RIBIE 98, a conference hosted in Brasilia by the Iberian American Network of Educational 
Computing and Telecommunications 
   Towards the Global Virtual University Alliance, a workshop in Barcelona organized by the 
International Council for Open and Distance Education 
   TeleTeaching98, a conference in Vienna organized by the International Federation for 
Information Processing 
In addition, a research assistant was engaged in searching the web for potential providers of 
courses on the web. More than one hundred sites were identified and individual requests were 
e mailed to these sites. 
The Interviews 
The project agreed interview form was presented as a word document with an introduction, 
and explanation and sent by e mail to the contact persons at 24 selected institutions: 
Table 1. Distribution of interviews requested and answers received 
N distributed  N received 
Denmark 1 
Finland 2 
Germany 6 
Iceland 1 
Netherlands 3 
Norway 8 
Sweden 3 
Total 24 
The accompanying letter said that the interviewer would phone the interviewee to carry out a 
telephone interview. The interviewees could also answer the interview by e mail if so 
preferred. About half the interviewees preferred to answer the interview by e mail, while the 
other half was interviewed on the phone. The phone interviews were taped and transcribed by 
the interviewer. To secure correct understanding both by the interviewees (of the questions) 
and the interviewer (of the message), the following procedure was applied: 
The interview form included a description of the CISAER project and the information we 
were searching for 
The form also included some constructed example answers 
After the interview on the phone had been drafted, the transcript was sent to the 
interviewee for confirmation, correction, and possible additions and clarifications 
Responses received by e mail were, if found necessary, supplied with suggestions for 
changes and additions, which were confirmed by the interviewee either on the telephone 
or on e mail 
Most of the interviewees, who responded by e mail were also contacted by phone, in a 
couple of cases the final transcript was a result of a combination of e mail and phone 
When the interviewee had accepted the transcript of  final version  the interviews were 
presented on a passworded web site available for the interviewees only. Here they could 
read their own answers, compare with others, and if necessary suggest changes to be 



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