Some institutions have course development teams, others use the tutor as the sole designer of
a course. The different models probably have implications for both quality control and
The interview analysis implies that accreditation of online courses and programs is very
similar to the institutions traditional accreditation schemes. Degrees, diplomas, certificates,
and statements of completions are all widely used. The accreditation seem to be the same
independent on whether the course or program is offered online or not. Many institutions
basically state that the accreditation is the same as for campus courses.
Accreditation could be an important competitive advantage and several strategies could be
followed to achieve the necessary accreditation. Collaboration with institutions in other
countries could result in bilateral accreditation.
While summative assessment of online courses seem to be very traditional and often has a
face to face component, formative assessment is more experimental and based on online
Most of the institutions apply several assessments methods in a course or program. Tutor
assessment is the most common form of assessment found in the interviews. The interviews
reveal many examples of self assessment, but they imply that computer assessment is
relatively scarce. However there are several examples of online quizzes, multiple choice tests,
and some examples of interactive exercises. The interview analysis imply that peer assessment
is relatively scarce. The interviews indicate that some courses have no assessment simply
because they are self study courses with no tutors.
Enrollment and Progress Flexibility
Both enrollment and progress can be more or less flexible. However, the two main models
found in the interviews are group enrollment and progress and individual enrollment and
progress. These models represent two different strategies that have important consequences
for marketing strategies, administrative systems, and pedagogical approaches.
The interviews testify that group based enrollment and progression is far more used than
individual enrollment and progression. The analysis identified 46 institutions that used the
group model and 12 that followed the individual model. In addition, 11 institutions offered
The preponderance of the group model could come from conventional thinking that sustain
the semester and term system in traditional educational systems. Another possible reason is
that the institutions have a well considered perception that team work and collaborative
learning is hard to achieve with individual enrollment and progress. One can however argue
that many students will prefer individual flexibility and that many institutions lack systems,
structures, and competence on individual enrollment and progression. If so, one may
hypothesize that open universities and distance teaching institutions should be more disposed
of individual flexibility than traditional universities and colleges. However, the analysis has
not found evidence to support this hypothesis.