OpenUW attracts over a thousand enrollments in a month

June 16, 2002

The OpenUW, a series of free online minicourses, has registered 1,297 users since it went live on May 16, drawing interest from as far away as Scandinavia and Armenia.

The minicourses have averaged about 44 users each day, mostly visitors to the University of Washington website (, which holds the web link to the course materials.

“This is encouraging news for UW distance learning, showing that there is strong demand out there for quality, accessible online education,” said David Szatmary, vice provost for UW Educational Outreach, the UW division that administers most distance learning programs.

The OpenUW currently offers 12 short, noncredit online courses, covering topics from Tolkien’s fiction, to HTML, to business writing. These minicourses are based on college-level online courses offered by the UW, and are designed to give potential students a taste of modern distance education. In a couple of hours, depending on the user, students can get a strong overview of the topic in the course, including a few short quizzes after each lesson. If students want more, the courses have links to register for the full versions of the courses, for a fee.

The most popular minicourse so far is one titled “HTML Basics”, drawing about 28 percent of all registrations, followed by ” Energy, Diet and Weight” (24.19%) and “Business Communications: The Written Request” (18.72%).

The OpenUW is available at, or just visit the UW web page and follow the links.

For more information, contact:

Roberto Sánchez

UWEO manager of public relations