Online Master of Computer Science | Computer Science | U of I - Illinois Computer Science News

Online Master of Computer Science | Computer Science | U of I - Illinois Computer Science NewsOnline Master of Computer Science | Computer Science | U of I - Illinois Computer Science NewsPosted: 23 Jun 2020 07:37 PM PDTComplete a Master's degree at your own pace, at your own place! Busy professionals can complete a degree online while they continue to meet their current life and career obligations. Illinois Computer Science has partnered with Coursera to use its massive open online course (MOOC) platform to offer the MCS to students in a more flexible and affordable way than is possible on campus. Students can earn the Online MCS in as little as one year, or in as many as five years.The Online MCS program is a non-thesis (coursework-only) degree that requires 32 credit hours of graduate coursework, completed through eight graduate-level courses each at the four credit hour level. The MCS requires that four of these eight courses are chosen from unique "core" areas of co…

Give us a tuition break, say California students forced into online university classes - The Mercury News

Give us a tuition break, say California students forced into online university classes - The Mercury News

Give us a tuition break, say California students forced into online university classes - The Mercury News

Posted: 18 Mar 2020 06:22 AM PDT

University of California Irvine freshman Rose Oganesian understands the public health reasons to switch from in-person to online courses at universities across California during the coronavirus crisis. But she doesn't want to get charged the same price.

So she has organized an online petition campaign that seeks at least a partial tuition refund for students, whether they start their spring quarter later this month, as she will, or already are in the midst of spring semester. Oganesian and others think the tuition for UC Irvine's spring quarter should be cut in half. That would mean a possible refund of at least $2,100 in UC systemwide costs, and maybe more if campus fees are included.

"It's not fair that we should be charged full tuition. We pay money for going to classes, seeing professors, and having one to one meetings during office hours," said Oganesian, a biology major from Los Angeles. The online experience is a lesser one and should not cost as much as regular classes, she said, adding: "If I had wanted to go to an online school, I would have done that."

More than 6,700 people have signed the online petition being posted by It originally was aimed at UC Irvine but was amended to include all public campuses in California.

But, so far, the students don't seem to be convincing UC, the California State University or community colleges.

The  petition also seeks refunds or discounts for university dorms and residences and dining plans along with mandatory fees for recreation and student centers that may go unused during this emergency period. Officials at both UC and CSU report that they are considering ways to refund some of those costs especially since many campuses are urging students to leave housing facilities if they have someplace safe to get to without further health risks.

But tuition itself is another matter.

UC Irvine spokesman Tom Vasich said there are no plans now to refund or reduce tuition. Even with online classes, students "will still be getting instruction from University of California instructors and it's a University of California grade that counts toward their diploma," he said.

The nine-campus UC system issued a statement that the university "will continue to charge tuition and mandatory system and campus-based fees for all enrolled students." Even students from other states and nations who are charged much higher tuition will not receive discounts.  Campuses can make their own decisions regarding other fees. And students will be allowed to cancel housing and dining contracts and receive a prorated refund, the statement said.

Tuition is the same for online and in-person courses at California public universities and most nonprofit private schools during the regular school year. The same practice can be found at colleges across the country. California college officials insist that the online classes provide the same material, ample opportunities for interaction with faculty and the same diploma credits as more traditional classes do even if the delivery methods are very different and some students and professors miss the face-to-face connections.

UC undergraduate tuition and mandatory systemwide fees for state residents total $12,570 a year, or $4,190 a quarter term (the calendar that seven UC campuses follow) and $6,285 a semester at Berkeley and Merced. Students from outside California face $43,000 annual tuition bills at UC.

At the 23-campus California State University campuses, all on the semester system, annual systemwide tuition and fees total $5,742 and are $2,871 per semester.

Campus fees can add more than $1,000 a year at both systems, while dorms and dining plans can be $15,000 a year extra.

At Cal States, tuition refunds or discounts are not being considered "at this point," said spokesman Michael Uhlenkamp. All its campuses are transitioning to fully online education for various lengths of time, except the California Maritime Academy, the 1,051-student campus in Vallejo that focuses on oceanography, shipping and maritime engineering.  "As of right now, the campuses are working diligently to the best of their abilities to provide the highest levels of instruction. We are not in the position where a tuition refund would be appropriate to discuss," he said.

Campuses are offering help to students who might not have a computer or need to upgrade to a tablet to be able to take the online courses. They are also keeping wi-fi services available all over campuses so students can potentially find spaces with enough safe social distances to take classes and study if need be, he said.

