E-learning practice and experience at waseda e-school: Japan's first undergraduate degree-awarding online program

Shoji Nishimura*, Douglass J. Scott, Shogo Kato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2003, the School of Human Sciences, Waseda University, Japan, established the e-School, Japan's first complete undergraduate correspondence courses enabling students to acquire their bachelor degrees solely through e-learning. Supported by the widespread availability of high-speed Internet connections, it has become possible to transmit videotaped lectures with an image quality close to that of television, not only throughout Japan, but also throughout the world at affordable rates. In addition, the lecture contents are transmitted in an image quality that allows students to easily read what is written on the blackboard. Waseda's e-School has many features that contribute to its success. Among these are the coupling of online and on-campus courses enhancing the educational experience of all students. In addition, online courses are relatively small-most courses are capped at 30 students-and new courses are created to respond to students' needs and interests. This article outlines the e-School's curriculum, management structure, and system and reports on the current status of the courses by analyzing the results of a questionnaire survey conducted after one year from their establishment and the state of credits registered and earned by students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-62
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Distance Education Technologies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Assesment
  • Distance education
  • E-learning
  • Higher education
  • LMS
  • Lifelong education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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