Taking his knowledge and passion for mathematics beyond the classroom, Leo Andrei Crisologo, a math teacher at the Philippine Science High School – Main Campus, created 60 YouTube videos discussing Grade 9 topics from the first to fourth quarters of Academic Year 2020-2021.
Crisologo’s instructional videos aim to enrich the content of the learning guides provided by the PSHS System in support of the institutional remote learning modality.

“I have always wanted to implement a blended approach in my face-to-face classes, but I was unable to find the time to either curate existing online material or make my own. With the pandemic removing the face-to-face option I took the opportunity to finally make my own material, which I also intend to use in the future for blended learning opportunities,” Crisologo said.

According to Crisologo, he has tried to deliver lessons remotely even before the pandemic as the availability of his colleagues to substitute for him were limited when he was not able to attend classes for extended periods of time for official business, like Singapore STEM training and Ugnayan sportsfest.

“I curated existing Math lesson videos from sites like Khan Academy, and that was when I also started experimenting with my own lesson videos. Having that initial opportunity to make a lesson video allowed me to make mistakes early and get some insights on what can be improved, while giving me confidence that I could actually pull off making videos for all my lessons in an entire school year,” Crisologo, former Curriculum and Instruction Division Chief, said.

Instructional benefits
“I anticipated that the initial expectation that the students will always be present in synchronous classes is unrealistic and by designing my course to be asynchronous, I needed to provide materials that could be engaged with asynchronously,” Crisologo said.

According to Crisologo, because of the videos, the students are not pressured to attend synchronous classes; the videos provide an alternative or a complement to the textbooks and learning guides, and students who prefer learning visually or by having a teacher explain the lesson have reported that the videos have helped them a lot.
In terms of benefits that students get from his instructional videos, Crisologo said that students can engage with the lesson at a time of their choice that hopefully is better suited for them.

“The feedback I usually receive from my students (pre-pandemic) is that they appreciated how I explain the lessons in class, and I wanted to keep that aspect of my teaching in the pandemic, which is why I preferred to make my own lessons instead of linking to resources like Khan Academy. My videos are also based on our curriculum, while existing Math videos are of course based on other curricula,” Crisologo added.

He also believes that there is value to using the Filipino language in teaching, and while he has to switch from Filipino to English several times in his videos, his occasional use of Filipino makes the lessons more accessible.

“I can immediately implement a blended learning approach to my classroom in the next opportunity as I already have a complete set of video lessons. I intend to assign video watching as homework and use the class time for problem solving and discussion. I have learned a lot along the way, from recording videos to improving my presentations, and what students are taking out of their lessons,” Crisologo said.

Crisologo considers his instructional videos as investment because he was able to update all his slides and learning materials. He can easily carry the slides he constructed for his videos to the classroom once we can go back [to face-to-face learning].
Production challenges

“I also don’t have a room at home that I can use exclusively for recording so I record in our kitchen with our dogs and with the possibility of neighbors passing by the window. I was also dependent on daylight for the lighting. If I was not convinced that the videos would provide a better learning experience for my students it would have been tempting to just give up. I think it would be helpful for teachers to recognize these difficulties at the start so they are aware of the environmental challenges of creating videos at home without a dedicated media room,” Crisologo said.

When asked if he would recommend using videos of recorded lessons to other Pisay teachers, Crisologo said, “It depends. Committing to recording videos for an entire year’s worth of lessons is a lot to demand from a teacher. There is a learning curve on the software tools. I spent time playing around with different tools until I settled on one I was comfortable with, which also took up a lot of my time.”

“If our teachers are not considering blended learning for their classrooms, having them make videos for their classes may not be a time investment our teachers are willing to make,” Crisologo added.

Numerous educational research confirms that YouTube is very useful at engaging students to learn and YouTube videos can accommodate different learning styles.

“It should be mentioned that this is not a magic bullet that suddenly increases student engagement. Students who refuse to engage with their lessons will continue to disengage even with video lessons being provided. Student submissions still remain my biggest concern and take up my time in follow-ups. However, I feel that the videos benefit those students who do choose to engage,” Crisologo said.

(Aries N. Oliveros, Executive Assistant)