Computing postgraduate programmes in the UK and Brazil: learning from experience in distance education

Barroca, Leonor and Gimenes, Itana M. S. (2012). Computing postgraduate programmes in the UK and Brazil: learning from experience in distance education. In: Azab, Nahed Amin ed. Cases on Web 2.0 in Developing Countries: Studies on Implementation, Application and Use. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, pp. 147–171.




Education can benefit from experiences and collaborations across different countries and cultures. The authors carried out a study to analyse the experiences of the use of Web 2.0 tools in distance education in the UK and propose a set of lessons that can be applied in the Brazilian context. The recent economic growth in Brazil has resulted in a strong demand for further education. Distance education has emerged as a strong contestant to address this demand. The authors present, in this chapter, the case of the provision of postgraduate education for professionals at a distance. Distance education in Brazil is currently gathering support as it offers great potential to address the big geographic and social divides. However, there are many barriers and misconceptions that perpetuate a climate of distrust. Their study draws a set of lessons learned focusing on the benefits that distance education can bring to the development of professional postgraduate education in technical and engineering areas, in the light of the experience of The Open University (OU) in the UK. They emphasise the support that Web 2.0 can bring to these experiences, but also draw attention to the quality that the production process plays in the learning experiences. These lessons address the following: support for skills development with Web 2.0 technologies, the role of the digital educator, open educational resources, open education and social dimension, and quality and pedagogy in the educational process.

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