Chapter 1. Introduction 
The foundation for this report is the authors participation in the CISAER project, but the 
discussions also draw heavily on the authors doctoral thesis: Teaching Techniques for 
Computer mediated Communication (Paulsen 1998) and from his work as the Director of 
Development at The NKI Internet College (www.nettskolen.com). Further inspiration and 
insight come from the development of the Specialization Program in International Online 
Education (
www.nettskolen.com/spice)
, a project which is headed by the author. 
The CISAER Project 
This report is based on an analysis of the 130 entries presented in the CISAER catalogue of 
web courses and the 72 interviews that were conducted with key persons at these institutions. 
The institutions are listed in the appendix and the bracket references used throughout this 
report refer to the catalogue entries [number] and the respective interviews  as they 
are listed in the appendix. 
The 140 pages of interviews are not public, but the CISAER catalogue can be found via 
http://www.nettskolen.com/alle/in_english/cisaer
. 
CISAER (Courses on the Internet: Survey, Analysis, Evaluation, Recommendation) is a 
project supported by the European Leonardo da Vinci program. The project aims to provide a 
comprehensive, state of the art survey of course provision on the web with professional 
analysis, balanced evaluation and far reaching recommendations which will provide the field 
of vocational education and training in the EU with a tool for dealing with this new training 
dimension. 
The CISAER project partners are: 
   Ana Dias, Tecminho, Portugal 
   Desmond Keegan, Distance Education International, Ireland 
   Robin Mason, The Open University, UK 
   Morten Flate Paulsen and Torstein Rekkedal, NKI, Norway 
The CISAER catalogue aims to provide a comprehensive annotated web catalogue with links 
to institutions that provide Internet courses with some use of the web. The courses must also 
comply with the following criteria: 
1. At least one of the following should be web based: 
   student interaction with tutor or fellow students 
   access or submission of assignments 
   access to course resources 
   activities/simulations/experiences 
2. The courses must not be private in company training, nor offered only to full time campus 
based students. 
In June 1998, the project team decided to carry out approximately 20 interviews each, which 
would compile about 80 interviews with representatives from institutions in the catalogue. 
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