Open and Free Courses 
Institutions have different economic strategies with regard to web courses, and both the 
catalogue entries and the interviews indicate that many institutions offer courses for free or at 
an open web site. Among the institutions that offer free courses are: 
   The Virtual University   Supported by the Einstein College from Sao Paulo [16] 
(
http://www.ibase.org.br/~ined/
) was founded with the intention of providing free distance 
education courses to an open market. 
   Management Training and Executive Development [15] (http://www.mce.be/wbt.htm) in 
Belgium offers 5 free management courses at an open web site. Currently these free 
courses act as a  taster  for what the company can offer. In addition, they provide a means 
of bringing employees up to speed before classroom training, which MCE also offer. 
   TecMinho   Associacao Universidade   Empresa para o Desenvolvimento [70] 
(
http://www.eng.uminho.pt/tecminho
) in Portugal has 50 students in the course: Electronic 
Information Services. The course is offered free of charge via the web. It is an independent 
learning course based on an Internet site. All course content is on the web. The tutoring is 
mainly computer based, but it is possible to have human tutoring if required. 
   Universidade Aberta [71] (
http://www.infodesketop.com/eetp
) in Portugal has 12 students 
in the course: Heath and Safety at the Work Place. The course is offered free of charge via 
the web. The content is web based, the communication is based on private e mail, and the 
tutoring is available via thematic conferences. 
   MBA International Institute [122] (
http://www.mbaii.org
) has 300 students in a business 
administration course. The free web based course is open to all persons interested in 
Business Administration. It is intended to be useful for future managers and also providing 
update information to acting managers. This is supported by the in depth interview that 
reveals that the courses are absolutely free   there is no need even to register <122>. 
Among the institutions that offer courses on an open web site are Pontificia Universidade 
Catolica do Rio de Janeiro [18] in Brazil, Community Learning Network [23] in Canada, and 
the Government of Cyprus [29]. Other examples are: 
   The in depth interview about the California Distance Learning Project [113] explains that 
all the materials are free and open. There is no need to register <113>. 
   The Pacific University/Optometry Today [126] (
http://www.pacificu.edu/oce/past.html
) 
offers 12 courses in ophthalmology at an open web site. All the courses are lectures on the 
web by guest lecturers which participants can take at their leisure. The lectures can either 
be viewed on the web or downloaded and printed. Participants do not necessarily have to 
register to study the courses, however, to receive course credit participants do need to 
register. Participants can e mail questions to and receive feedback from the guest lecturer. 
However, the in depth interviews explains that the cost of each course is $50 for 3 credits 
<126>. 
Some institutions offer courses free of charge as they are treated as pilot projects. These 
include the Australian National Training Authority <11> and Pinelands High School <78> in 
South Africa. 
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