How can I be successful in an online course?
Online courses, just like their face-to-face equivalents, can be equally rewarding and challenging. To be successful in any course, you’ll need to devote time to attending or watching lecture videos, engaging with the instructional staff and your peers, studying course materials whether they be texts or problem sets, and completing assignments on time. In online courses there are many ways to contact the instructor or TAs. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
Watch this video to learn more.
What should I expect in an online course?
All online courses are different but you should expect to do as much work and learn as much as you would in a face-to-face course. Many online courses include:
- Video lectures
- Readings available in an electronic format
- Discussion forums
- Online assignment submission
- Proctored exams
- Office hours through videoconferencing
How do I take exams?
All exams are available online. Some are proctored by an online proctoring service. Check the course’s Canvas page for details.
Will I be able to talk to and ask questions of the course instructors?
Yes—there are many ways to interact with your instructors: through email, in discussion forums, and through videoconferencing during online office hours and other real-time sessions.
How can I interact with other students taking the same course?
You can interact with other students through email, in discussion forums, through videoconferencing during real-time sessions, and in group projects and peer-reviewed assignments.
Who can enroll in an online course at UC Santa Cruz?
Matriculated students — students who have already been admitted to UC Santa Cruz or another UC campus — can enroll in any online courses offered by UCSC. Students can search for online courses using the UCSC schedule of classes. Beyond the schedule of classes, UC Santa Cruz students can also enroll in online courses offered by other UC campuses. These courses are available on the UC Cross-Campus Enrollment website.
People interested in online courses who have not been admitted to a UC campus can find and enroll in online courses offered by UC Santa Cruz through the UCSC Extension website.
Additionally, UC Santa Cruz offers open courses on the Coursera platform that anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world, can freely sign up for.
Can I enroll in a fully-online program at UC Santa Cruz?
UC Santa Cruz doesn’t currently offer fully-online undergraduate or graduate programs.
Can I earn academic credit?
Yes—most online courses carry 5 academic credits, and many fulfill General Education requirements. You can also view online courses by GE.
What are the technical requirements for taking an online course?
Most courses require:
- Access to a computer with a reliable internet connection
- A webcam
- A microphone
- Basic computer literacy
Some courses require specific software. Learn more in course descriptions.
Please note that some countries block certain internet content used in online courses.
Can I work at my own pace?
Courses are sequenced so that you’ll work with your peers week-by-week throughout the quarter. It is possible to do the work on your own time, but there are shared deadlines, and many courses have weekly video-conference meetings.
Are online courses easier than face-to-face courses?
No, they are not. Online courses are just as rigorous as face-to-face courses. Students enrolled in a 5-credit 10-week course should expect to spend 15 hours per week (or 30 hours per week in a five-week summer course) engaging with course materials.
What if I need special accommodations?
UCSC Online Education is committed to accessibility for all students. All online courses include captioned video, texts that are compatible with screen-readers, and accessible design.
If you need any special accommodations, the Disability Resource Center and your instructor will work together to provide them.
Where can I find current online courses?
Go to the Schedule of Classes and search with the “Show Online Classes Only” option selected.
Where do I find the online course I’m enrolled in now?
If it’s a UCSC course, you can find it at either canvas.ucsc.edu or at login.uconline.edu. If it’s a course that’s offered by another UC, go to UC Online Student Support page.