Michael Wiafe, president of the Cal State Student Association, representing students at all CSU campuses, said he opposes tuition refunds. "As long as students are able to access their course, regardless of their physical presence, I do not believe that is necessary and it would most likely have devastating impacts on the institution," he said in an email response to EdSource questions. A loss of tuition revenues would especially hurt after what Wiafe, a senior at San Diego State, described as "the disinvestment in higher education over the past two decades."

UC San Diego senior Anya Sinha has the opposite opinion. A U.S. citizen who was raised in India, she said she receives a $6,000 federal Pell Grant but that her family has to pay the rest of the $43,000 tuition she is charged as an out-of-state resident. She signed the petition seeking a partial tuition refund because she feels online education is not as productive as regular classes. "I don't see why I should be paying full price for online classes if you don't get the same kind of learning," she said. A psychology major and theater minor, she said she is particularly worried about how her theater classes, which are supposed to include live performances, can be conducted online.

As most of California's community colleges plan to convert to online classes soon, efforts will be made to help students stay enrolled and continue their education, according to Paul Feist, statewide vice chancellor for communications. The cost per academic unit will remain $46 per academic unit whether the course is in-person or online, he said. But districts can reimburse fees for students who choose not to stay enrolled, and, he added, "we are working with the Department of Finance to explore additional measures to ensure reimbursement is available for all students who withdraw."

Private colleges and universities in California appear to be preparing to refund students for unused housing and dining plans but not for tuition, whether classes go online or not.  For example, at Pomona College, a policy states: "If students plan on completing their courses, we do not plan on refunding tuition and fees." A Stanford University website posted this question and answer: "Will tuition be reduced since classes are online only? No, we are not going to reduce tuition."

Coincidentally, the UC regents on Thursday are scheduled to discuss and possibly approve a plan that would raise tuition in the fall by $606, or 4.8 percent, for incoming freshmen from California and then more for the next four following freshmen classes. Current students would be exempted.

At CSU, some trustees have suggested in the past that a tuition hike might be needed but the agenda for their March 24 meeting does not include any such action.

Moving to Online Classes - UT News | The University of Texas at Austin

Posted: 17 Mar 2020 02:55 PM PDT

March 17, 2020

Dear UT Community,

I am writing to inform you of the latest actions The University of Texas at Austin is taking in response to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Starting on March 30, the university will be moving all spring semester classes online. We are asking students not to return to campus this semester unless there is a specific need. This decision has been made to protect the health and safety of all members of the UT community and reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the university and beyond. 

I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all staff and faculty members who are sacrificing greatly for the health, well-being and safety of our university community — especially health care workers, police officers, residence hall and janitorial staff members, IT staff members and many more. I am grateful for your service and selflessness. 

This decision today will create new challenges for many of our students, specifically regarding the completion of courses and credit (especially for students intending to graduate this year), housing, the retrieval of personal items from university residence halls and access to technology away from campus. Our goal is for all students to complete the courses they are registered for during the spring 2020 semester. I am directing faculty members, deans and university leaders to work to accommodate student needs throughout these difficult times.

Below, you will find guidance and information on policies and resources for students, faculty members and staff members. 


When classes resume on March 30, undergraduate and graduate instruction will transition to remote delivery through Zoom, Canvas and other methods. Students will have the opportunity to complete the courses for which they are currently registered, especially those who are expecting to graduate this semester. Graduate courses will also be held online.  

There are exceptions to this. In these specific and unusual cases, such as clinical placements leading to professional licensure, we will review requests and faculty members will work directly with those students to make arrangements that adhere to social distancing guidelines.

If you are a student who does not have off-campus access to a computer and/or Wi-Fi, please reach out to Student Emergency Services for support.

We are asking students not to return to campus for course instruction after March 30 if they have living arrangements elsewhere. 

Residence Halls 

The university is requiring students to move home from their residence halls, though emergency housing will be available on a case-by-case basis to students who have compelling reasons to remain on campus, or who do not have other living arrangements. We will provide details for how to apply for emergency campus housing in the upcoming days. 

Residents who are currently on campus can begin to move out immediately. 

Students who are not currently on campus will need to sign up for a time to move out via the University Housing and Dining website starting on Monday, March 23. The university will also offer pro-rated refunds on housing and dining contracts and coordinate those decisions with financial aid packages.

Recreational Sports and University Unions facilities are closed until further notice.

