Archive for the ‘Distance Education’ Category

Littlenars’ Perks of being a distance learner at UP Open University

Friday, September 27th, 2013

If you are a follower of this blog, it’s not new to you that I have been studying my masters (Master of Arts in Nursing) at University of the Philippines Open University and I am now on (hopefully) my last year as a distance education learner.

I have been a distance learner for 3 years now and thus, I am making this blog post to encourage you with all its benefits.

5. No time pressure (unless you want to put pressure on yourself) – it’s not that UP Open University wants you to be a delinquent student, but rather it lets you study “at your own phase”. It let’s you focus on your “busy-slash-hectic” job schedules as it was really designed for. It gives you 7 years to finish your desired degrees with proper filing for a ‘leave of absence’ status. It has a structured/suggested time frame and it is up to you as to how you will push through with it.

P.S this is yet another GREAT slash VALID reason to use internet more and spend quality time with your beloved gadgets 🙂


4. No “dreaded” reportings (as what other masters program does) – you only have to attend Skype or YM chat sessions. Lucky if your professors wanted or scheduled a real “face-to-face” discussion. Yes, that perks relieves the shyness in me. This depends on you degree/course, as for the Master of Arts in Nursing students, we have a 3 to 4-day duty at UP- Philippine General Hospital as a final requirement in our major subject at the end of the semester. (P.S I really really really hate reportings!)



3. No toxic transactions– meaning, you don’t have to go to school just to have a transaction. We have an online enrollment system, an online forum-slash-classroom called “MyPortal” or “Moodle” exclusively for students and faculty. If you have any concerns, you just have to email the person in charge. Also, I would like to specify in here, how I submit my homeworks (some professors want a hard copy of assignments but usually, we just submit online too)… I have it delievered to my learning center via LBC. Though I just live within Manila. Yes, I don’t want to tire myself too much. Lol.


2. Classmates all over the world – Being an online (distance education) student, I have a lot of “off-shore” classmates, most of them OFWs in different countries. I was able to learn from their experiences. I gained friends too and have seen them during end of semester clinical duty. UP Open University enables you to enroll wherever you are, as long as you have an internet access to communicate with them. This is great for those who wanted to go back to studying despite of them not being in our country or for those planning to go abroad and wants to continue finishing the degree abroad. Some programs in other schools doesn’t allow it.


1. Independence – Look where it got Littlenars? It’s not about bragging but I just couldn’t believe that I have finished all my academic subjects for this degree without realizing the time that has passed. It does interrupt with work but not most of the time. I was enjoying, indeed. I developed independence as I do my assignments and finish those thick modules. It was hard to balance your time but I was able to develop self-discipline. You cannot finish this degree without being independent in learning every knowledge, skills and attitude. You would just tell yourself “Did I just do that?”, with a smile on your face.

Additional perks: You got all your time after work or during your off/rest days to sit back, relax, have a date and what not. Experience Life-Work-Balance.


Outing with UP Open University Classmates at Baler, Aurora

Outing with UP Open University Classmates at Baler, Aurora



LittleNars Intensive Practicum at UP PGH for UPOU MAN…

Friday, March 15th, 2013

So where is LittleNars with her MAN studies?

The Master of Arts in Nursing at University of the Philippines Open University is based on a clinical perspective curriculum. I have already finished the academic units and by that I mean all the theoretical part of the degree (27 units), I am currently a 3rd year MA student, enrolled in a subject called Intensive Practicum where in it is a culmination of all the things that we have learned since first year. It is really not a online study/distance learning solely. It is a 2-week clinical practicum at PGH (Philippine General Hospital) wherein we get to be a clinician, educator and researcher that happened last February.

The experience was fun-filled, self-directed learning with my classmates. We were only 17 left from 100+ who enrolled in the first year. It was very timely for me since this January, I was entitled for a vacation leave credits at work and so I didn’t have any problems filing for leave of absence and suffer a month without salary. I was saddened by the fact that my first ever vacation leave as an employed citizen of the Philippines was put to my studies. I mean, I have given up so much with this master degree (even this blog)… The good thing is, I got to be a student once again with my classmates without thinking of work.


I got to be a clinician at the UP PGH- Cancer Institute

Discussion with Dean Cel

We had discussion sessions with Dean Balabagno (our faculty in charge)


We had conducted a seminar for the 4th year UP BSN students

Library work Conference room

Library Works with my classmates

2013-02-14 09.44.22 2013-02-14 09.47.20

I got to be an educator for the 4th year UP BSN student at UP PGH Ward 1 Medical Ward


The toxic thing was the completion of the requirements from the start of the semester up to the last.

It was consuming us because most of us are working and we cannot really focus on making our homeworks. I have been ranting in my Twitter account.

Having my clinical practicum at UP-PGH is like coming out of my comfort zone. Work with familiar people is like a routine for me, I can confidently go on duty as a single staff but having to work and learn from a different environment, culture and people… It made me test my “flexibility” and adaptive skills. I miss my undergraduate years, seeing the students and my workmates who became my friends but the good thing is, I gain new friends that supported each other with all the needed things to accomplish for this semester. They were like my extended family who motivates me to continue and pursue this endeavour. With that, I am very much grateful.


I have already come this far, I will not simply give up. I am currently completing my thesis proposal for pilot testing so that I can take the comprehensive exam by next semester.

So help me GOD.

What to expect during UP-PGH Clinical Practicum for UPOU-MAN

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

I have experienced 3 clinical practicums for the completion of my requirements during the previous semesters of my UPOU-MAN AHN study… That was for Adult Health Nursing, Cardiovascular Nursing and Oncology Nursing.

