Research Conversations

Research Conversations  is a forum that seeks to improve research productivity and inculcate a research culture among UPOU’s faculty, research staff and administrative personnel.  The series has always adopted a flexible format in providing different avenues for  encouraging research collaboration at all levels. Whenever possible, the presentation and discussions arising from the Research Conversations are also distilled and translated into monographs.

Research Conversations Through the Years


Speaker: Dr. Alexander G. Flor

Date: 04 April 2023

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Speaker: Dr. Adrianne John R. Galang

Date: 09 August 2022

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Speaker: Dr. Danilo Ballesteros

Date: 29 April 2022

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Speaker/s: Dr. Diego S. Maranan, Dr. Sue Denham, Dr. Mona Nasser, Ralph C. Lumbres, Shari Eunice San Pablo, Kate Ashlyn Dayag, Jandy Danzalan, Mary Pauline V. Saquing, and Ana Katrina De Jesus

Date: 22 April 2022

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Speaker: Dr. Peter Sy

Date: 12 April 2022

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Speaker: Dr. Meita Dhamayanti

Date: 25 March 2022

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Speaker: Dr. Diego S. Maranan

Date: 08 March 2022

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Speaker: Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno III

Date: 14 December 2021

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Speaker: Dr. William J. Boone

Date: 19 February 2021

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Speaker: Dr. Angelo Vermeulen

Date: 27 November 2020

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Speaker: Dr. DJ Darwin Bandoy

Date: 09 November 2020

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Speaker: Dr. Mary Grace Dacuma

Date: 10 July 2020

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Speaker: Dr. Federico Lauro

Date: 30 June 2020

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Speaker: Dr. Ramon Lorenzo Luis Rosa Guinto

Date: 30 June 2020

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Speaker: Dr. Jomar Rabajante

Date: 14 April 2020

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Speaker: Dr. Alexander Flor

Date: 06 March 2020

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Speaker: Dr. Aminudin Zuhairi

Date: 22 November 2019

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Speaker: Mr. Kamran Mir

Date: 13 November 2019

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Speaker: Roberto B. Figueroa Jr.

Date: 02 August 2019

Speaker: Prof. Sherry B. Marasigan

Date: 26 July 2019

Speaker: Dr. Diego S. Maranan

Date: 22 February 2019

Speaker: Dr. Felix R. Librero

Date: 16 January 2019


Speaker: Eleanor Manipol

Date: 07 December 2018

Speaker: Eleanor Manipol

Date: 07 December 2018

Speaker: Myra D. Oruga

Date: 12 October 2018

Speaker: Ricardo T. Bagarinao

Date: 12 September 2018

Speaker: Rita C. Ramos

Date: 07 September 2018

Speaker: Louise S. Villanueva

Date: 02 August 2018

Speakers: Melinda Lumanta and Cesar Luna

Date: 29 June 2018

Speakers: Melinda Bandalaria and Melinda Lumanta

Date: 26 January, 16 March, 06 April, 13 April 2018

Speakers: Sheila R. Bonito

Date:  09 March 2019

Speakers: Don Passey

Date:  12 February 2018

Publication: An Editor’s Perspective

A special Research Conversations was held last 12 February 2018 featuring Dr. Don Passey, FEd’s Visiting Professor from Lancaster University, United Kingdom at UPOU’s AVR where he talked about Publication: an Editor’s Perspective.

Dr. Melinda Lumanta opened the conversation with sharing what Research Conversations is. Research Conversations is OVCAA’s initiative that serves as a “venue for [UPOU faculty and staff] to come together in a very relaxed atmosphere to talk about research interests”. It happens every Friday at the Sandbox, CCDL. The idea behind holding Research Conversations at the Sandbox came from the image of children playing in a sandbox, creativity sparks as they make something out of nothing and exchange ideas in free-flowing conversation.

Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria introduced the speaker in a more personal manner, sharing the story behind Dr. Passey’s visit at UPOU. As a visiting scholar of Lancaster University last June 2017, she was instrumental for Dr. Passey’s arrival at UPOU and a possible partnership between UPOU and Lancaster University. This year, Dr. Passey participated in UPOU’s Visiting Professor Program to immerse into the open and distance e-Learning (ODeL) setting.

Dr. Don Passey is a professor of Technology Enhance Learning from the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University, UK. He finished his bachelor’s degree from the University of Birmingham, master’s and doctorate degrees from Lancaster University. He is a member of various government and non-government organizations such as Department of Education in Northern Ireland, International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), British Educational Research Association, among many other commitments. He designs, develops, convenes, and teaches modules and courses on technology, instruction, and education since 2009.