Campus Operations 

Staff members who are working this week to support the university's core priorities should continue to do so, and supervisors will continually assess the staffing needs as we prepare for the rest of the semester. As a reminder, these priorities are:

  • Providing support to UT's education and research missions in preparation for the transition to online learning;

  • Maintaining critical mission services on campus such as public safety, utilities, core administrative functions, IT support for online learning, business operations and vital research functions; and

  • Supporting students who are on campus, living in residence halls and relying on university services.

As I wrote earlier this week, I am pursuing all options to preserve your compensation regardless of your work status.


Some research — including efforts specifically related to COVID-19 — will continue, with social distancing procedures put into place in laboratories. All lab directors will make localized decisions about whether to maintain operations and are preparing shutdown procedures in case that is needed. Undergraduates will no longer participate in research in person. Graduate students may opt out of lab work at their discretion.

Meetings and Events 

All on-campus programs, gatherings and events with more than 10 people through May 1 will be canceled, postponed or moved online. These include office or faculty meetings, student programs and religious or cultural celebrations in addition to all athletics events and public performances. 

As we get closer to May commencement, we will assess the public health situation to determine whether any public ceremonies are appropriate. 

In Closing

Life on our campus, in our city and across the world has changed for the coming months. I have seen firsthand how extraordinary the UT community is, and I am proud of the dedication, compassion and leadership you have shown throughout these uncertain weeks.

The university will keep you updated. Please continue to check our website to stay informed. Thank you for all that you do for UT. Please focus on your health and well-being during this challenging time. 


Gregory L. Fenves

The differences between MOOC-based degrees and online degrees - Study International News

Posted: 19 Feb 2020 12:00 AM PST

More students are taking up online degrees or MOOC-based degrees – which stand for massive open online course – particularly for postgraduate studies.

According to a release for the report Online Program Management Market – Global Outlook and Forecast 2020-2025: "Graduate students are more likely to pursue virtual courses for higher studies. Distance learning for MBA programmes is gaining popularity as there has been a steady growth in online MBA courses year-on-year."

"The growing need for life-long learning and career-related skills development is likely to play an essential role in driving the growth of online programmes."

Some may wonder – what's the difference between online degrees and MOOCs? Both are taken online, and provide an academic qualification without requiring students to step foot in a lecture hall – but there are clear differences between the two.

Delivery and flexibility

The way MOOCs and online degrees differ is the way they are delivered to students. MOOC-based degrees are online courses that are typically delivered through platforms such as EdX, FutureLearn, and Coursera.

Many universities partner with these reputable platforms and offer these degrees through them, using their technology to deliver the university's video lectures and follow-up tests where students can check their understanding of the subject matter.

Online degrees are typically offered by accredited universities as an alternative to attending classes in-person. The way they are delivered depends on the university. It can cover video lectures, live sessions of an in-person lecture, discussion sessions and more.

MOOC-based degrees are typically more flexible and can be done at a student's own pace, while students in online degrees are normally subject to the course's fixed schedule and timeline.

However, in online degree programmes by universities, students can access the same physical resources as students who attend in-person lectures – such as a professor's office hours and campus library usage – which many MOOC-based degrees do not offer.

MOOCs are also stackable – meaning students can take a series of courses that add up to a degree, but if they decide to stop halfway, they may still receive a certification for completing certain courses.

For online degrees, a student typically needs to complete all the courses and other requirements (internships or exams, for example) before they receive a qualification.

Application process

It is typically easier to apply for a MOOC-based degree compared to an online degree, which often requires students to submit a full application and take proficiency tests such as IELTS or the GRE for Master-level courses.

Dhawal Shah, the founder of Class Central, a MOOC discovery platform, wrote on EdSurge that the application process for MOOC-based degree programmes is more open, as they are designed to operate at larger scale and can accept all students with the potential to be successful instead of limiting admission to a certain number of applications.

Online degrees by universities are often subject to traditional admissions processes, but MOOC admission processes are more innovative.

For example, a MOOC-based Master's programme in electrical engineering by the University of Colorado at Boulder requires applicants to complete some of the courses in the programme before they are admitted.

It's an approach known as "Inverted Admissions," described by Shah as "one of the more radical and potentially disruptive features" of MOOC-based degrees.


For online degrees, students typically pay the same fees as on-campus degrees, which include out-of-state fees for international students.

Most MOOC-based degrees, on the other hand, cost less. According to IEEE Spectrum, international students at Georgia Tech pay US$40,000 per year for the on-campus Master's in Computer Science programme, while the MOOC-based degree is just US$7,000 per year.

The University of Illinois recently moved from offering an on-campus MBA to the MOOC-based iMBA in partnership with Coursera, which costs US$22,000 – far less than the average cost of US$60,000 for an MBA in the US.

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