imply that it is necessary to focus much more on how online education could become more 
cost effective. This include a focus on how online courses could handle larger enrolment and 
prioritizing cost effective technology and development schemes. 
Develop better systems for administration of online education 
Institutions that plan to offer large scale and professional online education need an 
administrative system which is integrated with the web. A discouraging, but important 
observation is that a number of institutions do not use the web for administrative purposes. 
Many of the administrative solutions are primitive, and much could be done to improve most 
of the existing systems. The standard, commercial systems are continuously being improved, 
but they may still need much local adaptation. They may only meet some of the administrative 
needs, and they could place some pedagogical limitations on the courses. 
Support initiatives for training of online teachers, administrators, and 
instructional designers 
Online education is a new field with little research and practical experience. Practitioners need 
more knowledge and experience. Initiatives to disseminate existing research, examples of 
good practice, and training should be supported. 
Oppose regulations and attitudes that inhibits online assessment 
Assessment systems are strong indicators of how seriously course providers value their aims. 
One could argue that summative assessment is such an important issue for students, teachers, 
and course providers that experimentation with online assessment functions is risky and hard 
to find support for. Two obvious challenges for online assessment are authentication of 
student identification and detection of plagiarized digital material. Other barriers are public 
and institutional regulations, traditions for physical attendance, and technical limitations. 
These barriers to online assessment counteract the development of online education since they 
support face to face attendance and preserve traditional education. 
While summative assessment of online courses seem to be very traditional and often has a 
face to face component, formative assessment is more experimental and based on online 
However, there are some strategies that could improve online assessment. This author 
(Paulsen, 1998) has previously suggested that course providers should consider the following 
five strategies to organize and improve online assessment: 
1. Consider testing the learners  ability to find and apply information, rather than to 
memorize and reproduce it. One possible approach to online assessment could be to focus 
more on the students  knowledge management abilities and less on their knowledge of the 
course content as Mason discussed in her book on global education: 
...content based methods of assessment are still being applied to conditions which 
demand a skills based approach. This is undoubtedly because it is easier to design 
reliable assessment systems which test content rather than process. We have much less 
experience in assessing students  knowledge management abilities, the ways in which 
the course has transformed their thinking, and developed their skills in communicating 
and working with colleagues in the domain of the course content (Mason 1998, 42). 



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