27th CIAED

Models of Distance Education, how to avoid instructionism and privilege creativity?

The growing importance of Distance Education (EAD) in brazil's educational scenario raises several fundamental questions for those involved in its development. Among them is the one that, controversially, asks about the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning and teaching models that are the product not of governmental regulation, which usually creates embarrassment to creativity of those who produce a course or program, but rather the result of practical experience of community of educators and other professionals involved.

It has been almost a century since the car, internationally, rides on four wheels - it's the "dominant standard", although initially the market offered models with fewer or more wheels. In Distance Education there is still no model whose design is identified, with the proof of adequate research, as the most effective possible, considering issues such as complexity of the subject to be studied, academic maturity, number of students involved and flexibility, sophistication, and availability of the technology to be employed.

The creation of a Distance Education course today, when so many resources are available to the professionals in charge of producing it, is very similar to the work of the composer of an orchestral symphony, which has at his hand the inclusion of instrument sounds such as strings, wind and percussion, in volumes of sound and speeds of varying time. The quality, sophistication and innovation of music will depend on the conceptions present in composers and musicians, and shared authorship is increasingly recommended - including with the audience.

The differentiated features of a Distance Education course are, among others, synchrony/asynchrony, active/modest role of teacher, degree of importance of material to be read or video to be watched, use of supports, such as simulations, animations, and types of involvement among students (collaboration, group discussion, peer review).

Would one or more groups of ABED associates, representing different sectors (public, private, basic, higher, and continuing education), be able to develop a set of "ideal sheet music" models that would serve to inspire new generations of education professionals in full use of all resources, current and future available for the construction of distance learning courses?

It is not mandatory to follow in detail the models offered, but they will serve as a reminder of features available to the creator of a Distance Education course or program. Each educational institution must have full independence in creation of its face-to-face, distance and hybrid courses. Certainly, a benefit from creation of "reference models" suggested by ABED would be a greater similarity in interface of dialogue between student and the course, provided that many institutions have one of proposed models.

ABED, due to its independence, and the vast capacity and experience of its associates, may be able to contribute, usefully, to the knowledge of those for whom Distance Education is still an academic territory to be fully exploited.

Fredric Michael Litto
President of ABED
Emeritus Professor at USP
Full Member of ABE

Organizing Committee
Alessandra dos Santos Ferreira Pio - ABED
Alex Sandro Gomes - UFPE
Beatriz Roma Marthos - ABED
Cássio Cabral Santos – UNILISBOA
Fernanda Furuno – DREAMSHAPER
Márcia Aparecida Figueiredo
Marcos Antonio Chaves Ricarte - UNIFOR
Maurício Aguiar - ABED
Ozéias Silva - ABED
Vitor Bruno Milestone - MILESTONE
Waldomiro Pelágio Diniz Carvalho Loyolla - ABED