implementation and evaluation. Today they have 300 masters and doctoral students in courses 
using videoconference, Internet and face to face meetings, more than 100 students in 
certificate courses using Internet, print material and face to face workshops and more than 
160.000 enrolls in non certificate courses all over Brazil. The Laboratory is a research center 
devoted to design and administrate courses at a distance that are adequate to the students 
context and provide support for the professors and students involved. 
The LED   Distance Education Lab from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina: Is a 
Federal University depending on the Federal Government and the Ministry of Education and 
Culture from Brazil. This interview was done by phone with Prof. Barcia   LED Manager and 
with Prof. Joao Vernney   LED Coordinator. Other information was provided online by Eng  
Rosangela Rodrigues. 
The LED uses the web for presentation, communication, administration and teaching in their 
Web site overview: 
1)  common area with information, curricula, working teams, statistics, etc 
2)  restricted area for students   online distance learning environment containing learning 
The courses are customized, meaning that the media used depend on the students' needs and 
contexts. Depending on the aims of the course and on the student group needs and context, the 
following media can be used: 
(1) videoconference 
(2) teleconference ( one way video, two way audio) 
(3) internet ( working environment   tools and pedagogical strategies) 
(4) CD ROM 
(5) Video  
(6)  Printed materials 
(7) Free phone line  
The decision on the type of media used depends on the objectives of the course, the nature of 
the content, the group of students' needs and the students' context (technological and other). 
The courses are customized for each group of students, usually the students are from the same 
company or institution or university and they are located in different cities in Brazil. Using a 
Virtual University metaphor the student is seen as an identity member of a virtual community, 
responsible for the construction of knowledge. 
The student can use the working rooms, the library, the forums and he/she can make 
publication online. All programming was made in order to make the students' life easier, and 
everything is in natural language. 
All types of communication are used: institution to student, student to institution, student to 
student, student online. In particular, in the student to student communication there is a 
component of collaborative work between students   they accomplish tasks together in small 



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