The Brazilian university system has trouble offering quality superior education to its students. Most of the highly-regarded university institutions are located in major city centers and in specific regions, making it difficult for individuals in search of knowledge located in rural and far regions to have access to them.
This is one of the reasons that distance education has experienced continued growth in Brazil. Each year more and more students and professionals committed to lifelong learning are showing interest in ways of learning that don't require students or professors to actually be present in the classroom.
Online University Classes
While most of the distance education services in Brazil are paid and provided by the numerous private universities, free and widely accessible solutions are establishing a growing user base.
Some of Brazil’s most prestigious universities and institutions have platforms for free online courses that present the content of a regular lecture recorded in different formats. This content, however, does not grant certification or offer ways of interaction with teaching assistants.
One of the top-tier public superior learning institutions and one of the first to introduce means of free access to online classes is a platform called UNESP Aberta. The service is accessible through free registration and provides courses covering topics like Biology, Exact and Humanity Sciences.
The content provided is based on video classes and there are no ways of interacting with teaching assistants or receiving certificates.
Access UNESP Aberta here: http://www.unesp.br/unespaberta
Brazil’s largest university offers a platform for accessible online classed called e-Aulas USP. Within their environment, any user is free to access courses and classes that range from Political Science to Medicine Diagnostics and Geophysics.
The system currently has no means of interactivity and certification, as the content is solely based on video classes.
Access e-Aulas USP at http://eaulas.usp.br/
Another of the most respected universities in Brazil provides a platform for online classes called e-Unicamp, where classes, interviews, articles and explanations about various subjects are presented through freely accessible illustrations, animation and videos.
This material is licensed through Creative Commons and requires no charge or registration by the user.
Acces e-Unicamp here: http://www.ggte.unicamp.br/e-unicamp/public/
The public university located in the state of Rio de Janeiro offers free video classes for varied topics that include medicine, psychology, physics, management and many others through their Portal de Videoaulas.
Their portal offers openly accessible videos divided by category and hosted on Youtube.
Access Portal de Videoaulas here: http://videoaulas.uff.br/
The renowned Brazilian institution focused on economy, marketing and management offers free classes on these subjects sponsored by private companies. FGV is part of Open Course Ware Consortium, a global organization devoted to enabling accessible education throughout the world.
Their portal FGV Online requires free registration for access to the classes.
Access FGV Online here: http://www5.fgv.br/fgvonline/Cursos/Gratuitos/
The public institution created to support small business and entrepreneurs offers free online courses on its distance education portal.
All courses approach subjects related to entrepreneurship and management and can be accessed after a free registration.
Access Sebrae EAD Portal here: http://www.ead.sebrae.com.br/
Brazilian MOOC Portals
Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOC’s are online courses also offered by top-level Brazilian universities that grant the possibility of certification for completion and of interaction with teachers and fellow users.
These courses are mostly based on video content of regular classes integrated with learning additives, such as questions to verify the student’s attention and content retention, and can be accessed by anyone with a computer or web-enabled device.
Recently launched in Brazil, Veduca is a platform for MOOC education that offers numerous courses from Brazilian and foreign universities and means for interaction and certification.
Universities that provide classes to Veduca include USP, UNICAMP, UNB, UFSC, UNESP and universities outside of Brazil, including Berkeley, Stanford, Oxford, and multiple others. The hundreds of courses available on the platform cover major segments of knowledge through video classes and lectures.
Veduca courses also include ways for students to communicate with each other through a forum and write important information in a virtual notebook. Between classes, students are presented with tests to evaluate the retention of knowledge from class content.
Some courses offer ways for acquiring certification for completion. Those are issued following regular tests that occur within the universities. Veduca also offers a paid MBA certification for a specific engineering course.