Distance Education of Public School Principals: The Experience in Bicol University, the Philippines

  • Rebecca Rosario O. Bercasio Bicol University College of Education, the Philippines
  • Helen M. Llenaresas Bicol University College of Education, the Philippines
  • Epifania B. Nunez Bicol University College of Education, the Philippines
Keywords: asynchronous and synchronous discussion, continuing education, open and distance learning, school principals, ubiquitous learning


Distance education aims not to replace the traditional classroom but rather to complement and augment existing traditional mode of delivery of educational programs, thus serving as alternative mode for continuing education among working professionals. This descriptive research used both qualitative and quantitative approaches to identify and describe the experiences, problems, and insights of the learners of the SEAMEO-INNOTECH Department of Education (DepEd) ICeXCELS online class. Data were gathered through content analysis of the posts, submissions and reflection papers in the virtual platform, and from the responses during the revalida (face-toface panel interview of the online learners at the end of the course) and the interview. Findings reveal that the principals considered their online learning experiences as informative, relevant,  insightful and fruitful scholarly engagement with the co-learners and tutor using a novel modality of learning. The learners unanimously considered their experiences in online course favorably along content of the course, modality of learning, interaction with co-learners, interaction with the tutor, and assessment modalities or tools. Though faced with ICT problems which affected their performance, and problems regarding computerization of public schools, and work-related problems and course related problems, the principals had coping mechanisms which were helpful during and even after the online course. The insights gained are applicable to their current work as school heads, and enhanced their positive attitude towards their work and toward the teachers as their colleagues or partners in leadership. With apt actions on the problems identified, the offering of online courses to principals as alternative professional development should be sustained.