BYU will offer free online courses to students as part of regular tuition this Fall

Independent Study has been asked by the university to support BYU colleges, departments and faculty in offering new BYU Online Courses as a pilot program, beginning Fall 2012.

The new courses have been designed to host more interaction between students and teachers than previous Independent Study courses. To note the difference, Independent Study officials said that theses courses are not Independent Study courses, but are rather BYU courses hosted by Independent Study in an interactive environment.

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Tyler White uses his laptop on the BYU campus.
“We wanted to create a course that retains the benefits of online design, such as the clarity of structure and activities for achieving learning outcomes, while providing the personal touch, the interaction with TAs and professors, without constraining students to follow a classroom schedule,” said John Taylor, director of Independent Study at BYU. “The university has graciously agreed to have the cost of these 12 online courses covered by standard tuition this Fall Semester.”

Enrollment is limited to 25 students per class. Students can set their own pace for learning and will be given a series of deadlines that coincide with the time frame they would like to complete it in. However, the course must be completed by the end of the semester.

Students will be asked to complete one-on-one Learning Checkpoints with their teaching assistants and instructors throughout the course, via video conferencing, to help students stay on target.

A kick-off meeting for the BYU Online Courses will be held on campus in the first week of the semester. Students unable to attend can watch it live online or at their convenience since it will be recorded.

“The University is very interested in improving the quality, flexibility and efficiency of learning at BYU,” Taylor said. “These new BYU Online Classes are just one of many ways to make these improvements. When these new courses are piloted in the Fall, we will access the program to determine what extensions are suggested for the future.”

Students may sign up for these courses, just as they would their other BYU courses, by using MYMAP.

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