Participation of Fundacion Getulio Vargas in the Open Course Ware Consortium (OCWC)
By Stavros Panagiotis Xanthopoylos
Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV)
Fundacion Getulio Vargas was the first Brazilian institution to participate in the Open Course Ware Consortium (OCWC), a consortium of educational institutions from different countries that offer courses and teaching materials, free of charge, through the Internet. Since its association with the University of California, Irvine (UCI), signed in 2006, FGV made two consortium courses available online in July 2008: one on human resources, designed by an institution in the United States, which was translated in Portuguese and adapted to the Foundation’s methodology, and another on Ethics, created by FGV Online. During the first 10 days, 20,000 Brazilians accessed the FGV OCWC courses online.
In November 2008, two new courses were offered on FGV Online: Science and Technology and Diversity in the Organization. In February 2009, FGV Online became committed to offering 10 courses over a period of two years. However, in 14 months, FGV Online has already passed its goal and offered 21 courses with durations varying from 5 to 30 hours in the areas of Business Administration, Methodologies in Research and Education, Science and Technology, Ethics and Human Resources, in addition to two course of Philosophy and Sociology, targeting high school teachers, and a survey on new orthographical rules of the Portuguese language.
Foundation Getulio Vargas is the only institution in Brazil that sends certificates of completion to participants that complete OCWC courses. Since 2008, the content offered by the consortium FGV Online has already been visited by more than three million Brazilians. One survey carried out by FGV Online in the first half of 2010 describes the profile of those accessing the courses. The majority are women between the ages of 25 and 35 years, unmarried, with a monthly income of 2000 Reales (USD $1,130) that have graduated and wish to expand their training. Almost 60% of the participants are analysts, directors and professors, and the majority of them come from southeastern Brazil.
The Open Course Ware Consortium is the most important movement for shared education on the Internet, and its main objective is to promote the free dissemination of educational materials, philosophy and ways of thinking, following the same concept of open code software. More than 200 educational institutions of international renown are consortium members, created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has attracted users from 215 countries from every continent. Among its members, in addition to MIT and UCI, are Harvard’s School of Law, Yale University and Monterrey’s Technologico.
The significant number of participants in the FGV OCWC online courses is a reflection of the recent growth in distance education in Brazil. The Internet is increasingly serving as a tool for learning and professional development, due to its accessibility and for offering its users, in a friendly manner, the technological tools used at work. In that sense, FGV Online reinforces its function of offering accessible, quality content through an innovative and democratic platform, whose objective is to spread education on a global level, without geographical or cultural restrictions.
Since its creation, FGV Online has always been in the vanguard of distance education, developing methodologies, content and innovation teaching solutions, under the Fundacion Getulio Vargas brand, to become a national and international reference in distance education. Participating in OCWC is an important step towards the mission of imprinting FGV excellence in the educational and technological revolution promoted by the Internet, reiterating its desire to take knowledge and quality education to where ever the students may be.
Stavros Panagiotis Xanthopoylos
Dean of FGV Online – Distance Education Unit at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), former Associate Dean of the OneMBA program at Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV-EAESP), and Professor of the Production and Operations Management Department, teaches the required MBA course, “Operations Management;” Xanthopoylos has been involved with distance education since 1995, as an author, coordinator and lecturer. He is also responsible for developing, coordinating and conducting Executive company MBAs at firms such as Embraer, Braskem SA and Odebrecht Engenharia e Construção. His research focuses on how companies leverage their operational knowledge in production, supply chain and quality management. Xanthopoylos holds a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration from FGV-EAESP and completed his Bachelor and Post Graduate studies in Production Engineering at Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Xanthopoylos has worked as a consultant for both the private and public sectors, conducting mainly knowledge management, quality and operations management and strategy projects in Brazil, Europe and Southern Asia. He teaches and represents FGV at the BVLA program (Building Ventures in Latin America), a joint effort with Harvard Business School and four other Brazilian institutions.
Main Photo: © UNESCO/SJO/CI - Oscar Figueroa Figueroa
Links of interest:
Fundación Getúlio Vargas
Open Course Ware Consortium
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