PUCRS Virtual: study at your time, at your place:
PUCRS Virtual is a unit to support, organize and supervise Distance Education activities connected to courses and teacher’s capability process. It also supervises all the activities, considering PUCRS policies to use Distance Education at the university. The staff team is composed of teachers, computer science and telecommunication technicians, and internals from Education, Psychology, Administration and Communication faculties.
The unit started its work on January, 12th in 1999. It was certified by Federal Education Chamber through 1285/01 document, recognized by Ministry of Education on January, 16th of 2002 by number 71. Until December 2015, PUCRS Virtual made 65 specialization courses and more than 215 extensions courses. More than 13.000 students graduated, and more than 1400 teachers were trained in 150 courses.
Team members: Our staff team is able to handle with different demands and challenges. We work with interdisciplinary approach. Nowadays, the permanent staff is composed of five PHD teachers from Computer Science area, one PHD from Education, six graduate professionals (Education, Engineering, Psychology, Law, Administrations, and Communication), and four master teachers on different areas (Bioinformatics, Philosophy, Psychology and Education).
Courses Organization: PUCRS University has developed an approval process for the authorization to offer distance education courses or programs at university campus. Each unit (Faculty or Institute) organizes course in partnership with PUCRS Virtual. It means that all coursers have at least one unit involved in order to organize and supervise the course process.
Accessibility: It is critically important that the University stand ready to serve those who have special needs. This is the reason why we are developing a distance education program: to review policies for serving population with special needs;
Library Services: It is important that all our distance education students have appropriate access to library resources in order to support their efforts in our distance education offerings. The University Library provides all distance education students a lot of digital papers, books and material in order to support their work;
Examinations: According to Brazilian law, all Distance education students are expected to complete examinations under the same circumstances as presential students. It means that each student must choose a near place to do the tests related to the course evaluation. We have a lot of agreements with different universities in Brazil in order to perform the test. Students from abroad do online tests in the virtual learning environment where the course activities take place;
LMS (Learning Management System) environments: A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software package, usually on a large scale, that enables the management and delivery of learning content and resources to students. Most LMSs are web-based to facilitate “anytime, anywhere” access to learning content and administration. At a minimum, the LMS usually allows the student to registrate, to deliver and track e-learning courses and content, and to test, and may also allow the management of instructor-led training classes. In the most comprehensive of LMSs, one may find tools such as competency management, skills-gap analysis, succession planning, certifications, virtual live classes, and resource allocation (venues, rooms, textbooks, instructors, etc.). Most systems grant the learner self-service, facilitating self-enrollment, and access to courses. We use the LMS MOODLE to organize our class activities.
Infrastructure: PUCRS Virtual works on 8º and 9º floors at building 40, and occupies approximately 2000 m². Our infrastructure is composed of:
- Two rooms to provide and organize courses, borders, workshops, and meetings. These rooms have complete equipments to generate and to save classrooms with sophisticated telecommunication and brand new computers and other equipments;
- Help desk room;
- Secretary room
- Two meeting rooms
- Five teacher offices for permanent staff;
- Three supporting rooms where work the internals and associated teachers;
- A coordination room;
- Two laboratories to support practical activities;
- Two receptions.
PUCRS VIRTUAL mission: PUCRS Virtual mission is to produce and to provide courses and services related to Distance Education approach support by modern technologies according to Maristas’ educational tradition , observing humanistic aspects, ethics and moral principles.
PUCRS VIRTUAL vision: In 2015, PUCRS VIRTUAL will be a national and international reference by the relevance of its services and courses, boundary by innovation and communitarian work, quality of life of its actors with strong ethics and moral principles.
PUCRS VIRTUAL Goals: PUCRS VIRTUAL aims at training and at qualifying different professionals through its courses, based on innovation pedagogy, using a flexible framework of services and methodologies.
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