This case study is a transcript of an interview written by Torstein Rekkedal.
NITOL Norway net with IT for Open Learning  (
) has 1300
students and 80 courses in several subject areas within engineering, teacher education, and
information technology. Four independent institutions: Norwegian University of Science and
Technology (courses in IT and Informatics), Stord/Haugesund College (courses in teacher
training, information science, engineering, and nautics), Agder College (courses in
engineering, IT, telematics, etc.), and Sor Trondelag College (courses in engineering, IT,
business administration, etc.). The partners collaborate on course development as well as on
NITOL is a consortium of 4 Norwegian universities/university colleges for the purpose of
providing open and distributed learning through Internet. Each institution remains
For all of the NITOL courses, web is used for distribution, presentation, communication,
administration, teaching, and for creating an electronic learning environment.
WWW is the backbone for all the NITOL courses, both for distribution of own material and
for linking up to other existing material on the web. Standard textbooks supplement the
material provided through the network. Netbased material includes graphics, simulations,
animations, sound and video for some of the courses. Normally the courses are based on web
based material, developed for the particular course, supplemented by ordinary, printed
textbooks as in the on campus courses. Some courses may include video and audio materials
that are distributed through Internet.
Tutors give feedback on all questions and comments on e mail and comments in discussions
groups on the listserv. Assignments for submission are commented and corrected by a tutors.
We do not use synchronous communication, because it damages the flexibility of the system.
The types of communication applied are: one online (single student using web material and
information), one to one, one to many, many to many. All kinds of communication ICT
based are involved.
Most courses are assessed through tutor marked assignments during the course. Marking is for
process evaluation and feedback. There are formal, written exams in all courses. For final
grading only the formal exams count as they do for ordinary, on campus students taking the
The courses areas accredited as the ordinary university examinations and the equivalent
courses on campus. Students who complete but do not sit the exam may receive a statement
of completion .
The course fee is the same for all NITOL students, fixed at 1 200 NKr/credit, i.e. for two
semesters half time=one semester full time (10 credits) the total fee paid by the student is
12 000 NKr, around 1 500 ecu.
Normal enrolment at start of each term, i.e. January 15 or August 15. Additional enrolments
are allowed during the terms, but exams are only arranged at end of terms, i.e. in December