Lead organization: University of the Philippines Open University

Participating organizations (IPSI members):
 Kanazawa University

Other participating organizations (non-IPSI members): 
Ifugao State University, Ifugao Provincial Government


The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) and the Kanazawa University (KU) have been strong partners in various projects and activities for the past five years. From the partnership developed for the Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) to lectures and webinars conducted, the two institutions have shown great camaraderie and effective collaboration. Having the same goal of sustaining Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) sites in their own countries, both universities developed and conducted various trainings that enhanced the knowledge and skills of various stakeholders. This helped the stakeholders to disseminate knowledge and raise awareness to their own communities on how to preserve and sustain the GIAHS sites in their countries. After the success of the first phase of ISMTP, an offshoot project spearheaded by UPOU was launched in January 2017 still in partnership with KU – the Youth for Ifugao Rice Terraces (#Y4IRT). Last June 2017, the partnership between UPOU and KU still continues with the launch of the second phase of ISMTP.

From this partnership, to continually mainstream the Satoyama concept, UPOU started offering the Satoyama Online (Living in Harmony with Nature), a non-formal course under the Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) as part of its Human Resources Development Program for the Sustainable Development of Important Agricultural Heritage Systems. The course stresses the urgent need for a harmonious relationship between human and nature. Satoyama which is a socio-ecological production landscape has been approved as a global initiative intended to address challenges in biodiversity conservation. The course was developed and taught by Dr. Inocencio E. Buot, Jr., former dean of FMDS.

In 2012, the University of the Philippines Open University started its involvement with Massive Open Online Courses as part of its mission to provide wider access to quality higher education and as mandated in RA 10650 or the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Act to assist and provide leadership to the development of ODL in the country, promote the best practices in ODL in the Philippines, and share knowledge and development activities, among others. Kanazawa University on the other hand started offering a JMOOC (Japan Massive Open Online Education Promotion Council) in 2015, the Living in Harmony with Nature: Satoyama and Satoumi in Japan and World.

A Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. It has three distinctive features namely massiveness, openness and connectivism. MOOCs can easily accommodate large numbers of students and involves several key openness concepts like software, registration, curriculum, and assessment; communication including interaction, collaboration, and sharing; and learning environments (Rodriguez, 2012). MOOCs offer an emerging online teaching methodology inspired by a connectivist philosophy. Connectivism values autonomy, diversity, openness, and interactivity (Rodriguez, 2012).

MOOCs, typically low cost or free, create irresistible appeal for recruiting potential participants.  The online format of MOOCs offers access and flexibility; and it eliminates the need for prerequisites. It is designed to enhance student engagement and Improving student outcomes is one of its primary goals. It also allows participants to pursue a particular interest or to continue their professional development.  Beyond MOOCs conventional lifelong learning experiences, educational opportunities exist for underprivileged populations as a way to encourage lifelong learning. Offering the Satoyama Online of FMDS as a MOOC will make learning about the satoyama or socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes more accessible for learners all over the Philippines, Japan, and in Asia.


The activities being conducted for this collaboration are the following:

  1. Continuous development of multimedia learning resources (lectures, webinars, videos, etc.) related to sustainable development and socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes;
  2. Sharing of multimedia learning resources; and
  3. Development of a massive open online course on Satoyama.

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcome for this collaborative activity is the Satoyama Massive Open Online Course that will be offered thru the MOOC platform of UP Open University called MODeL (Massive Open Distance e-Learning). Multimedia learning resources developed for this activity will be Open Educational Resources – these are open access materials that promote collaboration and increases knowledge sharing between the developers and future learners that will use the OERs.

Actors and task sharing

The actors for this collaborative activity would be the faculty (regular and affiliate), researchers, and staff of the two universities. All of them are involved in the overall conceptualization, planning, implementation and continuous development of multimedia learning materials for the project.

How the activity relates to the IPSI Strategy and IPSI Plan of Action

Development and sharing of multimedia learning resources for MOOC on Satoyama:

The activity relates to the first strategic objective of IPSI which is to “increase knowledge and understanding of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes that are addressed by the Satoyama Initiative.” With the development and sharing of multimedia learning resources for Massive Open Online Course on Satoyama, IPSI member institutions and other interested individuals and groups may enroll in the course to continue in sharing knowledge about SEPLS. This also relates to the third strategic objective which is to enhance benefits from socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes since this course can help local residents acquire knowledge about the importance of sustainable development and socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes. As a result, this knowledge can increase the sustainable delivery of ecosystem services for human well-being.

Resources, funding

The funding and resources used for the development and sharing of multimedia learning resources for the Satoyama MOOC will come from related activities and projects spearheaded by both universities (ISMTP and Y4IRT).

Monitoring and reporting

For this collaborative activity, both universities conduct regular monitoring and reporting. UPOU and KU faculty and researchers are in constant communication through email as well as doing regular meetings whenever KU representatives are in the country for activities and projects co-implemented by the two universities.