FROM THE PRESENCE TO THE VIRTUAL CLASSROOM: A MODEL OF AUTONOMOUS STUDIES BASED ON THE USE OF LEARNING OBJECTS FOR DISCIPLINES OF ENGINEERING COURSES IN BRAZIL
This paper presents a proposal for the replacement of the classical expositive teaching classroom´s model by another model more flexible based on the use of learning objects combined with autonomous learning techniques.
The model presented in this study is applied in the context of a pilot project for the discipline "Computer Aided Design" of the Civil Engineering course from a public university in Brazil. Currently, the discipline is lectured with a teacher inside classroom, using traditional seminaries and laboratory activities, following the historical way of engineering education where the teacher centralizes the whole process of student learning, imposing a rigid organization in terms of time and spaces for performing activities.
Due to the recent expansion process of students´ vacancies in Brazilian Public Universities, the traditional model has become very costly and inefficient, a fact that promoted a debate which in turn enabled developing some innovative proposals to overcome such limitations. Particularly, the proposal described in this paper is based on the intensive use of virtual learning environments and material in various midias that are organized in the form of learning objects.
Together with the adoption of learning objects as educational technology, the model is based on an educational project that promotes independent learning, encouraging the student to perform most of the planned activities without the direct supervision of the teacher. To this end, the didactical model of discipline specifies which activities will be conducted autonomously and which will be held on the direct supervision of teachers or their assistants, considering that Brazilian law allows up to 20% of the hourly charge of a course be done distance (ie autonomously).
The paper presented here contains a description of the general context in which the adoption of this new model is proposed, pointing to the important elements of the deployment process. Similarly, the teaching-learning project of the discipline is also detailed, including the organization of the development process of the instructional material and sequencing of didactic activities. Also, we present the technology infrastructure and the computer systems support necessary for the use of learning objects in the teaching-learning process. Finally, we present important aspects to be considered for the teaching of the cited discipline in this new proposal of blended-education.
As part of the conclusions and recommendations for future work, we suggest the widespread adoption of a blended teaching model, autonomous, based on the use of learning objects as a way to overcome the problems arising from processes of expansion in brazilian public universities.