To begin the conversation, Dr. Passey first identified the different kinds of editors depending on their involvement, namely editor of a journal who is someone who has a position across a number of years, has an experience on a particular field, and is affiliated to that particular journal; guest editor of a journal who is in charge of an issue, has a particular idea for a theme from which the issue will come out of, and works on at most 20 papers across a year; editor of a book who is looking at chapters to put together into a book; and editor of post conference proceedings who compiles conference proceedings and papers into a book.

He then proceeds to discuss the responsibilities of an editor, such as take on board the reviews from at least 2 reviewers which are selected by the editor on the basis of the content of the paper or chapter; look across the reviewer recommendations from 3 reviewers, especially in the event of contradicting reviews; consider the role and remit of the journal or book and determine if the submission fits journal or book; and consider the aims of a particular journal issue, grouping papers together that have some sort of relationship.

As an editor with experience on all the aforementioned kinds of editors, he shared the points that he considers when accepting submissions in chronological order. He hopes that these serve as a guide for authors when submitting to a publication.

1. Does this fit/match the aims and remit of the journal or book?

2. What are the reviewer/s comments and are they amendable or are they grounds for rejection?

3. What are the paper’s/chapter’s contribution to the journal and/or to the field? Is the study contributing a new idea, theory or practice that has not been done before or an argument with other research that has been done before? Is the study contributing something in terms of context?

4. Does the study present robustness and rigor in terms of methodology and data analysis? Is the study over-generalized?

5. What kind support (i.e., feedback and recommendation) can be given to the author?

As parting words, Dr. Passey suggests to have an idea of who the editor is, determine role of editor in publication, carefully read the aims and remits of the journal/book, be clear about the paper’s or chapter’s contribution, be honest in stating the robustness and rigor of the study, attend conferences and see where it goes from there, and collaborate with other people to ensure the paper’s or chapter’s acceptance.



Speaker: Dahlia Aspillera

Date: 20 October 2017

Speaker: Alexander G. Flor

Date: 20 October 2017

Speaker: Al Francis D. Librero

Date: 08 September 2017

Speaker: Dr. Sheila R Bonito

Date: 18 August 2017

Webinar Recording Link


Research Conversations’ featured speaker for the InnovaTE Flagship Program is Dr. Sheila R Bonito.

InnovaTE promotes the adoption and/or adaption of innovative technology-supported teaching methodologies in support of effective learning. Its performance indicators were enumerated as such: (1) innovative technology-supported teaching methodologies; (2) enhanced capacity in effective online teaching among the faculty; and (3) reduced attrition and improved graduation rates among students. Its initial components consist of: (1) online teaching toolkit available in the Faculty Portal website; (2) faculty seminar-workshop/webinar series; (3) online teaching skills certification program; and (4) FIC and Tutor Congress.

Dr. Sheila expounded on the Faculty Portal website, noting that it is still under development but is already up and running. The website is designed to house modules for FICs and Open Educational Resources (OERs) as an effort to collate, organize, and present available content. However, at the moment, only modules for course authors are available and can already be retrieved at Webinars and workshops on open educational practices, OER in Education, extent of use of OER in UPOU, and OER in Health have been conducted with many more to come. Dr. Sheila provided websites such as and as sample resources on OERs and open education studies, data sets, etc.

By the end of the conversation, a call for continued research on open education and OERs and for other research topic suggestions was raised. The audience also voiced out their concerns on how resources such as student theses repository and data sets can be made accessible for everyone. It comes as existing policies like the Data Privacy Act limits practitioners to make their work available for all.

by Ma. Rosette B. San Buenaventura

Speaker: Dr. Sheila R Bonito

Date: 18 August 2017

Webinar Recording Link

Institutionalizing Gender Perspective in Research: Reflexivity as an Alternative

Research Conversations featured Institutionalizing Gender Perspective in Research: Reflexivity as an Alternative, a study by Dr. Primo Garcia, Luisa Gelisan and Paula Muyco.

The talk covered legal instruments to further strengthen gender and development (GAD) efforts such as Former President Fidel V. Ramos’ Memo Order 282 indicating that the academe must mainstream gender in its practices and/or to incorporate GAD issues in its programs and CHED’s Memo Order No. 01 stating that all private and public higher education institutions to mainstream gender in research, administration, extension, and curriculum.

