Keywords

Distance education, e-learning, higher education, lifelong learning, prisons, teaching and learning, digital inclusion, innovation

Abstract

Higher Education in Europe has undergone massive changes due to technological advancements and changes resulting from the Bologna Process, by which learning should be accessible for all regardless of social exclusion reasons, such as imprisonment. The resulting massification of access to Higher Education requires a flexible and inclusive training offer focused on the student. These are the primary aims of Distance Learning at the Open University of Portugal. The aim of this paper is to understand the viewpoints of twenty-six respondents (students, applicants to courses and senior rehabilitation technicians) on the reality of Higher Education in Distance Learning and e-Learning in a Portuguese prison. This study occurs in a context of a non-positivist paradigm, placing the emphasis on the perception of individuals through a qualitative methodology. The results obtained from interviews show that the education process has many weaknesses and limitations mostly due to the lack of facilities, educational and technological resources, and support from teachers. The conclusion is that it is essential to provide better conditions for prisoners to receive this type of education, as it can be an opportunity for obtaining professional qualification and for personal development, thus increasing their prospects of success in the future.

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Technical information

Received: 30-09-2016

Revised: 13-11-2016

Accepted: 05-12-2016

OnlineFirst: 15-02-2017

Publication date: 01-04-2017

Article revision time: 44 days | Average time revision issue 51: 52 days

Article acceptance time: 66 days | Average time of acceptance issue 51: 121 days

Preprint editing time: 138 days | Average editing time preprint issue 51: 193 days

Article editing time: 183 days | Average editing time issue 51: 238 days

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Moreira, J., Reis-Monteiro, A., & Machado, A. (2017). Higher education distance learning and e-learning in prisons in Portugal. [La educación superior a distancia y el e-Learning en las prisiones en Portugal]. Comunicar, 51, 39-49. https://doi.org/10.3916/C51-2017-04

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