Batch 1 – Pilot Implementation
IKM Mentorship Program runs the course on communicating agriculture and fisheries research for inclusive and sustainable development, which aims to facilitate improved research reporting and knowledge management on agriculture and fisheries. To complete the mentorship program, the learner-participants must be able to submit all assessments and modular outputs on the set deadline. Modular outputs of the learner-participants are anchored on the chosen research themes of the learner-participants. Aside from the assessments, the learner-participants are expected to showcase all their outputs in their final output, a Capstone Project.
The first batch of learner-participants were composed of selected research and information officers from different DA offices.
At the onset, they were subjected to a Learning Needs Assessment (LNA) to determine their skills and knowledge in communicating researches. LNA results were also used in developing the learning modules. A total of three face-to-face sessions (F2F) were conducted alongside with the online sessions to accomplish the four modules of the mentorship program. Each F2F session provided discussions and special sessions in relation to the four modules of the IKM Mentorship Program.
An Orientation and the first F2F session introduced the learner-participants to the fundamentals of science communication and different agriculture research thrusts, which were part of Module 1. Navigation on Canvas Learning Module System (LMS), the online learning platform used, and brainstorming for the Capstone Project of Batch 1, were also included.
The second F2F session discussed the basics of news and feature writing, and photography and videography, which were the contents for Modules 2 and 3. The session also provided the learner-participants an opportunity to interact with agencies with established knowledge management practices.
The third F2F session gave a demonstration on the basics of videography as well as an overview for new media writing and production, which is part of Module 4.
Despite the struggles of the Batch 1 learner-participants in keeping up with the deadlines and developing their outputs, the 16 learner-participants have completed the course in August 2018.
To conclude the journey of the learner-participants, a final assessment, which consisted of module and course syntheses, and post-evaluations, was held on 25 September 2018. Asst. Prof. Centeno wrapped up the Module 3 with a short evaluation exercise in which the learner-participants were divided into groups to critic a selected video output from the learner-participants. After Module 3 synthesis, Ms. Mendiola summarized the topics in Module 4 and gave a final exercise for the learner-participants to work for their modular output.
During the course synthesis, the learner-participants shared their learnings and challenges in completing each module. Aside from their reflections, Asst. Prof. Llarena also provided them with updates on the activities of their Capstone Project.
On 26 September 2018, the Testimonial Ceremony for the Batch 1 learner-participants was conducted at the SEARCA Umali Auditorium to award the 16 learner-participants with completion certificates and recognize those with special awards. Aside from the learner-participants, 11 Supervising Officers, two Assistant Regional Directors, and five staff from DA-BAR also attended the ceremony.
The Welcome Remarks of Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., Country Representative of the Philippines to the SEARCA Governing Board and UPLB Chancellor, was delivered by Ms. Nancy M. Landicho, SEARCA Program Specialist and Officer-In-Charge for Project Development and Technical Services (PDTS). In his message, Dr. Sanchez emphasized the importance of capacitating the stakeholders in managing and sharing of knowledge resources as more data are produced through increasing agricultural and fisheries researches. He also hoped that the learner-participants will be able to use and share the knowledge they gained and skills they honed from the mentorship program in their institutions as well as in the development of Philippine agriculture.
On the other hand, the Opening Remarks of Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar, DA-BAR Executive Director, was delivered by Ms. Digna L. Sandoval, DA-BAR Assistant Director. In his remarks, Dr. Eleazar expressed his gratitude to SEARCA officials as well as to the faculty and staff of the UPLB College of Development Communication, specifically to Asst. Prof. Llarena, Project Leader, for introducing science communication and developing the skills in disseminating agriculture and fisheries research results to the research and information officers of the different regional offices of DA. Dr. Eleazar also stressed the responsibility of the graduates of the IKM Mentorship Program in cascading their experience in communicating research results in their offices. He pointed out that the challenge of the graduates is in discerning information that matters most as well as being critical in the knowledge they generate.
After the presentation of completion certificates, special honors were awarded to selected learner-participants, namely: Ms. Rosemarie Q. Joson (DA-RFO3), Most Diligent Learner-Participant Award; Ms. Ma. Imelda Isabel B. Zabala (DA-CAR), Best News Feature Story Award; and Mr. Kevin G. Biol (DA-RFO8), Best Audio-Visual Presentation, Best Blog Series for Online Platforms, and Outstanding Learner-Participant.
As the Outstanding Learner-Participant awardee, Mr. Biol delivered a message on behalf of Batch 1. In his speech, he commended his fellow learner-participants in completing the mentorship program despite the struggles in managing their time and tasks at their offices. He was also grateful to the agencies involved for giving them the opportunity to be part of the program.
The ceremony was capped by a message from Ms. Julia A. Lapitan, DA-BAR Supervising Agriculturist and Head of Applied Communication Division. Ms. Lapitan congratulated the learner-participants in completing the course despite their current workload and balancing their time in accomplishing the needed outputs for the IKM Mentorship Program. Ms. Lapitan also reiterated the responsibility of the graduates as "Champions of Relevant Information" as they are challenged to apply and share the gained knowledge and improved skills in communicating the research results of their offices.
Since the learner-participants were aware of the needs to mainstream knowledge management in their offices, Ms. Lapitan encouraged them to polish their proposals to be included for their Capstone Project. She also discussed the preparation of the project for the second batch of learner-participants who will be coming from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and DA attached agencies.
Asst. Prof. Llarena and Asst. Prof. Centeno served as the masters of ceremonies. Ms. Rikki Lee B. Mendiola was also present at the event.
Aside from Ms. Landicho, SEARCA was also represented by other PDTS staff, namely: Ms. Imelda L. Batangantang, Program Specialist; and Ms. Marie Antoinette F. Bangabang and Ms. Amy A. Antonio, both Project Assistants.
As this was the last event for the Batch 1 learner-participants under the IKM Mentorship Program, the Project Team is now focusing on the preparation for the course implementation on the Batch 2 learner-participants. (Marie Antoinette F. Bangabang)