ON – LINE EDUCATION: AN INNOVATIVE MODEL?
The New Information and Communication Technologies – ICTs - and cyberspace increasingly offer new horizons and challenges for education. Maybe because of this, on-line Education, seen as a type of distance education using the Internet, where communication occurs in a synchronous or asynchronous mode developed considerably. However, we are still facing challenges to consolidate it. One of these challenges is that, despite the use of new technologies, there is repetition of the traditional distance teaching education. The on-line courses, offered on the Internet, can have the same type of education that has been criticized by many educators, only pretending to be innovative, in case they do not develop a way of interaction through an effective pedagogical design of the course, which promotes interactivity and a suitable training for the teachers in order to develop this modality. If these courses do not allow the autonomy, critique, collaboration and dialogue, it means that we are before the same old bank education, so criticized by educator Paulo Freire. The moment requires new attitudes and new ways of thinking about this type of education, but there is no doubt that the pedagogical training and interaction are the key factors for success. In this way, behavioral-focused training became important tools to develop profile to fight the ones who question if on-line education is innovative or not. Training is to develop profile, and to be an educator, it is necessary a profile that encompasses features such as interactivity, autonomy and dialogue. Hence, teaching training should be focused not only on the technical competence but also on interpersonal competence, that is nothing more than being a staff with communication skills, participation and leadership. Communication is to know how to stimulate people to communicate effectively (dialogue), participation is to interact and encourage people to interact (interactivity) and leadership is having the autonomy and work together (co-authors) attitudes and stimulate these on the others. Another tool that should be used to help legitimize and correct directions of the on-line education is the regular evaluation of teachers (performance evaluation) and the educational courses design (Virtual Space Assessment) using criteria that are in line with the profile suggested by several authors. The pedagogical design is composed by: the definition of the target audience, the educational objectives, the curriculum organization, the architecture for the content distribution, the media that will provide the interaction and the system of learning evaluation. And to Sartori (2007), the pedagogical design is the one which will define whether the Internet is used in all its interactive potential. Therefore, the evaluation of the virtual space should be taken into account that a good course must be able to promote a high level of interactivity. In terms of assessing the performance of the on-line educator, one must be able to promote and encourage: interactivity, autonomy, participation and dialogue, so the type of evaluation should include behaviour characteristics. This article will discuss these and other issues related to on-line education and how it can, indeed, become a innovative education.