This paper seeks to present an action-research into my own practice as an educator and researcher. Having researched the relationship between Architecture & Urban Design with online learning and virtual learning spaces for many years as well as having developed my teaching practice in these areas, in face-to-face and hybrid form, I saw the need for fully online teaching & learning in 2020 with a renewed interest. The paper revisits a pedagogical model for online learning I proposed in the past, which is the result of a search for a coherent framework based on pedagogical principles. Based on a constructivist approach, the model combines socio-cultural theories and critical pedagogy with a ‘reflective-practice’ based methodology. Having been applied in different contexts and countries, this model is now used as the basis for reflection on my teaching of Architecture & Urban Design developed over the years, and in special the experience within the 2020 Brazilian social context under the Covid-19 crisis. It is argued that Web-based technologies and powerful Internet connections provide a vast array of possibilities for educational technology, however, they do not guarantee the quality of the learning process. Amongst other issues, the socio-economic and cultural context plays an extremely important role, affecting both learners and teachers.
The author graduated in Architecture and Urbanism from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, with a Master’s in Architecture and Urbanism from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, Post-graduate Certificate in Higher Education from the University of Sheffield, Ph.D. in Architecture at the University of Sheffield, and post-doctorate at the Swiss Institute of Technology, Zurich. With experience in research, teaching, and design in Architecture and Urbanism developed in Brazil, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland, she has worked on a series of projects using a participatory approach in the development of real and virtual environments (virtual learning and collaboration environments), as well as teaching and researching in the subjects of Architecture & Urbanism. She is now an independent researcher and consultant, living in Switzerland.