The University of Minnesota will soon try its hand at offering Massive Open Online Courses for the public.
The classes, known as MOOCS, are a growing trend in American higher education. In them, one university professor can teach a subject online to tens of thousands of students at the same time.
The University of Minnesota is working on offering at least five courses, in the sciences and the humanities, according to Provost Karen Hanson.
Hanson said school officials would like to debut the courses by this fall, but it's not yet clear if they will all be ready by then.
The new classes are part of the U's attempt to expand its online education offerings.
"We have a lot of online courses," said Hanson. "We want to see what it is to make them massive and open."
Most of the "massive online courses" at other universities are free or carry a small cost. But schools have been slow to give academic credit to the students who take them.