Festival of ideas: Your ideas matter, communicate them

Goldie Yabes introduces a Web page that can be used to help prevent the illegal practice of architecture.


In a culminating activity, freshmen students under the Purposive Communication subject presented their multi-modal outputs and academic papers at the UB Centennial Hall last Oct. 20.


Using the project-based learning approach, the activity aimed to provide an opportunity for the students to practice their communication skills and build their confidence. The students were tasked to present their ideas to inform or raise awareness on important issues related to their course and encourage the audience to do something.


Of the 34 academic paper presentations, six were hailed “Best Paper Presentation” and eight students were awarded as “Best Presenters”. Three students from the School of Engineering and Architecture were given the Best Presenters award. Mark Lauren Baliton, an engineering student, sought to address the issue on traffic with his paper titled “Traffic-Free Baguio”. Another engineering student, Tristan Garcia, presented his take on addressing “Tangled Wires.” Meanwhile, Goldie Yabes gave her thoughts on the “Illegal Practice of Architecture.”


In second place are Dentistry students led by Ian Gabriel Bandaay who presented “The Effects of Acidic Beverages,” followed by Renz Jayson Carillo with his paper “The Alarming Risks of DIY Braces.”


Finally, two students from the School of Teacher Education and Liberal Arts garnered the Best Presenters award. Juliane Veronica Biscocho and Rhyan Romero argued on “Self-Efficacy of Students towards Real Applications of Math.”


Although there were a few students who bravely presented their ideas even if they were obviously shaking, the activity concluded as a success. The success can be attributed to the strategies employed and the positive reception of the students. Most of the participants expressed that collaborating with others and communicating in front of a large crowd are the most significant skills they learned from the experience.



When asked about the experience, students commented:


            “We may be expressive as individuals, but as a team we are capable of more.”


            “Communicating with others is the easiest way to reach them or know them well.”


            “To be in a class of strangers and still enjoy their company while learning great things and be able to improve my communication skills…”


            “I was able to not just share but also to listen to the ideas and opinions of others. In the group tasks, we are able to unite through our different ideas…”


            “I’ll never be afraid to express my ideas and opinions. Working with a team is better than working alone.”


            “Talking in front of unfamiliar people is indeed nerve-wracking, but I was able to talk confidently on what I truly know.”


            “If we are able to express ourselves in a way that people can relate to, then there will be no  issues since I believe that any issue can be solved through good communication.”


The event formed part of the students’ final oral examinations grade in the said subject. Five panel members, including the adviser, served as the evaluators.


In the beginning of the semester, the students displayed difficulties that centered largely on the lack of speaking confidence and poor digital literacy skills. The event provided an opportunity for the students to present their outputs, forming significant learning experiences which are indications of successful learning.          


Purposive Communication (PRPCOM1) is a subject taken by freshmen students as a basic English subject. In the old curriculum, there are 3-5 general English courses required for students which include Study and Thinking Skills 1, Writing in the Discipline, Technical Writing, Effective Speaking and Professional English. In the new curriculum, Purposive Communication was added in the general education courses. This course seeks to develop the students’ communicative competence and enhance their cultural and intercultural awareness through multi-modal tasks that provide opportunities for communicating effectively and appropriately in multicultural audience in a local or global context. – Dr. Karen Joy Umila 


Dr. Karen Joy Umila is a faculty member of the UB School of Teacher Education and Liberal Arts. She teaches Purposive Communication, among others.



A freshman MedTech student proposes the creation of an organization that aims to support struggling students. 


Engineering student Marwan Abdo raises awareness on e-waste, or discarded electronic devices.


 The Civil Engineering team who won the Best Paper Presentation award  


The freshmen presenters with the panel of evaluators




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