Deepening and Strengthening Social Work and Development Discourses through the Use of Webinars in Social Work Courses in UPOU

Finaflor F Taylan
University of the Philippines Open University
Los Baños, the Philippines

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) has graduate-level programmes in Social Work which provide continuous education for those who want to pursue a career in social work and contribute to social change. Guided by its open and distance e-learning framework, UPOU’s Social Work programmes can reach anyone, anywhere. Each course is managed online, with a course site which is commonly referred to as “myportal”. In many of the Social Work courses, “webinars” (a term coined for a combination of seminars and the Web) are used for discussion.

The website of the UPOU networks and its corresponding YouTube channel are used to host discussion on different relevant development topics and issues in Social Work and related disciplines. In addition to the the Social Work students and faculty, other UPOU students and faculty, development and social workers in general, and the wider public are given the chance to share their inquiries and opinions. These videos are recorded and web-streamed “webinars” which can be viewed at a later date by anyone anywhere. As webinars are integrated into the Social Work courses, the sharing and discourse are widened and strengthened through the use of information technology and the Web, which improves access to such venues for discussion and information in general.