Image: e-EAD opening table: Elinilze Teodoro, Teaching provost of IFPA; Cláudio Alex Rocha, chancellor of IFPA; Manoel Quaresma, director of Belém campus of IFPA; and Márcio Wariss, head of the Department of Distance Education of IFPA. Photo by: Lériton Brito (IFPA).
The Federal Institute of Pará (IFPA) is the newest institution of e-Tec Brasil Network to launch its MOOC platform, developed from the TIM Tec software. The official launch of the platform happened during the IFPA’s I Meeting for Distance Education (e-EAD), carried out at Belém campus on September 28th and 29th. The event gathered about 120 people – among teachers, students, technicians and pedagogical staff from IFPA, as well as interested parties from other institutions – to discuss and share experiences, policies and technologies on distance education in the Federal Institutes of the Northern Region and in other educational institutions.
“We did not want to just launch the platform and say that it was on air. We wanted to launch it within a context, which is the institutionalization of distance education in the Federal Institute of Pará,” says Márcio Warriss, professor and head of the Department of Distance Education of IFPA. Márcio explains that IFPA offers distance courses since 2008, but they have been always linked to Federal Government programs. “We are now going to a new structure to offer courses at all levels without relying solely on development programs of the Federal Government, with our own efforts. And that is where the MOOC platform comes in,” he says.
The platform was announced throughout the event, especially during the closure, when Márcio talked about the plans for using the platform at IFPA. In addition, on the afternoon of the 29th, there was a workshop for about 40 IFPA students to present the platform, help them register and show the dynamics of the courses. Students’ impressions were positive. “They appreciated that the format of the courses is lighter, as they said. It is a platform that enables a more practical access to contents,” says the professor.
Currently, the IFPA platform offers the 25 TIM Tec courses already published, but the intention is that teachers produce their own courses. Soon, the institution will release a public notice for the development of MOOC courses and, by the end of the year, the expectation is to publish 4 or 5 courses in a pilot format. Actions will be carried out to guide teachers to produce courses in this format, and the first step was already given at the event itself: professors participated in a workshop with the co-founder of the educational startup Mupi Paula Furtado (one of the teachers of the TIM Tec course MOOC and new ways of learning) on planning, production and pedagogical practices in digital environments.
The courses of the platform are open to any interested person, but IFPA students can receive a certificate of completion of initial and continued training course. Márcio will also use the course UX and UI Design, by TIM Tec, as a complement to the Human-Computer Interaction Design discipline in one of the classes of the on-site course in Technology in Analysis and Development of Systems. Depending on the results, the idea is to encourage professors to use the platform courses in their on-site classes. “We do not feed a competition between on-site and distance courses. We want MOOC to be seen as a possibility, a new teaching alternative,” he says.