TOT Participants Venture into Blended Learning on Banana Production

TOT participants enrolled in e-Learning Courses to complement their training

DILIMAN, Quezon City – The blended learning approach for training courses is an emerging trend in the agriculture and fisheries sector.  The traditional face-to-face training is complemented by taking one or more online courses that can aid on the participant's learnings.

One prime example was the recent Season-long Training of Trainers (TOT) on Banana Production conducted by the Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center in Northern Mindanao (ATI-RTC-10) last March to July 2014.  The participants likewise enrolled in some online courses offered by the Institute through the e-Extension Program for Agriculture and Fisheries. 

Twenty-eight participants took various e-Learning courses on banana production particularly on the "Integrated Pest Management for Banana" and "Growing Banana in the Tropics: Cultural Management for Banana Production" to supplement their training. An ICT-literacy training was first conducted to familiarize the participants on the features of the e-Extension portal and the e-learning site. 

“We appreciate the e-Learning courses that we took because it paved for us to be competitive, it is an opportunity that we have to grab,” said Dr. Anita Macabugto, TOT participant and Agricultural Technologist of Cabanglasan, Bukidnon.

As part of their study tour, the participants visited the ATI-Central Office to receive their e-Learning certificates. During the ceremony ATI Deputy Director for Policy and Administration Dr. Evelyn Aro-Esquejo said that “the e-Learning for Agriculture and Fisheries is an approach geared to expose the learners to an alternative way of training and aims to complement the traditional face-to-face training.”

“With e-Learning, the farmers will have another option when they cannot attend face-to-face training,” Aro-Esquejo added.

The ceremony was conducted last August 4, 2014 at the Agricultural and Fisheries Knowledge Center (AFKC), ATI Central Office, Diliman, Quezon City. Present also were Ms. Antonieta Arceo, Chief of ATI's Information Services Division (ISD), and Mr. Jose Rey Y. Alo, e-Learning Process Advisor. The ISD is the division in-charge of implementing the e-learning for agriculture and fisheries.