Students with Perspectives 2021: Project T.E.S.T- HSI

Aug 24, 2021Loriel Chung and José Vázquez

On March 12, 2020, Puerto Rico’s then Governor Wanda Vázquez-Garced declared a state of emergency due to the global pandemic COVID-19. An Executive Order was established which declared a total lockdown of the island to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. The total lockdown included the immediate shut-down of bars, commercial centers and any industry categorized as non-essential, where people interacted directly or came in close contact. Consequently, all school systems were obligated to close their physical facilities and shift to a completely different dynamic: virtual teaching/learning.
Because of the alarming negative statistics and percentages reflected on Puerto Rico’s education system, the Students with Perspectives 2021 (SwP 2021) team from Perspectivas Globales conducted a survey to better understand the struggles and challenges the education community faced during the COVID-19 Pandemic and switching completely from in-person classes to online learning, something new for most of the educational institutions in Puerto Rico. The sample size of the survey the team made was 233 people from different parts of Puerto Rico, Mexico and the US. The sample included students, educators and parents from different age groups and educational systems.
After analyzing the survey, the majority of the sample audience stance on online learning was remarked: it was a struggle to find an optimal way to be successful with online classes. Let’s look at the facts:
53.3% of the audience considered the transitional process either difficult or very difficult, and six out of ten people considered they learned less than usual during virtual classes.

HSI-based Learning Strategies

The SwP team thought of a model called Human Systems Interconnection (HSI), inspired from the Open Systems Interconnection Model (OSI) model, that can add value to the struggle of online learning brought to Puerto Rican students, educators and parents. The Human Systems Interconnection (HSI) Model was introduced by Dr. José Meléndez, who created the behavioral model to promote self-awareness and help understand the root of people’s behaviours. By understanding your own behaviour and being aware of your working style you can help improve the hurdles you face daily.  In an education setting, this can help you continuously improve on developing teaching styles and learning strategies that most suit you as an individual.
With the HSI Model in mind and affected by the rapid transition on online learning, each SwP 2021 intern conducted individual research and developed different learning strategies influenced by each of their academic concentrations; ranging from Psychology, Computer Science, Business, and Biology/Education. These learning strategies were curated throughout the Summer 2021 with the end objective to share them with the education community right before the beginning of the new August 2021-May 2022 school year. These four learning strategies are:
A learning strategy based on Frederick Herzberg’s Two- Factor Motivation Hygiene Theory. F2F describes a maintenance-motivation system in which the student or learning party receives a maintenance factor and it is then intrinsically motivated by a motivating factor. Mentoring motivates Autonomy; Compensation motivates Recognition; Challenging Work motivates Purpose; and a Good Environment motivates Confidence.
About the Author: Loriel Chung Valentín is a recent graduate of a Bachelor’s Degree in Science in Human Resource Management from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez.
This learning strategy describes how the environment affects our learning process and how important it is to manage it strategically. The HSI model serves as a tool to understand how our body and minds work together, including what we cannot control (subconscious mind) which are things we are not aware of most of the time. Angely does a great job by giving pointers and tactics on how to manage your environment in different settings like: a classroom, virtual classroom, and individual study.
About the Author: Angely Toro is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Science in Biology with a Curriculum Sequence in Education.
Yalanis developed a learning strategy that describes three tactics to have full attention in your study process. The strategy states that in order to achieve full attention, you can enter a Learning State, in which you get ready to learn and forget about everything else. You may also employ another tactic called Guided Learning, in which the teacher guides the student with questions and an explanation of the class material. You may also employ Open Monitoring, a process in which the teacher uses tactics (For example: Letting students come up with a narrative about the class material) in order for the students to develop conceptual connections between the class material and their own personal experiences and knowledge. This process is  to help the student familiarize themselves with the class material and pay complete (or close to complete) attention to the class or lecture.
About the Author: Yalanis Vélez is a recent graduate student of a Bachelor’s Degree  in Arts in Psychology at University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez.
A learning strategy that uses both the “Divide and Conquer” paradigm and the theoretical basis of learning through teaching as a highly effective learning strategy by itself. José successfully implemented both strategies and uses the HSI model as a wielding material to make it a solid and effective learning strategy. The LTDT strategy suggests that a student can learn by teaching others, and in teaching others, the student deconstructs the concept into smaller problems. Theoretically, once the smaller concepts have been successfully learned, an understanding of more complex concerts can be achieved.
About the Author: José Vázquez is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Science in Computer Science and Engineering.

The HSI Team Experience

The SwP 2021 team was able to better understand not only themselves, but also many other students and professors who were going through a similar process of transition and struggling to adapt to a new circumstance in this wave of technology we live in.  The HSI model served as a compass to understand how they learned and how they could develop learning strategies and tactics in order for them to have a successful learning experience. Perspectivas Globales SwP 2021 gave the TEST-HSI team of interns a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help the educating community of Puerto Rico have a better learning experience by supporting their learning process with learning strategies and tactics. SwP 2021 believes that they contributed an important part in the educational system and that students and professors will value their strategies as an important addition to their repertoire of effective learning and teaching strategies. Here is what the group of interns had to say about their experience:

I learned so much about myself and others; how individuals can learn concepts using the HSI model and how we should embrace our subconsciousness instead of fighting it.” 

  • José Vázquez (Computer Science Intern)

My experience in the SwP 2021 was very good. I had the opportunity to meet new people with different perspectives and be part of a collaborative creative thinking process. It was a good experience for me within the Marketing professional area because it exposed me to how marketing efforts are handled within a working team.” 

  • Loriel Chung (Marketing Intern)

“This summer I learned how to work with different perspectives and integrate them to create something new. I learned about the power of creativity.”

  • Yalanis Vélez (Psychology Intern)

“Students with Perspective 2021 helped me realize my true potential in the working environment. It gave me a new perspective on human behavior and how to not let my biases take control of my decisions.

  • Angely Toro (Academic Intern)
The Students with Perspectives was an experience that brought growth and new knowledge to the interns. It served as a meaningful exposure to the island’s educational system and the students’ and professors’ perspective on how the transitional process influenced their daily academic lives. All things considered, the SwP 2021 team had a great experience and an impactful summer full of new anecdotes, connections, ideas and knowledge altogether, making this summer one to remember for years to come.
The Students with Perspectives was an experience that brought growth and new knowledge to the interns. It served as a meaningful exposure to the island’s educational system and the students’ and professors’ perspective on how the transitional process influenced their daily academic lives. All things considered, the SwP 2021 team had a great experience and an impactful summer full of new anecdotes, connections, ideas and knowledge altogether, making this summer one to remember for years to come.
Want to learn more about the different learning strategies the SwP 2021 worked on this summer? Make sure to check out their blog https://swpptest.blogspot.com/  or reach out to them via email: internships@drmtes.com
Interested in taking part in a future SwP Term? Follow our social media for more information and see when we hire!

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