Dedication, humbleness, and audacity: advice from pathfinder faculty to colleagues new to online distance education

Luis Roberto de Camargo Ribeiro [rcr.luis@gmail.com], Departamento de Metodologia de Ensino,
Marcia Rozenfeld Gomes de Oliveira [mroz@gmail.com], Centro de Educação a Distância,
Daniel Mill [mill@ufscar.br], Centro de Educação a Distância,
Universidade Federal de São Carlos [http://www.ufscar.br]
Via Washington Luís, km 235,
13565-905 São Carlos, SP, Brazil

English Abstract

This article examines distance education (DE) in the context to which is most frequently applied, i.e., higher education, and from the perspective of some of its most important actors, i.e., teachers. This study, of a qualitative nature, was conducted at a public university in Brazil. Data were collected by means of unstructured interviews, observations, and a questionnaire with close- and open-ended questions. Since DE is a relatively novel educational modality in Brazilian public higher education, this study asked pathfinder faculty to give advice to upcoming colleagues, most of them experienced in face-to-face higher education, but new to DE.  Cooperation, commitment, organization, and above all courage and humility to learn and openness to new experiences, are, according to this research, attitudes essential to novice DE teachers.

Brazilian Abstract

Este artigo analisa a educação a distância (EaD) no contexto em que é mais freqüentemente utilizada, ou seja, o ensino superior e, a partir da perspectiva de alguns dos seus atores mais importantes, ou seja, professores. Este estudo, de natureza qualitativa, foi realizado em uma universidade pública no Brasil. Os dados foram coletados por meio de entrevistas não estruturadas, observações e um questionário com questões fechadas e abertas. Uma vez que a EaD é uma modalidade educacional relativamente nova na educação pública superior brasileira, este estudo pediu aos professores desbravadores para que dessem conselhos aos colegas que viriam depois deles, a maioria com experiência no ensino superior presencial, mas novatos em EaD. Cooperação, organização, comprometimento e, acima de tudo, coragem e humildade para aprender e abertura para novas experiências, são, de acordo com esta pesquisa, atitudes essenciais para professores iniciantes em EaD.

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Tags

e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, ICT, information and communication technology, internet, collaborative learning, learning management system, MOOC, interaction, LMS,

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