(Approved at the Annual General Assembly, on 17 August, 2000)
Brazilian Association of Distance Education

Although institutions for Distance Education (DE) are quite different in respect of purposes, types of activities, resources and extents, it is valid trying to establish a set of principles to be applied equally to all, to ensure the quality in the development of Distance Education in Brazil.

These principles will have, among other issues, the role of:
- Provide guidelines to institutions, aiming a continuous work to improve the quality of DE;
- Specify quality standards that allow the evaluation of distance education courses;
- Create indicators that make possible to protect the interests of students and consumers of this kind of educational services.
This code should be updated whenever necessary once the development of pedagogical techniques and technological advances are constantly changing and that obsolete guidelines and criteria should not become barriers to the progress in the range DE.

The institutions affiliated to ABED are committed to undertake and respect the following principles:

1. Disclose, widely and in advance - to any course or study program to be implemented - a formal planning describing in detail: objectives; content; assessment criteria; nature of the students’ work; basic bibliography; schedule of activities; type of support given to the student individually; requirements, when applicable, for a diploma or certificate and its legal validity, that is, its official recognition; and the financial responsibilities of both parties.

2. Always use individuals of recognized competency and probity, either as authors and courses’ monitors as well as in all those functions that will take part in the teaching-learning process and will be in contact with students.

3. Validate legal agreements with authors, monitors and consultants, clearly describing the rights and duties of both parties.

4. Protect the right to free expression of students and teachers, avoiding any kind of ideological, political or religious censorship, creating conditions for the manifestation of different trends of social or scientific opinion, as well as, allow the pedagogical teams have full freedom to choose and implement the best strategies and forms to present contents and use methodologies.

5. Seek to ensure that the educational strategy used is always centered on the student and on his/her needs.

6. Publicize clear and widely the criteria for admission into their courses.

7. Monitor the progress of each student using resources of mentoring, educational support and advice, and ensure a constant work of motivation to each student in the sense that they can complete the program of study with good results.

8. Continually evaluate the teaching materials used in programs of study and its proper application, focusing on the following aspects:
- Academic content and level of approach;
- Adequacy of methodological and educational objectives;
- Adaptation to the students' profile;
- Use of an adequate language to the objectives and proposed levels;
- Appropriate use of media(s) chosen;
- Possibilities of democratic access to knowledge and attendance to the students’ special needs with regard to gender, ethnicity and social class.
9. Ensure that all information worked during the courses and offered to the student is the most modern and updated as possible, both in relation to the content and on its pedagogical form.

10. Provide adequate infrastructure and human resources to the type and amount of students enrolled in each course.

11. Offer training and guidance to authors, monitors and consultants with regard to the specificities of pedagogical action in DE, as well as in their operational characteristics, in order to ensure the best quality of their work.

12. Ensure the quick return of material shipped by the student for purposes of correction and evaluation, performing all administrative routines with transparency, promptness and fairness and, whenever possible, involving students and institutional team interested in the process.

13. Be able to justify the choice of media to be used in the courses and learning materials, always having as background the pedagogical and didactic proposals and goals as well as the needs, skills and possibilities of the students.

14. Always be aware of the possibility of using new pedagogical strategies in the courses, but having in mind the care that students should always be informed in advance and do not run any risk of having their learning impaired.

15. Maintain a policy of constant scientific research and promote its dissemination in academically respected groups, concerning the students' academic outcomes, the didactic strategies used by the pedagogical team, the chosen media and the community labor market.

16. Preserve the right to privacy of students and teaching staff, not passing to third parties any kind of information about their personal lives.

17. Make a distinction, in a very easily identifiable way, between teaching material from publicity and merchandising pieces.

18. Do not use, in any circumstances, as part of their teaching or promotional material, textual content, images or sounds which have not being obtained legally,  with proper authorization of the copyrights’ holders, or that have clear evidence that are considered public domain.

19. Avoid the presentation, both in pedagogical material and promotional material, of any type of information electronically altered and that purposely induces the student to error. Not to set up fraud, it is recommended that subtitles like "Simulation", "Digitally Reconstructed Image" or "Digitally Altered" should be used.

20. Follow honesty and transparency criteria in sales ads, avoiding any kind of exaggeration or fraudulent representation.

21. Undertake to always respect the legislation.

22. Be committed to use the Brazilian Association of Distance Education – ABED, as privileged forum for the discussion of any practices or acts which might, by its nature, be considered contrary to this Code of Ethics or to the DE interests as educational strategy.

23. The institutions that formally observe this Code of Ethics, will have their names listed in all publications of ABED as being "In accordance with the code", and will receive ABED authorization to announce this fact during the promotion of their courses. Such procedures will be considered without effect in the case of institutions proven to break these principles.

Copyright - Associação Brasileira de Educação a Distância - ABED