#ECAPACITAR – A PATH TOWARDS AN INNOVATIVE AND TAILORED ELEARNING SOLUTION IN A HEI
Open Science represents a new approach to the scientific process based on cooperative work and new ways of disseminating knowledge, using digital technologies and collaborative tools. (EC, 2016:33). Scientific research should thus be shared and reused, with Open Access, Open Data, Open Research and Innovation, Open Science Networks, and Citizen Science identified as supporting pillars. (MCTES, 2016). These pillars are consolidated from the institutional point of view, through Science, Development & Innovation Policies and Strategies, Legislation, Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Science Initiatives, so that societies are developed from the social, economic and cultural point of view in favour of the quality of life of all citizens. Making research results more accessible to all social actors contributes to a better and more efficient science and innovation in the public and private sectors. On this basis, the IPSantarém, as a HEI whose mission is the production and dissemination of knowledge, considers strategic the implementation of an innovative eLearning solution adapted to the needs of contemporary society. Therefore, the #eCapacitar project was outlined, which aims to stimulate and increase the adoption of distance learning courses through the implementation of an infrastructure capable of applying synchronous and asynchronous communication means that allow the fulfilment of a whole framework of distance education, training and capacity building, within the process of modernization of the services to be provided to the communities served by IPSantarém. Trying, in this way, to increase its potential for attracting students, providing services and transferring knowledge, in its business areas. In this paper we will present the strategy and the methodology adopted towards the implementation of the #eCapacitar project, in the specific axe of distance education and the proposed innovative and tailored eLearning solution.
Although the concept of eLearning has been widely discussed over the years and despite the fact we can find in the literature many definitions, Sangrà, Vlachopoulos, and Cabrera (2012) undertaken a study “based on the participation of experts around the world, (...) to agree on a definition of e-learning” (pp. 145). This definition intends to be a more inclusive one and it states as: “E-learning is an approach to teaching and learning, representing all or part of the educational model applied, that is based on the use of electronic media and devices as tools for improving access to training, communication and interaction and that facilitates the adoption of new ways of understanding and developing learning” (pp. 152). In the #eCapacitar project we took this definition in consideration, because we agree it's a more inclusive and equitable one and it’s inline with The Global Education 2030 Agenda principles, meeting the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4): “Ensure inclusivity and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” (2016). Digital information and communication technologies (ICT) and online and virtual platforms play a key role in contemporary society. This role, during the CoViD19 pandemic, assumed special relevance namely in Distance Learning, Emergency Remote Learning and Online Education. HEI have the responsibility, regardless of the contexts, to provide quality and inclusive education.