UC Riverside to offer more online courses in 2014

Graphic by Brandy Coats
Graphic by Brandy Coats

UC Riverside is offering four online courses, ranging from computer science to dance, through UC Online — a Web-based module that just unveiled 16 other online courses. Through cross-campus and simultaneous enrollment, UCR students may take online classes from another UC for credit, but UC Online is also available to the public.

For the 2014 winter quarter, UCR is offering “Introduction to Computer Science for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering I and II” and “Dance: Cultures and Contexts.” An additional course entitled “Introduction to Latin America” will be offered in the spring quarter.

The cost of each UC online course generally ranges from $1,050 to $2,100, which varies depending on the number of units and length of each course. Non-UC students, along with high school students, can also enroll in these courses to receive college units. All of the online courses offered through UC Riverside are $1,400 each and are four-unit courses. UC students may enroll in online classes for free, as they are paid through students’ current tuition. Individuals may register for any online course until the course is full and the enrollment process includes a $300 application fee.

In June, Gov. Jerry Brown allocated $10 million to fund the Innovative Learning Technology Initiative (ILTI) through the state budget. Established by former UC President Mark Yudof in Jan. 2013, the ILTI seeks to ease bottleneck class enrollment and expedite graduation rates by increasing the number of online and hybrid courses offered.

Bernardette Reed, a third-year student at UCR, stated why she favored the idea of taking online classes. “I like that online classes have their own schedules (and) the immediate feedback you get on your class work is also very beneficial,” Reed explained.

However, other students felt that the drawbacks of an online course outweighed its potential benefits. “When I took an online class I disliked the lack of help available by having the professor there with you,” stated fourth-year UCR student Michael Hallahan. “The instructor also neglected to provide proper instructions for us.”

Open enrollment for 2014 winter quarter began Nov. 18.

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