Reinald Adrian Pugoy

Reinald Adrian Pugoy

Faculty of Information and Communication Studies, University of the Philippines Open University

Asst. Prof. Reinald Adrian Pugoy received his BS (cum laude) and MS in Computer Science degrees from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) in 2008 and 2011 respectively. His professional experience includes stints at UPLB for 4 years as an Instructor/Assistant Professor and at Samsung Research & Development Institute Philippines (SRPH) for 1.5 years as a Lead Engineer. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies, University of the Philippines-Open University (UPOU) for a total of 4.5 years. He primarily teaches graduate courses in Computer Science and Information Systems. He also serves as the Lead System Administrator of the UPOU Massive Open Distance e-Learning platform, which is based on Moodle. His research interests include Technologies in Open and Distance e-Learning, Computer Vision, Artificial Intelligence, and Web/Mobile Development.

ABSTRACT

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), aiming to provide and democratize wider access to quality higher education through open and distance learning, has started offering massive open online courses (MOOCs) through its own platform called Massive Open Distance e-Learning or MODeL. MODeL, based on Moodle, uses the Snap theme, considered to be user-friendly and intuitive to use, as well as responsive such that it allows learners to perform course activities anywhere and anytime. Its personal menu was built to make navigation convenient with just a few clicks to perform different tasks. Students are informed about their progress in a course as well as the deadline and feedback of their course activities. Also, teachers can view and grade submissions, and they do not need to click the "Turn Editing On" button to create, update, move, and delete inline resource or activity. Courses can be personalized by adding cover images and creating individual topics. The home page was customized to match the needs set by the team behind MODeL. Featured course offerings were also displayed on the front page for easy access. In addition to the built-in plugins included in the core features of MODeL, unique features such as the DE Readiness badge enrolment and QR code-enhanced certificates are incorporated in the platform. Through the DE Readiness badge enrolment, all MOOCs require a badge from finishing the DE Readiness Module, a preparatory course to help learners understand what it is like to study in an Open and Distance e-Learning setup. On the other hand, QR code-enhanced digital certificates are issued to students who have completed a particular MOOC, and the QR code allows online verification. Considering these features and customization done to the platform, this study aims to determine the perceptions of its learners in using MODeL. This is done by evaluating the usability and acceptability of the said platform. A usability survey based on the 10-item System Usability Scale (SUS) and 30-item Usefulness, Satisfaction, and Ease of Use (USE) Questionnaire was given to fifteen learners of MODeL. The platform received an SUS score of 72.33, higher than the global median score of 68, indicating that the system is usable and good. The majority of the respondents also found it to be useful, easy to use, and easy to learn, and that they were satisfied using it, as the respondents’ mean ratings for each usability dimension are above the neutral rating. Nonetheless, the results of this study shall be used to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the platform for possibly improving it in the future.