We had 3-4days clinical practicums for each courses and the area depends on the course you are taking. I had the privilege to do clinicals at Burn unit, Trauma Ward, Central ICU (CENICU) and the Cancer Institute.

To tell you honestly, its not the same as our undergrad duties wherein our clinical instructors will be with you 24/7. Since we are already professionals and “post grad students” we are expected to learn in our own pace. Do our required outputs, observe and whatnots independently. In short, there is no spoon feeding at UPOU.

Some instructors will allow you to do anything, some will just let you observe (which is boring for me). There is also a required skill to be performed like 10 ECG cases and interpretations (Adult Health majors) and Pap smear cases (for Maternal And Child Majors) those were just some…

So what do we bring during practicum?

The usuals, our clinical paraphernalias during the undergrad years, notebook, clean sheets of short bond paper for journal writing and other required output… Head Cap, gloves and face mask (just in case there will be procedures you need to do/experience)… Scrub suits and inside slippers/shoes for special areas. During my time, we were not required as to the color of our scrubs but recently, some groups were required to bring powder blue colored scrubs. Last but not the least, bring your UPOU ID and white smock gown (preferably with UPOU Logo and your name embroidered on the upper left side… Mine doesn’t have though. Haha)… Checklists/guide and other reference materials for data gathering and physical assessment for your case study is also a must…

For library works, I am sure you will have one, you can bring your laptop… cellphone cameras will come in handy for the books that are not allowed to bring out for photocopying…

Bring candies, water and small snacks you might not have long breaks. Cameras for documentation purposes… 🙂

Most common requirements to be submitted?

Daily objectives
Daily journals (Research article, related to your case study or research critique)
Daily nursing care plan
Diary to be submitted every day
Your accomplished output depending on your daily objectives (Patient history, physical assessment, teaching plan…)
Group works always have a seminar proposal output by the end of the practicum
Case presentation is expected at the end of the practicum though just a short draft of the case of your patient

The most dreaded part is the case portfolio wherein it is considered as your final output. It is a compilation of your case study and your whole clinical practicum experience for the semester… It is to be submitted 2 weeks after your clinical practicum. (Tip: Pick the earlier date for your practicum so you’ll have an ample time to complete your requirements…)

The best of all those clinical practicums is the chance to meet your virtual classmates and learn with them physically. You get the chance to bond with them and learn from their experiences too. As they always say, you will not survive UPOU without the help of your classmates not only academically, but also in motivating you to continue and finish the degree. It is the staying power that is important. To be able to surpass all the requirements, exams and the pressure this post graduate study brings.

I am now on my Intensive. The second to the last semester before comprehensive and thesis making… I, honestly cannot be where I am without the help of my classmates turned friends. Thanks guys!

Good luck for those who will have their clinical practicum! Cheers!

Littlenars’ experience of the new UP Open University Online Registration System

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

For a distant “e-learner” student like me, I would always want things about school and needed for school be available online. UP Open University has been very good in providing things online… for instance, the e-book version of the modules, prompt answers to queries via e-mail etc.

The only thing not done in the web is the enrolment system… I would always ask our learning center coordinator for the fees then pay at the bank then “physically” go to the learning center for formal enrolling and claiming of my Form 5 (Certificate of Registration)…

But UPOU didn’t stop in providing students with excellent service…

Here comes the UPOU Online Registration System (ORS)…
For the new students, you are very lucky indeed that you don’t need to claim the enrolment keys etc. to your respective learning centers, you just need to go to the UPOU website.

I am not going to tell you the detailed step by step process here (UPOU management might have my blog down in case. LOL) but rather the first-hand experience of a first time user of their registration system.

It is not my first time to experience the online enrolment because we also have it at FEU during my undergrad years…

It is a known fact that when you chose to study at UPOU, you study at your own pace. You need to ask your program chair/coordinator first regarding the courses you can take or you are allowed to take for the coming semester. I tell you, they reply fast you won’t have a problem waiting.

Then after you are sure of the courses you are going to take (maximum of 6 units) but you can exceed if you were allowed to (some of my classmates were allowed considering their performances on their past subjects), you need to create an account at the UPOU website, Online Registration (ORS).

The step by step process was clear, easy and prompt. You won’t get lost. There is also a PDF file of the steps and the FAQs (frequently asked questions) you can read prior to registration online.

After selecting the subjects you would like to take, you can double check it. Mind you, there is no turning back. There will also be a breakdown of the total fees to be paid.

After you confirmed the said subjects and fees, you will be partially enrolled or “in-process” status until you have uploaded the scanned copy of your payment receipt/slip.

There are several methods of payment via online through credit card, any PNB branch inside and outside the Philippines, bank transfers/remittance centers, credit card through UPOU learning centers and UPOU Los Banos cashier office.

I chose the PNB mode of payment because there’s a PNB branch near home. I just had 2 copies of the payment slip, scanned the other copy and upload it to the ORS. After a day, my enrolment was confirmed via e-mail and yes, I am now a 3rd year MAN student! *Cheers*

As easy as one, two, three and as swift as a breeze.

ORS also includes the breakdown of your grades, profile, downloadable forms, student portal for questions etc.

However, the downside of this mode was that of “own printing” of Form 5. It doesn’t seem legit to “others” if you submit it as proof of your enrollment. I suggest there should be a note there that it is officially/electronically signed/printed or anything that would make it “legit” for that matter.

P.S I did by the way dropped by the learning center to claim my module even if it is uploaded in moodle. LOL

My first ever face to face discussion at UPOU

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Warning: This post if from my forum post. I just posted it in here so I could update. LOL. Proceed as you wish.


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