In response to this, UPOU has institutionalized the Gender-focused Research Grants which are given to proposed studies that have GAD components or are gender-focused after undergoing the review and endorsement process of the research and publication committee. The results of these studies are expected and required to be disseminated in a forum, conference, and colloquium and/or published in a reputable academic publication. Also, UPOU has engendered the institution’s teaching, research, and public service activities to uphold equality in women and men and fulfill and promote women’s human rights and development The talk also touched on reactions to Gender Component requirement in research – these being acquiescence and resistance. Acquiescence was defined as taking a step towards gender mainstreaming, but not enough to facilitate deeper understanding of gender issues and realities, while resistance was defined as force-fitting gender perspective, action or inaction by people, or obvious or implied opposition. These reactions can also be used as parameters to determine the visibility or invisibility of gender in research and the success or failure of gender policies and institutions. To address this issue, reflexivity in research is proposed.

Reflexivity in research can be used (1) to look into how a research topic is anchored on issues of dominance, gender, sexuality, class, age, and race; (2) to determine both perspectives from marginalized sectors and researchers’ values, beliefs, interests, ambitions, and how it shapes research; (3) as a reaction/response to intimate questions and answers brought by doing gender-based research; (4) as an approach to better analyze the process and results of research. In addition to the existing GAD checklist for research, the study presented a framework featuring reflexivity to better guide researchers in pursuing GAD research.

During the forum, a discourse took place as a means to better understand reflexivity as an approach in research. On one hand, there is a concern on the difficulty of achieving reflexivity because academics have been trained and expected to be as objective as possible, throwing away their biases and personal underpinnings and assumptions. On the other, it is believed that academics have a responsibility to acknowledge and practice reflexivity as an alternative approach to gender-based research. With this, there is a call to action for younger and starting researchers to embrace reflexivity and pursue research in such a way that conjuncts the reflexivity in qualitative with the rigor of quantitative research.

To close the conversation, and question-and-answer activity was facilitated where the participants were requested to reflect on the research/es that they have done and answer the following questions: (1) Was the research gender-focused?, (2) If not, what could have been a gender component in the research?

by Ma. Rosette B. San Buenaventura

Speaker: Dr. Diego S. Maranan

Date: 18 August 2017

Webinar Recording Link

HAPLOS: Vibrating Clothing for Well-being

In his talk, Dr. Diego Maranan discussed his PhD research which draws from philosophy, somatic practices, neuroscience, and technology design, and culminated in the creation of a device for facilitating body awareness. The device—called Haplós—is a novel, wearable, programmable, remotely controlled technology using vibrating motors that Diego developed as part of his research at CogNovo, a 4.1 million EU-funded project at Plymouth University, UK, that focused on interdisciplinary research on creativity and cognition.

Dr. Diego opened the talk by asking the question: Do you know yourself?, pertaining to our knowledge of our bodies as physical parts of ourselves as opposed to the typical response about mental or behavioral state. This underlined the concept of body awareness which deals with the connection between the way we organize our bodies and our disposition, the malleability of our concept of our bodies, and the understanding of our body as part of a space. Early research has shown that Haplós can increase body awareness by enhancing the user’s perception of the body part that has been exposed to the. In addition Haplós has also been shown in a controlled experiment to decrease food cravings with statistical significanc. Because the sensations provided by the Haplós system have been described as highly unusual, pleasurable, and engaging, Haplós is theorized to interrupt the elaboration of intrusive thoughts associated with food cravings, as predicted by the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of desire.

Potential and speculative future applications of Haplós were discussed. For instance, there were inquiries (1) on the study’s application for mental issues and other medicinal purposes, local fashion and production, and (2) for the study’s continuation possibly at UP Open University in collaboration with other campus units in the country.

Article is based largely on the abstract of and with permission from Dr. Maranan.

by Ma. Rosette B. San Buenaventura

Speaker: Dr. Rita Ramos

Date: 07 July 2017


Professor Rita Ramos (FMDS) was the keynote speaker for the Research Conversation on the Flagship Program: TAYO (Team Approach and Youthful Outlook for UPOU), UPOU’s health and wellness program that aims to provide and/or establish healthy work spaces for a healthier work force.

She started the talk with sharing an integral part of the TAYO program, UPOU’s existing (volleyball, basketball, pilates, dance, photography) and upcoming clubs. These clubs help with fitness, relaxation, and socialization – conditions theoretically ideal for increased work productivity. She also gave a preview of ergonomics and how inviting an expert can be beneficial to the university’s offices.

At the moment, Flagship Program: TAYO’s structure is fluid and flexible for the purposes of recreation and relaxation; however, the health and wellness committee aims for the program to be more empirical and theory-driven as it progresses. Although still open for further suggestions and comments, Prof. Rita discussed possible variables to consider in determining the effectivity of the program such as measuring work productivity, fitness level, and vital signs. In an effort to address the lack of empirical data, the committee conducted an assessment survey of the health and wellness program. With 25 respondents for the initial survey, she hoped that more will participate in both the club activities and assessment survey.

