University of Illinois Online

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The University of Illinois Online (U of I Online) is an initiative that supports online education for three University of Illinois campuses in Illinois, US. Its mission to make high-quality online programmes available to nontraditional students, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Established in 1997, U of I Online focusses almost exclusively on providing support for online-learning-related activities at the University of Illinois. Among other responsibilities, it helps each U of I campus to maintain its own off-campus support services; it undertakes outreach and marketing activities; and it offers grants to U of I departments to aid in digital conversion of traditional course materials. Course admissions procedures vary from campus to campus and programme to programme, and degrees are awarded by the campus offering each programme.

The University of Illinois’s main campus is in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Illinois, US. Other campuses are located in Chicago, Illinois (UIC) and Springfield, Illinois (UIS). 87 U of I Online courses were listed in 2008: 36 from UIUC, 31 from UIC, and 20 from UIS. Of these, 49 were developed with the aid of U of I Online.

U of I Online courses take on a variety of formats. Most are conducted primarily over the Internet, and may be synchronous, asynchronous or both. Online lectures may be either video or text based, or rely on a synthesis of media (e.g. text, graphics and sound). Courses may utilise group discussion, e.g. bulletin boards, Web-conferencing or email. Some rely on a face-to-face component (although this is not common).

The University of Illinois Online Web site is at

More details

In 2008, the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus had a total of more than 41,000 students and 3,000 faculty members. The Chicago campus had 25,000 students and 2,300 faculty members; and the Springfield campus had 5,000 students and 300 faculty members.

U of I Online has received over one million dollars in grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for the development of online courses.

The University of Illinois’ recent Global Campus initiative appears to be operated separately from U of I Online; its courses are administered directly by the Global Campus itself (as opposed to one of the campuses named above). See for more information.

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