Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2007

Publication Source

Internal white paper


The exponential increase in courses and programs delivered by institutions of higher education in the past decade has been driven by the promise of expanding access to students previously beyond the reach or the capacity of colleges and universities to serve. The physical structure of an institution has been eliminated as a factor in limiting enrollment, and therefore, income possibilities. At the same time, institutions must be concerned with maintaining quality and meeting accreditation standards. Determining optimum class size is critical both to controlling costs and preserving quality. This paper summarizes research pertinent to determining online class size, and planning appropriate faculty workload and compensation. The purpose of the paper is to inform future decisions about staffing IPFW’s distance education courses and programs.


online learning, online teaching, online course design, online class size


Adult and Continuing Education and Teaching | Higher Education and Teaching | Instructional Media Design