Prof. Rita also lightly grazed on existing studies in health and wellness such as Ammendoila et al’s (2016) inquiry on using the intervention mapping framework for designing a health and wellness program in the workplace, Macdonald and Westover’s (2011) study on decreasing employee obesity and increasing overall health, and Losina et al’s (2017) paper on the relation of physical activity and decreased work absenteeism.

To cap the talk, Prof. Rita raised points to consider in the continuation of the health and wellness program:

Should the program continue as unstructured/flexible or should it be structured?

Should the program remain voluntary or should it be obligatory?

by Ma. Rosette B. San Buenaventura

Speaker: Primo G. Garcia

Date: 16 June 2017

Mission RA 10650

Dean Primo G. Garcia led the research conversation with the topic on Mission R.A 10650 last 16 June at the Sandbox, CCDL, UPOU. The session started with a brief introduction on the role of the UP Open University in fulfilling its mandate as the premiere open university in the field of distance and e-learning in the country through the Republic Act 10650 or also known as Open and Distance Learning Law such as providing technical assistance in curricula development for open and distance learning (ODL) program, share innovative ideas and research for other ODL institutions. Moreover, UPOU’s share in the achievement of the act includes the following: development of information and communication technologies for ODL, provide and design quality learning materials for ODL institutions in the Philippines, and capacitate teachers and practitioners in ODL. This year, UPOU is striving to fill in the roles as mandated in the ODL act which led to the conceptualization of the Mission R.A. 10650 together with other flagship programs of the university.

The Research Conversation provided a venue to discuss and share researchable areas on Mission RA 10650 and with that, collaboration among UPOU faculty members and staff surfaced. Some of the researchable areas shared by Dean Garcia were grouped into four, namely, capacity building, technical assistance, instructional models, and innovative research in ODL which all fit into the role the UPOU is taking in the implementation of the ODL act.

The researchable areas shared by Dean Garcia were as follows:

    • Capacity building
    • Training needs assessment
    • Training course evaluation
    • Technical Assistance
    • Quality Assurance (QA) framework
    • ICT infrastructure policy
    • Accreditation policy
    • Instructional models
    • ODeL-based curriculum research
    • Learning materials development and evaluation
    • Innovative technology for ODeL
    • Innovative research in ODL
    • Issues and concerns of institutions on DE
    • Combining traditional and new media in ODL

by Jamsie Joy E. Perez

Speaker: Dr. Ricardo T. Bagarinao

Date: 03 March 2017

Webinar Recording Link


Dr. Ricardo T. Bagarinao, Dean of the UP Open University Faculty of Education, conducted a talk on the CARe-UPOU flagship program of the University on 3 March 2017. The guiding principles and possible researchable areas under CARe-UPOU were the main topics of the conversation.

CARe-UPOU, which stands for “Climate Adaptive and Resilient UPOU”, is considered as a critical program for the University mainly because of the fact that UPOU’s operations are hugely dependent on online systems. With the Internet being vulnerable to climate-related events and other natural disasters, it is imperative for the University to ensure Internet resilience to maintain its integrity as an Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL) institution.

For the University to ensure continuity of its operations amidst disaster occurrence in any of its offices, CARe-UPOU has divided its efforts into two components: the “Green UPOU” which focuses on the University’s sustainability efforts, and the “Disaster Risk and Reduction Management” (DRRM) which focuses on the University’s climate adaptation and disaster resilience. For Green UPOU, Dr. Bagarinao said the committee was able to identify four goals for the years 2016 to 2019 to strengthen climate change mitigation efforts in the University:

    1. Resource Conservation
    2. Environmental Education
    3. Ecological Waste Management
    4. Renewable Energy Use

For DRRM, on the other hand, four areas of concern were laid out to attain climate change adaptation and resilience by the year 2019:

    1. Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
    2. Disaster Preparedness
    3. Disaster Response
    4. Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery

The following are some of the possible researchable areas that arose from the conversation:

    • Baseline condition
    • Criteria and indicators
    • Modelling
    • Behaviour and response

Some of the potential studies identified were:

    1. UPOU Disaster Preparedness: A Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice Survey
    2. Institutional Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Efforts among UPOU Offices
    3. Developing Sustainability Criteria and Indicators for an ODeL Institution
    4. Risk Reduction Initiatives: Balancing Costs with Benefits
    5. Modeling Behavioural Responses to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Initiatives

by Mary Aizel C. Dolom

Speaker: Melinda dP. Bandalaria

Date: 27 January 2017

Webinar Recording Link


Chancellor Melinda dP. Bandalaria conducted a talk on the QAlidad flagship program of the UP Open University. Faculty and staff attended the event on the guiding principles and researchable areas that cover the goals of QAlidad. The event was held at the Sandbox on 27 January 2017.

