The NKI Internet College: A review of 15 years delivery of 10,000 online courses


  • Morten Paulsen NKI, Norway
  • Torstein Rekkedal NKI, Norway



online education, Norway, computer conferencing


This article presents NKI's experiences with online education from the time the idea was conceived in 1985 to the point when the total number of course enrolments exceeded 10,000 in June 2000. The 15 year period covers three generations. The first generation (1985-1994) was characterised by system development and experimentation with emerging technology. The second generation (1994-96) was a period of transition from the EKKO computer conferencing system, which NKI developed for online education, to Internet systems with text-based user interfaces. The third generation, 1996 to the present, began with the introduction of graphic user interfaces and the World Wide Web (WWW) and is characterised by a vigorous expansion and the introduction of large-scale online education.

Author Biographies

Morten Paulsen, NKI, Norway

Morten Flate Paulsen [], who is a Doctor of Education from Pennsylvania State University, has worked with online education since 1986. He designed the EKKO computer conferencing system for distance education which lead to the establishment of the NKI Internet College ( in 1987. He was the founding editor of DEOSNEWS and the first moderator of DEOS-L. Paulsen's dissertation is on "Pedagogical Techniques for Computer-mediated Communication". He has also written the report "Online Education: An International Analysis of Web-based Education and Strategic Recommendations for Decision Makers" for the European CISAER-project [].

Torstein Rekkedal, NKI, Norway

Torstein is Director of Research and Development at NKI, Norway. He has worked in distance education research since 1970. His work has covered survey research, experimental research and evaluation studies. He has chaired the ICDE Research Committee and the Research and Development Committee of EADL (European Association for Distance Learning). He is presently member of the Steering Committee of the Network of Academics and Professionals of EDEN (European Distance Education Network) and member of the Executive Board of SOFF (The Norwegian Agency for Flexible Learning in Higher Education). He is also chairing the Norwegian Standing Committee for Quality in Distance Education. Since 1987 he has specifically been involved in development of and research on online education. Since 1997 he has worked in a number of projects financed by the European Commission.




How to Cite

Paulsen, M., & Rekkedal, T. (2001). The NKI Internet College: A review of 15 years delivery of 10,000 online courses. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 1(2).



Research Articles