What is online learning?

Online learning provides UCLA students access to many of the same courses offered on campus, but in an online or digital format.  Online and hybrid courses are taught by UCLA faculty members and utilize new technologies to foster collaborative learning.   Online courses carry the same unit credit and UCLA degree credit as their face-to-face format, and are indistinguishable on transcripts.  Students taking online courses have access to all campus services provided by academic-year or summer-session fees.

Online courses at UCLA provide a flexible structure for student learning.  There are two types of online courses:

  • Fully online courses:  Fully online courses administer all or nearly all of class meetings, content and interaction online.  Communication is generally electronic and facilitated by email, blogs and online discussion forums.  While some courses require real-time (synchronous) participation through two-way audio/video (Skype) or application-sharing software, most online courses provide students with the flexibility to engage course materials on their own schedule.  Lecture content is typically broken down into topics and pre-recorded into short segments.  Online courses require the same amount of effort as their in-person equivalents.  They have deadlines for assignments and may even have in-person exams or orientation.  As with a face-to-face course, there is a cohort of students taking an online course together and an instructor (and possibly a teaching assistant) teaching and facilitating the material.
  • Hybrid/Blended Courses: In a hybrid/blended course, some elements of the course take place online while others remain in the face-to-face classroom.  Hybrid instruction is used when asubject or style of instruction is not as effective in a completely online or face-to-face environment.  By taking advantage of some online course elements, such as pre-recorded lecture content, hybrid instruction can reduce the amount of time a particular course needs to meet in a physical classroom.  It can also provide a structure for greater interaction and engagement in class meetings.

For more information on the structure of a desired course, visit the course website, if available, linked from the UCLA Registrar’s Schedule of Classes or contact the instructor directly.