As the leading open and distance e-learning (ODeL) institution in the Philippines, it is imperative for the UP Open University to ensure and uphold quality standards in terms of instruction, research, public service, and administration. Hence, QAlidad has been deemed as the overarching flagship program that should permeate all the activities of the university. In line with this, Chancellor Bandalaria emphasized the QAlidad components which should be done and developed by the faculty and staff through scientific research. These are as follows: QA Audit, Development of the QA Framework, and the UP Open University QA System Implementation.

In order to operationalize the aforementioned QAlidad components, Chancellor Bandalaria shared the research plan which included survey research on perception of quality and review of literature that will surface the pillars of quality education in open and distance e-learning. The results of the research will be subjected to five rounds of Delphi and will serve as guides for the Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with the members of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU). The KIIs will compile the open and distance education institution practices that have an impact on quality assurance.

UP Open University as mandated in the Open and Distance Learning Act or Republic Act 10650, is tasked to lead the development and promotion of best practices in open and distance learning, hence, the results of the research on QA will be shared in different conferences and through a publication of the QA ODeL Manual which will be circulated to higher education institutions in the Philippines and the members of the AAOU.

by Louise S. Villanueva

Speaker: Melinda F. Lumanta and Alvie Simonette Alip

Date: 27 January 2017


Research Conversations kicked off the year 2017 with the discussion of Saliksik, one of the flagship programs of UP Open University. Dr. Melinda F. Lumanta, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, served as the lead discussant of the conversation. She detailed how the Saliksik team plans to improve the University’s research productivity and impact as well as provide significant contribution to research and innovation in priority social development fields by the year 2019.

Saliksik has laid out four strategic goals which all aim to provide support to faculty members and researchers in producing quality research. These are the: ODeL State of the Art Project, Research Publication Project, Research Preparation Support Project, and Analytical Tools Support Project.

The first project, ODeL State of the Art Project, aims to use the weekly Research Conversations as venue to produce state of the art papers through a system of identifying research interest groups with lead researchers to prepare a research-based paper on aspects of ODeL. For the Research Publication Project, the objective is identify and list the high-impact journals and conferences where faculty and staff can submit their research papers. In addition to this, the process from application of grants to disseminating results would be more streamlined and awards are planned to be given to those who publish in journals that are indexed by Scopus, WoS, and the like. For the Research Preparation Support Project, OVCAA will be holding writeshops for authors of ongoing research to provide needed assistance in having their papers published in reputable journals. Lastly, for the Analytical Tools Support Project, the aim is to further equip UPOU’s faculty and staff in their research efforts by providing useful research software such as SPSS, EndNote, Plagiarism Checker, GIS, UCINET, and Envivo. Statistical clinics will also be established and learning materials for statistical analyses will be created.

by Louise S. Villanueva and Jamsie Joy E. Perez


Speaker: Louise Antonette S. Villanueva

Date: 2 December 2016

Speaker: Roel P. Cantada

Date: 25 November 2016

Speaker: Jean A. Saludadez, Wyomia F. Pradas, Jennifer P. Pareja, Lilian D. Diamante, Gloria L. Boncodin and Pura V. Amoloza

Date: 18 November 2016

Speaker: Jean A. Saludadez, Alvie Simonette Q. Alip, and Dona Lyn M. Piamonte

Date: 11 November 2016

Speaker: Melinda F. Lumanta and Louise Antonette S. Villanueva

Date: 11 November 2016

Speaker: Ricardo T. Bagarinao and Maripres U. Sarinas

Date: 07 October 2016

Speaker: Myra D. Oruga

Date: 23 September 2016

Speaker: Mari Angeli Lubrica and Rameses De Jesus

Date: 18 March 2016

Speaker: Felix Librero, Melinda Lumanta, Inocencio E. Buot Jr., Ricardo T. Bagarinao

Date: 20 November 2016

2013 – 2015

Speaker: Felix Librero, Melinda Lumanta, Inocencio E. Buot Jr., Ricardo T. Bagarinao

Date: 20 November 2016

Speaker: Roberto B. Figueroa

Date: 10 July 2015

Speaker: Emmanuel Ryan de Chavez

Date: 10 April 2015

Speaker: Felix Librero

Date: 11 April 2014

Speaker: Prospero Naval

Date: 6 December 2014

Speaker: Kunchon Jeotee

Date: 11 November 2013

Speaker: Melinda F. Lumanta

Date: 20 September 2013