The ABCs of GEn XYZ During the Pandemic Times

Due to the success of the GEC Lecture for UPD GE Faculty entitled “The ABCs of Gen XYZ: Understanding Our Learners,” the General Education Center converted the lecture into a webinar open to all faculty, GE or non-GE, of all the constituent units of UP, held last November 23, 2020 via Zoom and YouTube Livestream.

The first two lectures were held for CAL GE Faculty and CSSP Faculty last January and February, respectively. A third one was set to be conducted in March 2020 for the College of Science but did not push through due to the Metro Manila lockdown. Nonetheless, the uncertainty that the pandemic brought did not prevent the GE Center from providing support to GE faculty amidst the challenging shift to remote learning. Thus, The ABCs of GEn XYZ: Understanding Our Learners Webinar was born.

The program was hosted by GEC Director, Dr. Nak Kimuell-Gabriel. She introduced Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Tess Payongayong to deliver the opening remarks. Professor Grace Shangkuan Koo, Ph.D. from the College of Education was invited once again to share her rich knowledge and experience on education psychology. In her lecture entitled The ABCs of Gen XYZ During the Pandemic Times, she talked about the generational differences between Generations X, Y,and Z, with an emphasis on Generation Z – the iGEn or Screen Agers. Prof. Koo highlighted that Gen Z have continuous partial attention, which allows them to multitask yet too much of it compromises the ability to reflect, make decisions, and think creatively. She then discussed the psychosocial needs of Gen Z and how teachers can respond to these in the context of blended learning. Prof. Koo talked about the importance of setting boundaries between work or school and home domains even and especially at this time when everything must be done in the comforts of the home. She ended the lecture with some tips for teaching during the pandemic.

The lecture was followed by an open forum moderated by Dr. Nak Kimuell-Gabriel, University Registrar and former GEC Director Dr. Vanessa Lusung-Oyzon, Mr. Jerome Cruz, and Ms. Czarina Duka from the GE Center. Thanks to the interesting questions from the attendees and the comprehensive answers of Prof. Koo, the open forum was very substantial. Dr. Oyzon awarded Prof. Koo’s Certificate of Appreciation and formally closed the program.

Attendees who answered the evaluation form were awarded Certificate of Attendance. Various teachers from the different constituent units and from different elementary, high schools, colleges, and universities attended the webinar, reaching up to 200 participants.  Most of them taught GE courses as well. The webinar was well-received by the audience. They especially liked the discussion on generational differences, the theoretical and practical approach, and the timeliness of the subject matter to the current situation. They commended Prof. Koo and her deliver of the lecture, as she was able to give “comprehensive insights because of her extensive training and wide knowledge.” Some of them also shared that the webinar allowed them to reflect on their own teaching strategies and the way they communicate with their students, who are mostly part of Gen Z.  An attendee commented: “This webinar helped me to become more understanding on the characteristics of my students. This could help me plan my future teaching activities.” Some participants even requested a second part of the webinar. When asked what other topics they wish to be discussed in the future, they want to learn about practical classroom management for Gen Z, how to do blended learning post-pandemic,  teaching strategies, and effective assessment tools in blended learning,

The webinar, including the Q&A portion, is available to watch here. Questions which were not answered due to time constraint may be viewed here. This webinar was held in partnership with UP Diliman Computer Center and DZUP 1602.