HOME-TEACHERS - A DEFINITE PORTAL FOR PERSONAL AND GROUP LEARNING OPENED TO ALL KNOWLEDGE DOMAINS

R. Pereira Jr.1, E. Alves Nascimento1, F. Hideo Mikami2, J.E. Tenório3

1Information Architecture Research Center - CPAI / University of Brasilia - UnB (BRAZIL)
2Ad-Infinitum (BRAZIL)
3i9 Technologies (BRAZIL)
Imagine a place to teach and/or learn any subject in any language. This could be at home for both teachers and learners virtually joined by their common interests in a portal with many state-of-art e-Learning resources in an environment of Rich Internet Applications - RIA. Thus, there is a new pedagogical paradigm: teacher at home and learner at home. Survival depends essentially on the quality of virtual classes and interactivity.

The process is very simple for teachers: (1) They record their personal video messages (1 minute) for selling classes (not necessary courses, but individual classes) one-to-one or one-to-many; (2) They fullfill their personal information and didactics (once); (3) They prepare their offering classes calendar; (4) They wait for interested learners.

Similarly, the process is trivial for learners: (1) They search for classes in any subject of interest; (2) They choose a teacher and "buy" a class (or recurrent ones); (3) Virtual classes starts few minutes before planned; (4) At the end, learners evaluate teachers for sharing information with other students.

The portal architecture is based in six sections: My Account; Search Courses; My Calendar; My Classes; Evaluations; and Credits; explained as follows:

* My Account - Shows the user personal profile (text and image); The upcomming classes as a teacher or learner are shown, enabling entering the virtual classes only in the appropriate moment.

* Search Courses - Searches can be done by the course/class title or by the name/nickname of teachers. Results can be filtered by category of courses (languages, translation services; science etc); language the course is done; and genre.

* My Calendar - Users can navigate in calendar by month, week or day. Calendar shows their compromises and available hours as teachers and/or learners. As teacher, users can drag and drop a registered course to a cell in the calendar, preparing it. Calendar can be imported or exported to iCal/Outlook.

* My Classes - Shows classes that user is participating in group or particular; as teacher/learner; separately, with some course generalities (expandable to details with one click).

* Evaluations - Shows evaluations received as a teacher or made as a learner, in different squares.

* Credits - Shows the credits users bought and the complete account movimentation.

The Virtual Class environment uses rich resources for the teaching-learning process, including audio and video tools for all participants, administered by the tutor; instantly evaluation of the class in course, providing feedback dashboards of audio/video quality; interactivity between all the participants; editing tools; notebook; presentation tool; media and file sharing; chat room and others.