LOS ANGELES — Students enrolled in the University of California system soon will be able to take online courses offered by campuses besides their own.
Some UC schools already offer select online classes, but they’re mostly targeted at their own students and during the summer.
The new “cross campus enrollment” will allow students from one school to log on and attend class taught by another campus, the Los Angeles Times reported in Wednesday’s editions.
The $10 million experiment will start off small, with 11 classes from four campuses in the winter quarter. It’s funded from a pool of money for online education and technology approved by the state Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown, who has criticized the UC system for being slow to adopt online education.
“We’re trying to take the burden off the student and put it on technology,” said Mary Gilly, vice chairwoman of UC’s faculty senate.
Gilly does not expect a surge in online enrollment, but she said it would help students locked out of a class because it’s full or held at an inconvenient time.
UC Riverside senior Matthew Emeterio will take a class on climate change taught by a UC Davis professor next month. He’ll attend his regular classes at Riverside during the day and take the online climate change course at night and on weekends.
“The convenience factor of it is hard to overstate,” the political science major said. “It gives me so much more flexibility. And being able to squeeze in those extra units gets me through the graduation requirements faster.”
Most final exams for the Web-based classes will still be administered in a classroom on campus or at a test center.
Katya Lavine, a senior at the UCLA who has taken two online classes, said there are some limits to online education.
“It’s a lot harder to stay on top of the work and be motivated when you are not going physically to a class. The lack of face-to-face classes makes it seem less real,” she said.
Still, Lavine plans to take an online Spanish course with UC Davis after not being able to register for the class at her home campus because of overcrowding.
“For me, it was definitely a good solution,” the English major said.