But by all accounts, the San Jose experiment was a bust. Completion rates and grades were worse than for those who took traditional campus-style classes. And the students who did best weren't the underserved students San Jose most wanted to reach.
It wasn't really proving to be cheaper, either, says Peter Hadreas, the chairman of San Jose State's philosophy department.
"The people that do well in these kind of courses are people who are already studious. Or ... who are taking courses for their own enrichment after they've graduated," he says.