Colorado University Online
Colorado University Online (CU Online) was one of the first fully accredited online education programmes in the US, created in 1996 by the University of Colorado Denver (UC-Denver). CU Online allows students to pursue the same University of Colorado Denver courses and degrees as those attended by students on campus, taught by the same faculty members.
CU Online is based at the University of Colorado campus in Denver, Colorado, US. CU Online presently offers over 350 online courses, with 10 full degree and six certificate programmes. CU Online had 62,033 enrollments from 1996-2006, and 12,455 enrolled for the 2007-2008 academic year. The typical class has about 30 students. Four out of five full-time faculty members hold PhDs.
The CU Online Web site is at http://www.cudenver.edu/academics/cuonline/Pages/default.aspx
CU Online employs two distinct course delivery platforms, eCollege and Blackboard.
A precedent-setting relationship with the private US firm Real Education, Inc., was established in 1997. The agreement stated that while Real Education would provide CU with online course development and delivery, the university retained 'authorship' and therefore the copyright to course materials and content. Other universities worldwide seeking to enter the online course delivery market in the late 1990's would follow CU's lead and enter into similar partnerships.
CU Online classes involve a strong emphasis on participation in threaded, asynchronous discussions. Courses run in parallel to those offered at the physical Denver campus, and so are not 'self-paced'. Examinations may be online, 'take home' (in which a hard copy is delivered to the university), or proctored at a physical location.
CU Online courses may utilise digital media including streaming audio and video, discussion boards and blogs, multimedia slide shows, and email.
A 2007 promotional brochure from CU Online provides a good deal of information: http://www.cudenver.edu/Academics/Catalog/Documents/w00i-CU%20Online_FIN.pdf