Chapter 4. Institutional Issues in Online Education
This chapter discusses the number of online courses and subject areas offered by the
institutions and the number of online students they have. Finally, various categories of
institutions that offer online education are presented and discussed.
Number of Online Courses Per Institution
Table 5 shows that a large number of the institutions offer quite few courses. As many as 30
(23.1%) institutions report to have only one web course, and 60 (46.2%) institutions report to
offer less than 5 courses. From this, one can infer that much of the activities are experimental
and not pivotal for the institutions.
Table 5. Distribution of institutions per number of courses
Number of courses Number of
2 4 30
5 15 28
16 99 28
Only four institutions reported to have 100 courses or more. These were The Open University
of the Netherlands  with 360 courses, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid  with 200
course, New York Institute of Technology On Line Campus  with 105 courses, and
Maricopa Community Colleges  with 100 courses.
The Open University of the Netherlands  (Case Study 4) (
) claims to
have 360 courses and 2500 students. All courses have general web services, some more (fully
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (CEPADE)  (
) reports to have
200 courses and 1600 students. CEPADE is the Business School from the Universidad
Politecnica de Madrid (U.P.M.) and it is responsible for Master and Specialization courses on
Enterprises Administration at distance, using the Internet. As support of the CEPADE Virtual
Campus the FirstClass application is used, and virtual classrooms and study rooms are created
for each course enabling the collaborative learning. The certification of CEPADE is provided
by U.P.M and the center has been working on distance learning environments since 1972.
Maricopa Community Colleges  (
) in the U.S. reports to
have approximately 100 courses. Course material is provided on the web. Instruction,
assignments and some of the examinations are conducted online using the FirstClass system
which can be accessed via a web browser. The above site also has a Visitor s Center which
gives access to sample lessons. The FAQ on online courses also provides background
information for potential applicants.