More efficient studies

Experts give tips to those who want to invest in distance learning, a model with increasing market relevance

In the kitchen of her house, Tathyane Menezes strives to be able to pay attention to the correct mixture of ingredients, the boiling point of the pots and the computer, her main ally in the moment to hit the recipes. Student of the 3rd semester of online gastronomy, she uses the explanatory videos in the Anhembi Morumbi University system to prepare her dishes. "I need to photograph each stage of the preparation to build the portfolio requested by the teachers," she says. The process is part of the course's grading, created in 2010. Since the teachers do not taste the final result, the note is defined according to criteria such as appearance of the dish, consistency of the sauces and cutting of the meats.

Despite the rush, the effort pays off. "I decided to bet on distance learning because of the freedom the schedules offer and so I wouldn't have to travel every day to the university," said the student. Last week, she began an internship at the prestigious restaurant D.O.M, by chef Alex Atala. "I did not feel any difference in treatment at job interviews because I'm taking remote classes." Education professionals agree that the bias in the job market in relation to online courses has actually declined in recent years. "Most companies do not even distinguish between traditional diplomas and those offered on the Internet," says Janes Fidélis, director of the area at Anhembi Morumbi.

Remote ABC
The main advices of educators

Do not isolate yourself at home: participate in online discussions and exchange information with fellow students
Have a daily schedule to prevent missed deadlines and accumulated study
Try to know and use the initiatives offered by your educational institution, especially the virtual libraries and the interactive links
Study time
Set aside at least one hour a day to devote to the tasks and compensate the delayed studies on weekens

The new scenario has worked as an engine for increasing demand and the industry has grown at an average rate of 40% per year. A recent census by the Brazilian Distance Education Association pointed out about 6 million enrolled in courses of the type in the country. It is estimated that 25% of them are in the State of São Paulo. Experts in the field, however, alert that the convenience of studying at home does not mean that lessons will be easier (check out the tips above). The flexibility of the model, which gives the student autonomy to decide his own class schedule, is often the key for tasks to accumulate. "It is essential to create a daily agenda to don't miss deadlines," explains Janes Fidélis. For those who need to reconcile college and employment, it is recommended to establish at least one hour of study each day, reserving the weekends to review the subject. "With this level of dedication, I manage," says the manager Sérgio Augusto de Andrade, who is in the last semester of the technological graduation in managerial processes at the Getulio Vargas Foundation. "I work about ten hours a day. It would be impossible to meet the fixed schedule of the presencial course, "he adds. 
Lack of commitment is indicated as one of the main reasons for the avoidance of 20% of those enrolled in type modules. To escape the statistics, some institutions are investing in proposals that guarantee more interactivity. "The drop-out is decreases when there is real-time participation," says Professor Adriano Mussa of the Saint Paul business school in the Jardins. One year ago, the institution implemented the EAD Live system, in which classes of the presencial courses are transmitted live to remote students. The monthly cost of this model costs from 1 399 reais, 30% less than the conventional one.
For those who still do not know for sure whether or not they have what it takes to study at home, a tip is to start with free courses. "There are good initiatives in various fields on the internet," says Professor Ivete Palange, counselor at the Brazilian Distance Education Association. Some highly sought after are the Polytechnic Institute of Distance Learning, which offers more than 1000 options. Less than a month ago, the institution released a paid novelty called IPED. TV, the system gives access to the complete collection of the company's programs. The available packages range from 19.90 to 59.90 reais per month. More than 100 000 people have downloaded this "Netflix of education" in the last two weeks.

More options
Some of the recent courses in the area

Compliance and Internal Controls Institution: Saint Paul
Duration: sixteen hours
Value: 399 reais

Computer Engineering Institution: Univesp
Duration: five years
Value: free

Training in the Financial Market Institution: Veduca / BM & F Bovespa
Duration: sixty hours
Amount: 1 199 reais

Masters in Commercial Media Management Institution: ESPM
Duration: 360 hours
Value: 12 280 reais

Sales and Trading Management Institution: FIA
Duration: 64 hours
Value: 2 240 reais