Pedagogical Mediator as the Strategic Competence at University Professors Building in Constructionist Online Environment

Pedagogical Mediator as the Strategic Competence at University Professors Building in Constructionist Online Environment

Flávia Amaral Rezende (Art Institute of Campinas University (UNICAMP), Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-830-7.ch011
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Abstract

The rapid dissemination and integration of the World Wide Web (also known as Internet), and its related technologies, has resulted in major growth of the educational field through the Internet in such areas as e-learning and e-training. In August 2002, the Ministry of Education established the rules for distance education courses at the university level (Portaria nº 2.253) allowing up 20% of the total course hours to be administered through distance education. At the same time, the Comitê de Educação a Distância from the Distance Education Secretary – SEED/MEC published the Distance Education Quality Indicators, which presents pedagogical guidelines that are clearly constructionist, consistent with those adopted by the Brazilian informatics in education program developed during the 1980’s and 90’s. However an important question remains: how to prepare university professors to be able to function in highly interactive constructionist learning environments? How to develop competencies as planning, designing and implementing such constructionist courses? This research has simultaneously investigated two aspects: developing, implementing and evaluating the characteristics of a constructionist environment and, at the same time,the use of this environment as part of an introductory on-line course to prepare a group of professors from Universidade Cidade de São Paulo (Brazil) to be able to function as mediators in the constructionist online learning environment. The findings indicate that it is possible to create a constructionist learning environment and to prepare university professors through online courses based upon Inverted Symmetry concepts and upon the in-service course based on the estar-junto-virtual (“virtual being together”) approach, to build what we called In-vIsIble reflectIve network, thus allowing the professors to assume news roles not only in the online environment but in the face-to-face education situation as well. This course is the first step for continuous long life learning to be a “ciber teacher”.
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2. Pedagogical Mediation

The introduction of computers in the education generated big changes in the classroom but there are still a lot of misunderstandings, misconceptions and a lack of pedagogical knowledge among the teachers as to how to apply the technological resources into formal education, mainly in the universities.

Well-prepared teachers are a key-factor in the distance learning field (graduation courses) specially when changes in the quality of the learning process are required.

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