student's side. Thus, a student can begin later and recover with pre recorded chat and
videoconference sessions. The time flexibility is very important:
asynchronous is better then synchronous
block the access to the disciplines > drop out danger.
One Institution, Two Models
A few institutions offers both models, but state that most courses are not flexible:
At TRAINET <51> in Italy, enrolment can be flexible in the case of on the desk courses,
any time during 2 years (basic training on telecommunications). In most courses enrolment
is not flexible. It begins and ends on fixed dates.
At the Central Michigan University, College of Extended Learning <117> in the US, most
courses have fixed start and finish dates, but students registering through the Independent
Study route can start and finish at their convenience.
At the University of South Australia <5>, most courses have fixed start, and fixed finish
for 2 semesters per year.
In most of the courses at Istituto Tecnologie Didattiche <50> in Italy, enrolment is not
flexible. It begins and ends on fixed dates.
At the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Bergen <66> in Norway, most
of the courses have fixed progression.
A few institutions seem to offer both models at more equal terms:
The Centre for Extension Studies at the Turku university <33> in Finland offers courses,
which have exact starting time of the year, but also courses, that have flexible starting
At the Tele Akademie der FH Furtwangen <37> in Germany, some open courses are
offered with flexible enrolment. However, they have fixed progression for all other
courses in order to enable communication and co operation between our learners.
At the Wodonga Institute of TAFE <7> in Australia, both models are possible. Self paced
courses can begin at any time; others have to wait until a group forms.
At the University of South Australia, Division of Education, Art and Social Sciences <8>,
the B.Ed has a fixed start and a fixed finish. The Ph.D. is flexible throughout.
The Open University of the Netherlands <54> try to break down the complete openness of the
system by offering pre structured trajectories that bring together students, a number of courses
and resources. The subscription menu shows the degree of autonomy that is still allowed, but
at the expense of a higher price to be paid by students.
Indira Gandhi National Open University <42> in India uses fixed start and finish at the
moment, but they are moving to provide both types.
Individual Enrollment and Progress
Relatively few institutions are committed to offer flexible enrollment and progression. NKI
Nettskolen <58> states: "With a few exceptions, all our courses are offered with flexible
enrollment, the students can enroll at any time of the year. We also allow free progression, so
that the students may have their individual progression schedule." Similar statements are