The New York Times reported last Tuesday that San Jose State University and online course creation company Udacity have announced a partnership. SJSU and Udacity hope to build for-credit online courses that could eventually save thousands of students in California the costs of traditional college courses.
What will make an online SJSU course so different from a traditional face-to-face course? Students will carry out lessons, quizzes and other classroom activity solely online. Students will also be connected with an online mentor for support during the course. Additionally, each of the three-unit pilot courses will cost only $150–far less than a traditional course at SJSU.
The program is partly in response to the alarming fact that over 50 percent of SJSU students don’t meet basic requirements upon entering the institution. The pilot program will feature remedial and college-level algebra, as well as basic statistics. Students from both SJSU and surrounding community colleges are eligible to enroll in the courses.
Hopefully, this pilot program will push support for online courses in both San Jose and eventually the state of California.