Designing for distance learning in developing countries: a case study


  • Jimena De Mello Heredia Federal University of Santa Catarina
  • Lucila Carvalho Massey University
  • Eleonora Milano Falcão Vieira Federal University of Santa Catarina


Design for learning, Distance Learning, Learning Design


Teaching and learning in higher education are being transformed through complex configurations of people, tasks, material and digital resources. Successful designs for innovative learning require understanding how these complex configurations relate to learner’s activity. This paper illustrates the application of a networked learning approach to frame the design of distance learning in higher education in developing countries. A case study based in a Bachelor subject offered at a Brazilian university is discussed. Its analysis unveils how design fits into a broader social context that influences structural elements related to learning materials, the learning management systems adopted, and the social arrangements for students in this case study. The paper shows how the networked learning approach allows us to explore the complexities of distance learning in developing countries, offering an analytical ground to identify, explore, learn and adapt key re-usable design ideas, with the aim of improving distance teaching and learning in higher education.

Author Biographies

Jimena De Mello Heredia, Federal University of Santa Catarina

Department of Information Science

Lucila Carvalho, Massey University

Institute of Education

Eleonora Milano Falcão Vieira, Federal University of Santa Catarina

Department of Accounting