TEACHERS TRAINING IN HIGHER EDUCATION: A NEW APPROACH
The importance of Online Education in Higher Education is acknowledged by all academic community as an additional tool for the quality of the teaching-learning process. According to recent studies, the educational institutions that adopted online education considered that Blended Learning is a methodology that brings good results to their students (Bonk & Graham). It is an increasingly popular methodology as a tool of information spreading (Lencastre, 2009; Lencastre & Monteiro, 2008; Lencastre & Araújo, 2008; Carliner, 2007; Driscoll & Carliner, 2005; Van Dam, 2004). It is a methodology that attributes an increased learning responsibility to the student and empowers the teacher to follow up his cognitive development. Thus, the online education assembles the main goals to the recent social, economical and cultural challenges (Unesco, 1998). Still the online education allows the construction of Virtual Learning Communities that can make easier the knowledge construction by the integration of teachers and students in discussions and interactive activities (Aires, 2007). These customizing learning processes increase not only the responsibility but also the efficiency, and generate professionals with a higher reacting ability to future working environment changes (Carvalho & Cardoso, 2003). However, some teachers feel they are not prepared to adjust their scientific knowledge to the necessary Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) skills. This paper shows the research made on a Portuguese University Institution with 123 teachers. Using a Learning Management System (LMS), providing technical and pedagogical support in a Blended Learning methodology it was possible, in a short time, to provide from a single location a teachers training program in twelve schools. This solution converges with the aims of the life long learning. We conducted an evaluation process in order to obtain data to promote a reflexion about the paths taken for a model of online training. For this study, we used the tool "questionnaire" site "Easy Survey”. The 123 teachers from different campi were surveyed online. We took into account the satisfaction levels of teachers with the training offered, the knowledge acquired in training and the impact of the teaching as well as their own ideas to improve this program.