Modularized Instruction in Philippine Schools
Today, I would like to share with you some readings I did in relation to modularized instruction. This is because I have found many studies conducted in the schools focus on this and were submitted for their masters and doctorate degrees. This is the very first part of the series I would like to make to show the extent and effect of the use of modules in the classrooms not only in the basic education curriculum but also in the tertiary level. So, here it is.
What is a module?
Modular instructions was first instroduced by American educators. It is described by John L. Hughes (1962) as an individualized instruction that provides bases for close interaction between the learners and subject matter. With the modules, the learners are expected to respond frequently in the interaction with an instructional program at their learning rate.
Carter V. Good (1975) recognized in his researches the ‘individualization’ of the modules because learners proceed with the instructions at their own pace.
Sam Duker (1972) also stated that modular instructions catered to the individual learning differences so that learners are prompted to actively participate in determining what they need to learn. The amount and the pace of their learning must match with their ability, motivation and interest, not in comparison with other learners.
Maurice Gibbons (1971) believed that individualized instruction is one of the multi-media approaches providing the development of coherent instructional programs that prepare learners for complete control of their education.
Juan A. Morallo III (1980), a Filipino author, cited that a module is a self-contained and independent unit of instruction with a primary focus on a few well-defined objectives.
A handout distributed during the Workshop in the Application of Educational Technology – DECS-UNESCO referred to it as a set of learning opportunities systematically organized around a well-defined topic containing the elements of instruction that cover specific objectives, teaching-learning activities and evaluation using criterion-referenced measures.
Good (1975) cited modular approach to be modernizing the teaching process suited to learners to advance at their own best rate through passing unnecessary instruction and satisfying their needs, thus in individual cases, will be able to earn their degree in considerably shorter period of time.
Amparo S. Lardizabal et al (1996) said that it is a package of learning activities that learners have to accomplish. It can be used as part of a course, as a complete course, or as a curriculum design.
As Fe C. Nepomuceno cited, a module can be a short-segment programme interwoven between other forms of instruction to cover limited, specific units rather than an entire course.
Manuel B. Garcia (1989), another Filipino author, classified the use of modules, together with programmed instruction, self-learning kits and correspondence courses, and mastery learning technique, under the self-pacing method of instruction.
What are the characteristics of modules?
Patricia K. Cross (1976) stressed that learning modules are the progeny of two reform movements in education that included programmed learning and mastery learning. Mastery learning plans contain the major features of the present day modules, such as:
1. Educational objectives were specified.
2. Instruction was organized into learning units.
3. Diagnostic progress tests were administered after each unit.
4. Mastery of one unit was required before the learner is allowed to proceed to the next module or unit.
Dr. Constantino M. Torralba, the leading proponent of learning modules in the Philippines, said that a modules should be self-contained, self-pacing, short and well-defined, adequately motivating, properly sequenced, providing opportunities for interaction with learners, clearly written with correct language, accurate, not in conflict with other subject matter and values, and utilizing every opportunity to achieve learning outcomes.
Nepomuceno described the modules in the following statements:
1. It focuses on a distinctive, identifiable skills or set of skills or outcomes other than skills.
2. It is faily short so as to make students use their study time efficiently.
3. It is essentially self-teaching, even though it may encourage group work.
4. It blends theory and practice, and combines doing with reading and reflecting.
5. It provides a list of further readings or sources related to the skill being promoted.
6. It provides suggestions to students for participating in the design of their own projects, explanatory activities, and evaluation criteria.
7. It is reality-oriented in the sense that it involves the students in real situation if not possible, tried to use stimulation technique.
8. It provides feedback for improvement and redesigning.
With these characteristics, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports Technical and Vocational Project (1986) cited the following reasons why modules are needed in teaching particularly technician education.
1. Develop learning autonomy
2. Ensure satisfactory minimum standards
3. Provide remedial units
4. Provide basic education
5. Upgrade content
6. Enhance competencies of teachers
7. Integrate theory and practice
8. Cater for individual differences in learning
9. Cater for different groups within the one course
10. Consolidate critical points in a course
11. Facilitate industrial certification
12. Provide resources for distance education
13. Encourage mastery
14. Encourage a changed role for the teachers
What are the advantages of using modules?
The following outlines the advantages of using modules.
As cited by Nepomuceno, a module can be advantageous for students and teachers because:
1. It provides opportunity for organizing numerous sequences of experience to reflect special interests of the teacher or student.
2. Self-instructional units allow the teacher to focus on student deficiencies in subject matter that must be corrected and also serve to eliminate the necessity of covering subject already known to the student.
3. It provides a way of assessing students’ progress in learning.
4. It reduces the routine aspects of instruction learning. The teacher is free to engage in personal contact with the student.
5. The independent nature of self-instructional units facilitated the updating of study materials without major revisions.
6. It serves as model for teachers who wish to develop their own materials and insert their own personality.
According to Lardizabal et al (1996), students can find the following advantages:
1.They work at their own pace.
2. They assume responsibility for learning.
3. They find that textbooks are not the only source of learning.
4. They know exactly what they have to learn.
5. They are encouraged to master the module.
6. Competition for grades is reduced.
For teachers, Lardizabal et al (1996) said:
1. They have time to pay attention to individual learning problems.
2. They can identify problems earlier.
3. They are free to serve as resource persons to answer and help those who need help.
4. There is better cooperation between teacher and students.
What are the parts of a module?
Authors present modules with different parts.
According to Murray, a module must have a) Statement of Purpose, b) Desirable Prerequisite Skills, c) Instructional Objectives, d) Implementers of the Modules, e) The Modular Program, f) Related Experience, g) Evaluative Pretest, and h) Assessment of Module.
According to Garcia (1996), it must have a) Title, b) Target Population, c) Overview, d) Objectives, e) Instructions to the Learners, f) Entry Behavior and Prerequisite Skills, g) Pretest, h) Pretest Feedback and Evaluation, i) Learning Activities, j) Posttest, k) Posttest Feedback and Evaluation, and l) Teacher's Manual or Guide.
According to Lardizabal et al (1996), it must have a) Statement of Purpose or Rationale, b) Pretest, c) Objectives, d) Instructional Activities, and e) Posttest.
Schools in the Philippines today implement the curriculum with the modular approach at some points in their classroom activities. They are used as enrichment or supplementary instructional materials for learning concepts and skills, or as remedial instruction is necessary for slow learners and as advance instruction for the fast and highly motivated ones.
John L. Hughes, Programmed Instructions for School and Industry. Chicago Science and Research Associates, Inc., 1962)
Carter V. Good, Dictionary of Education. (Quezon City, Philippines, Phoenix Press Inc., 1975)
Sam Duker, Individualized Instruction, (New Jersey, The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1972)
Maurice Gibbons, Individualized Instruction, (New York, Teacher’s Columbia University Press Inc., 1971)
Patricia K. Cross, Accent on Learning: Improving Instruction and Reshaping the Curriculum, (California Jersey Bass Publishing Inc., 1976)
Amparo S. Lardizabal, et al. Principles and Methods of Teaching. (Quezon City: Phoenix Publishing House, Inc., 1996)
Juan III A. Morallo, Instructional Technology in Practical Arts and Vocational Courses. (Naga City: CSNCAT Press, 1980)
Fe C. Nepomuceno, Modular Approach to Instruction (Handout)
Manuel B. Garcia, Focus on Teaching. (Quiapo, Manila: Rex Book Store, 1989)