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E-learning, online education and open education: A contribution to a theoretical approach
Aires, Luisa

PublishedJanuary 2016
JournalRIED. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación a Distancia
Volume 19, Issue 1, Pages 253-269
CountryPortugal, Europe


O presente artigo resulta das reflexões desenvolvidas no âmbito do Observatório da Qualidade do Ensino a Distância e e-Learning sediado na Universidade Aberta e, ainda, da participação na docência do curso “MOOCs: Fundamentos e Práticas”. Trata-se de um artigo de natureza eminentemente teórica que pretende ser um contributo para a delimitação do universo concetual da Educação Online. Neste texto, são explorados os conceitos de e-Learning, Educação Online e Educação Aberta Virtual. Em primeiro lugar, aborda-se a diversidade de conceções sobre o e-Learning para, depois, se propor uma definição do conceito. Em segundo lugar, enquadra-se a Educação Online no espetro da Educação a Distância. E, em terceiro lugar, são propostos alguns referenciais para a caracterização do conceito de Educação Aberta na sociedade digital e dos seus movimentos atuais mais relevantes: os Recursos Educativos Abertos (OER) e os Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). Em relação aos OER salienta-se que a matriz desse movimento ultrapassa o mero acesso a conteúdos e recursos e associa-se a uma nova filosofia educativa, a novos valores baseados na abertura, na ética da participação e na colaboração (Peters, 2008). No âmbito da reflexão sobre os MOOC, dá-se destaque à ecologia de aprendizagem específica desses cursos e sublinha-se a necessidade de reconceptualizar conceitos tradicionais, como o de inscrição, participação, frequência, aproveitamento do estudante, na senda da investigação desenvolvida por DeBoer, Ho, Stump e Breslow (2014). Finalmente, reitera-se a dispersão de conceções sobre e-Learning, Educação Online e Educação Aberta e propõe-se que a investigação em Educação a Distância seja um referencial central para a redução da entropia atualmente existente nas Instituições de Ensino Superior Presencial, relativamente à apropriação de conceitos-chave da Educação a Distância Online.

This article arises from the discussions carried out within the Observatory for Quality on Distance Education and e-Learning at Universidade Aberta (Portugal) and also from the participation in a brief program about "Massive Open Online Courses: Principles and Practices". This theoretical article aims to contribute to a conceptual description about online distance education territories. In this paper we explore different perspectives about e-Learning, Online Education and Virtual Open Education. Firstly, we address a diversity of perspectives about e-Learning and then we recommend a meaning to this construct. Secondly, we analyze different perspectives about Online Education. Thirdly, we propose some referents to describe Open Education in digital society and its most relevant current movements, such as Open Educational Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). In what concerns to OER, it should be noted that the matrix of this movement goes beyond the access to the contents and the resources; at the contrary, it is linked to a new educational philosophy, new values founded on openness, ethics of participation and collaboration (Peters, 2008). As a part of the analysis about MOOCs, we highlight a new learning ecology, as well as we enhance the importance of reconceptualizing traditional concepts, such as enrollment, participation, attendance, students’ achievement, according to DeBoer, Ho, Stump e Breslow (2014). Finally, we reiterate the diversity of perspectives on Learning, Online Education and Open Education and we suggest that the research in Distance Education should be a central referent for the decrease of the currently existing entropy in face-to-face higher education institutions, in the appropriation process of key concepts of Online Distance Education.

Keywords educação a distância online · educação aberta · educação online · MOOC · OER · online distance education · online education · e-learning

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