol.”

Quaderno was initially planned to be launched during the Quadricentennial celebration last year, but this did not push through due to modifications suggested by faculty members, Blanco said.

The initial design of Quaderno was “rushed” and “the structure of the system was not flexible enough,” he added.

“Ang nangyari ngayon, [we started] from scratch. Ang ginawa namin, nire-layout namin siya then we re-designed everything,” he said.

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