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From R&D Project to Virtual Universities

From R&D Project to Virtual Universities
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Author(s): Harald Haugen (Stord/Haugesund University College, Norway) and Bodil Ask (Agder University College, Norway and United Nation University, Japan)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 8
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch146


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Four Norwegian higher educational institutions—the University Colleges at Agder, Stord/Haugesund, and Sør-Trøndelag, and the University in Trondheim (NTNU)—had all participated in a European collaborative project on open learning, that is, JITOL (Just- In-Time Open Learning, 1992-1994) under the Delta program of the European Community. Building on experiences from this and other related projects, representatives from the four institutions decided to propose a national experiment along the same principles. Support was granted from a governmental agency, SOFF, and NITOL (Norway-net with IT for Open Learning) was established in April 1994. NITOL was in the beginning an open learning project for the training of students, teachers, IT professionals, and others. Research and development activities, particularly focusing on distribution of courses and learning material, required some “guinea pigs” to gain experience in the field. The project group therefore invited a group of around 30 students to participate in the experiment—and found that there was possibly a large potential for business, expanding the experimental group and perhaps demanding student fees for participation and examination.

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