The Open University of Brazil in the management of student permanence in Pedagogy courses

Felipe Sereno Soso, Master in Education from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Software Developer, Porto Alegre/RS, Brazil.

Logo of the journal Educação em Revista.

In a world where digital technologies are increasingly present, distance education is gaining ground internationally. In Brazil, educational statistics show that more students are enrolled in distance learning than in face-to-face higher education. However, the country is still dealing with high dropout rates at this level of education and the completion rates for distance learning courses, in general, are still lower.

This scenario has aroused the concern of higher education institutions, which, committed to their social responsibility, need to improve retention rates and, consequently, graduate students rates. Besides these indicators, there is a national concern about the training of teachers for Basic Education, both in terms of the number of students who opt for a teaching career and complete their Pedagogy or Degree courses, and the quality of the training they have access to, as well as their integration and professional permanence in the area.

Faced with these challenges, an investigation was carried out in the context of the largest government initiative for the internalization and expansion of distance education, the Open University of Brazil, to identify successful actions, concerns, and opportunities for improving the management of student permanence in distance Pedagogy courses. Through interviews with institutional managers, document analysis and a literature review, a qualitative study was carried out at six higher education institutions in southern Brazil.

The constituent elements of this study, entitled Student permanence in distance learning Pedagogy courses: a study from the Open University of Brazil, as well as the importance of the data collected, give the investigation unique characteristics in terms of what has already been produced on this subject. Each context surveyed showed different levels of commitment to the institutionalization of the modality and the management of permanence. In view of these circumstances, seven guidelines were proposed for drawing up policies to promote retention:

  1. Qualifying the information available to those interested in joining the course;
  2. Structuring protocols for receiving and welcoming new students;
  3. Setting up a plan to monitor students’ academic progress;
  4. Promoting activities aimed at the social and academic integration of students;
  5. Establishing mechanisms to monitor dropout rates;
  6. Providing student support in response to the needs expressed by them; and
  7. Promoting institutional evaluations that consider the specificities of distance learning courses.
Photograph of a man wearing glasses and headphones smiling while looking at a laptop screen. He is sitting at a table with a book, notebooks and a pen. In the background, there are shelves with folders and potted plants.

Image: Freepik

These guidelines are detailed in the study, to support Higher Education Institutions in developing consistent programs and actions to support the retention and success of students in their training paths. The implementation of these guidelines requires institutional coordination regarding their contexts and communities, so that they can be fully developed.

We would like to point out that we submitted the article to the journal Educação em Revista of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) for its quality and in the knowledge that it adopts Open Science principles. We therefore deposited the manuscript in the SciELO preprints repository and filled in the Open Science compliance form.

In the process of evaluating the article, we took part in a valuable moment of open peer review in which, as authors, we presented the research and discussed its results with the reviewers, explaining nuances of the research which, on their recommendation, became part of the final version published in the journal. 

The review of the manuscript, written by Prof. Suzana dos Santos Gomes, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Educação em Revista and a participant in the open peer review process in question, was published alongside the article, in volume 40 (2024), under the title Educational management of initial training of teachers in distance learning. 

We also highlight the efforts to share the research, through the publication of the article in Portuguese and English, the release and videos made available on different social networks and scientific platforms, ensuring greater reach and visibility of the studies carried out.

Educação em Revista Special Week

To read the article, access

SOSO, F.S.S., KAMPFF, A.J.C. and MACHADO, K.G.W. Permanência discente em cursos de pedagogia a distância: um estudo a partir da Universidade Aberta do Brasil. Educação em Revista [online]. 2024, vol. 40, e38961 [viewed 07 June 2024]. Available from: 

External links

Educação em Revista – EDUR:

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Felipe Sereno Soso – LinkedIn: 

Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul – Instagram: 


Translated from the original in Portuguese by Lilian Nassi-Calò.


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

SOSO, F.S. The Open University of Brazil in the management of student permanence in Pedagogy courses [online]. SciELO in Perspective: Humanities, 2024 [viewed ]. Available from:


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