STI is one of the largest networks of schools in the Philippines, which was founded in 1983. Currently they have 76 campuses all over the Philippines, with more than 80,000 students, both in Senior High School and College. STI provides diversified ICT-enhanced programs in Information Technology, Business and Management, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Engineering, and Arts and Sciences. Aisa Q. Hipolito, Vice President for Academics, along with other faculty members at STI College, share their experience with using CYPHER Learning®.
What was the process for adopting CYPHER?
Aisa Q. Hipolito, Vice President for Academics: For us to be able to implement the LMS across the network, we needed to first support our teachers. We conducted training sessions for our teachers to give them a better idea about what the LMS is all about and how they’re going to use it. We wanted to make sure that the LMS was well implemented from the beginning so that everyone can monitor the progress achieved through it.
Aime Lazaro, Head of Training: We encouraged our teachers by making them realize the value of using the platform. CYPHER makes their life easier because it lessens their paperwork. They get automated results as far as student quizzes are concerned. And also, as a training participant, it helps their skill development. Even after training, they can access modules, they can practice what they learn, and we can also track their performance after the training.
What are some improvements since using CYPHER?
Aisa Q. Hipolito, Vice President for Academics: Our methodology is an outcome based approach, where we make sure that our students, the skills that they learn are put into practice. These are exercises and activities, wherein we make sure that whatever they apply are based on industry standards. Using CYPHER, students get to see their progress in the different competencies and the teachers can also easily track the progress of students. This is a platform where the students and the teachers alike are able to collaborate on their work and learning experiences.
Heide Balcera, Academic Faculty Researcher: Since STI is a network of schools and we make use of the standardized curriculum, CYPHER helps us in distributing coursework materials, and giving notifications and announcements to all the campuses of STI. As an administrator, CYPHER is incredibly helpful because it enables us to generate analytics of the usage of our students, as well as tracking reports. Since using CYPHER it's much easier to track the attendance of our students, and also we can see which students are having difficulty in various subjects because of the competency-based learning feature. We are also able to provide students with intervention activities so that we can assess them and help them if they are struggling with their academics.
What are your favorite features of CYPHER?
Aime Lazaro, Head of Training: My favorite feature is drip content. It allows you to release content in a sequential manner, so it doesn't give you the entire module at one time.
Ka Lai Wan, Faculty Member: Since STI takes an outcome-based education approach. We see to it that our students understand the lesson and apply it to their lives, especially when they do their assignments, outputs, and other projects. For me, the most helpful feature on CYPHER is that the files are secured. I can easily extract them anytime and wherever I may be. I am also confident enough that the students are aware of the deadlines and also our class schedules.
Rodolfo Bautista, Academic Head: One of the most remarkable features of CYPHER's LMS that goes beyond the usual classroom setting is that students can keep up with their lessons and they can even submit their assignments on time even if they are not physically present in school. Students are more engaged and they are also more participative during classroom discussions. With the help of the analytics in CYPHER, I can easily track student progress.
What feedback from teachers and students has there been on CYPHER?
Aisa Q. Hipolito, Vice President for Academics: Feedback from our teachers is that they are able to appreciate CYPHER because all the exercises are centeralized. In the past when students were not able to keep up with different activities, they had to come up with their own. But with the LMS, when they tell us, "can we have more activities and exercises on a particular competency?", we are able to share it with them across the network. So the teachers are able to give more exercises, assessments, and different modules to help our students learn better and achieve the outcomes that we want them to achieve at the end of the day.
Jamie Rhei Vargas, Senior High School Student: What I love about CYPHER, is that it helps me to stay organized as a student. I can do my schoolwork even when I'm on the go, I don't need to always carry a laptop with me because it's accessible. I can have my phone, and then it's just a touch of a finger. I can also review, I can submit papers, I know my deadlines and my tasks, which is very handy for me.
Shaira Gonzalvo, Hospitality Management Student: My teachers use CYPHER in a way that make us students engaged and classes more interactive, because we have this visual guide where we can actually see the things that they are explaining to us, discussing with us, and this way we're able to keep up with everything that they are explaining to us in class.