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Adaptive Teaching and Learning in LS 2020-2021

As we venture into adaptive online learning, the Loyola Schools commits to serving our students fully and to offering a positive adventure for our entire community. We are happy to share this primer titled CHARTING A RE-IMAGINED PATH: ADAPTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING IN THE LOYOLA SCHOOL, SY 2020-2021.

This primer describes the main signposts that help us navigate this new world. It also contains practical information related to our academic calendar changes, protocols and policies, fees and student support systems, as well as responses to some questions that have been fielded by our students.

I would like to thank the deans, associate deans, the student and administrative services cluster, the student formation cluster, the Office of Admission and Aid, the Office of the Registrar, the Rizal Library, the Residence Halls for contributing to the content of this primer; the LS Quality Assurance team for organizing the content efficiently, and for Ali Figueroa and Drea Bautista of the University Marketing and Communications Office, for the terrific design and illustrations that spell a big difference. Thanks always to the SALT Institute for inspiring us to be on the magis track for Ateneo education online.

Maria Luz C. Vilches PhD

Vice President for the Loyola Schools


By Fr. Johnny Go, SJ

An online project-based Professional Certificate Course on Adaptive Design for Learning has been offered to all our faculty starting May 2020 to guide them in designing our distinctive online learning and formation programs.

What would online Jesuit education look like and sound like?

More particularly, how would we imagine online education the Ateneo way?

These were the questions that we, the faculty and administrators of Ateneo de Manila, asked ourselves before springing into any action in preparation for the coming academic term. In true Ignatian fashion, we wanted to reflect and clarify for ourselves first the principles on which we would craft our very own approach to online Jesuit education.

From these reflections and conversations was born AteneoBlueCloud, the name that we’ve coined for our emerging philosophy of online Jesuit education, but also for the virtual campus that we are building for what we hope will become a vibrant virtual community of learners and educators.

AteneoBlueCloud makes it unapologetically clear to us that it isn’t about technology, but about learning. Moreover, it isn’t just about learning, but also about the faith and values formation of our students. Most importantly, our brand of online Jesuit education is to be characterized by inclusivity and empathy, with special personal attention to those who are at risk of being excluded by this shift to online learning. Hence, every effort will be exerted to make sure that no learner is left behind. That support and assistance will be provided not only for those who may not have regular and reliable Internet access, but also for those who have special learning needs.

In these last two months, our faculty and formation staff have been undergoing intensive training to acquire the competence to design and deliver the kind of online learning and formation that we would like to offer our students. We are hard at our work! And our work is guided by the principles of a framework we call Adaptive Design for Learning—a learning design framework created by our very own Ateneo Science and Art of Learning and Teaching (SALT) Institute. It is intended to make sure that the courses and programs we design can not only be repurposed for different modes of delivery, but also adapted to different learners’ needs.

Over 2,000 educators from Ateneo de Manila and other Jesuit schools and universities in the country are currently enrolled in the Adaptive Design for Learning (ADL) Professional Certificate Course, a self-paced, project-based online training course. Over 700 of these participants are faculty members and professionals from the Loyola Schools. The work is challenging, but the online conversations among our participants are vigorous and enriching, and morale is high.

To augment the course, there are three weekly ADL webinars open to all our Ignatian colleagues in the country:

  • Monday Meet-Up for Basic Education

  • Wednesday Webinar for Higher Education

  • Friday Forum on Faith and Values Formation

If attendance in the first of these webinars is any indication, many of our colleagues are enthusiastic about learning more of Adaptive Design for Learning, as well as eager to connect with one another and learn from our collective wisdom. A total of 960 educators showed up for the first Wednesday Webinar last June 3rd, and 580 for the Friday Forum on Formation.

In addition, we are also undergoing training for the Learning Management System that will be used to offer our academic and formation programs. Teams of volunteers have been formed to coach us, even hand-holding our more senior and veteran faculty members, who have shown nothing but openness to equipping themselves with the competences being asked of them.

With all the energy, hard work, and reflection that our LS community has been devoting to prepare for this most extraordinary of academic terms, we can only be hopeful and confident that even in this brave new virtual year, the courses and formation programs that we will offer our students will have the same quality, rigor, relevance, and personal care that have always defined the Ateneo de Manila education.

Indeed the school on the hill is now also on the cloud.

For more information, visit ateneobluecloud.ateneo.edu.

Policy Brief 2020-15 (Infographic).pdf


by Juny Ken Blanco and the Economics Department

Last March 23, the faculty members of the Economics Department called on policymakers to address the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through “Arresting the Impact of COVID-19 on the PH Economy.” The first of its Policy Brief Series, the paper recommended policies and programs that can better address the welfare implications of the pandemic. These include ensuring adequate health/medical services and full protection of our health workers, providing social protection to the vulnerable population, and addressing the economic and social costs of the Extended Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Since its inception, the Policy Brief Series has produced policy papers covering a wide range of topics related to the pandemic and the effects of the ECQ, such as the impacts of COVID-19 on informal sector workers, the elderly, overseas Filipinos, seafarers, health workers, and the health system in general. In “Reviving the Philippine Economy Under a Responsible New Normal,” the brief called on the government to implement a recovery plan to address the “new normal” covering the health system, public transportation, industry and agriculture, social protection and welfare, and local government reform.

The papers have received extensive coverage in media, including the major dailies, such as BusinessMirror (“Ateneo economists: Fight vs virus may entail P500-billion budget in next 6 months”), Philippine Daily Inquirer (“Ateneo economists raise fears of recession in COVID-19 onslaught, call for protection of the poor”), and BusinessWorld (“Think tank proposes gov’t ditch growth targets, focus on health care”). In addition, the department faculty members have been invited to several major fora and seminars to talk on the issue.

The Policy Brief Paper series can be viewed and downloaded at ateneo.edu/ls/soss/economics/policy-brief-series.


by Pia Valencia, OADRCW

To be able to take away a lot more hope and courage as we face the turmoils in our society, this is what Dr. Maria Luz C. Vilches, Vice President of the Loyola Schools, wished everyone as she gave the welcome message to Acts of Magis: Ateneans at the Forefront of a Pandemic. Organized by the Ateneo de Manila University Research Council with the Ateneo Research Institute of Science and Engineering, Acts of Magis is a weekly web series showcasing the tireless efforts of Ateneo faculty in response to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 8, 2020, the series kicked off with Dr. Ma. Regina Estuar, Executive Director of the Ateneo Center for Computing Competency and Research. As the Project Lead of Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler for Early Detection of Diseases (FASSSTER), Dr. Estuar discussed how the system is helping the Inter-Agency Task Force and local government units in their decision-making by providing valuable data on actual and projected COVID-19 cases and scenarios in various locations in the Philippines.

The second episode featured Professor Emeritus Dr. Fabian M. Dayrit, President of the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines. Dr. Dayrit explained the science behind the possible mechanisms of coconut oil against the COVID-19 virus. Backed by his 18 years of research on coconut oil, his study is currently undergoing clinical trials in Singapore.

Dr. Elvira de Lara-Tuprio, Chair of the Mathematics department, expounded on the mathematical component of FASSSTER through the third Acts of Magis webinar. Mathematical models enable FASSSTER to generate case projections vis-à-vis various interventions such as community quarantine, social distancing, and optimal testing.

Dr. Ma. Regina Hechanova, psychologist and Chief of Party of USAID RenewHealth, graced the last Acts of Magis episode for the month of May. She talked about the effects of the current pandemic on mental health. To address this, her team launched Katatagan Online to provide mental health support reaching multiple people across the globe. Katatagan Online contains access to self-care materials such as infographics, audiophiles in multiple languages, videos on resilience, online classes on resilience and mindfulness, and links to those offering counseling for free.

Acts of Magis features another set of faculty members this June. The web series is hosted by Mr. Christopher Fernando F. Castillo, Assistant to the Associate Dean for Student and Administrative Services for Campus Events Management. It is live streamed through Ateneo de Manila University’s Facebook account, while past presentations may be viewed on the university’s YouTube account. Additional information on the scholarly work behind the projects featured and other works by the Ateneo faculty can be found in Archium Ateneo.

Acts of Magis: Ateneans at the Forefront of a Pandemic


10 JULY 2020

3 JULY 2020

26 JUNE 2020

19 JUNE 2020

12 JUNE 2020

5 JUNE 2020


By Dr. Leland Joseph R. Dela Cruz

In partnership with the United Nations Development Program Philippines (UNDP Philippines), the Development Studies Program offered a free online certificate course, “Perspectives on Poverty and Well-being.” The certificate course discussed the evolution of the concepts of poverty and well-being over time, spanning the transitions from income-based approaches to entitlements-based approaches, and finally, to capabilities-based approaches.

Nine live discussions were led by Dr. Leland Joseph R. Dela Cruz, Assistant Professor of the Development Studies Program, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from May 4 to May 22, 2020. UNDP Philippines offered to help boost the certificate course by offering their Zoom account to allow more participants to join. Members of the UNDP also helped moderate the discussion.

A total of 429 participants signed up to earn the certificate course, but only 334 of them successfully completed it. An average of 350 participants joined each live session, while some participants chose to participate asynchronously by viewing recordings of the session. All the participants had to do online assessments and meet certain standards. The participants who joined the certificate course were based in various places including Dinagat Islands, Davao City, Tacloban City, Singapore, the Middle East, and the Netherlands. They also came from a diverse range of occupations and experiences, and that diversity contributed to lively chat discussions during the sessions.

The Development Studies Program is planning to offer more certificate courses for the public in the future.


Maria Luz C. Vilches


Mimi Tiu


Ali Figueroa

Art Director/Graphic Designer