I work within a University system that has a structure to allow its system students to attend classes across the system. This option, which is within one system, is fraught with bureaucratic and technical issues that all come to mind when I read this proposal. Then you take those known issues and add the "not actually matriculated" layer, and this seems untenable.
- How does advising work? Advising services are critical, especially for the First Gen population. - How does prerequisite checking work? How does that articulation work and who does that work? - What about co-requisites? Will those be guaranteed to be available? - Matriculation comes with full University services access, including student support services, libraries, etc. How does this work into an emptydesk student's profile on a campus? Do they get these services which matriculated students pay full freight for? - How is the student information system supposed to validate, accept, track, and report grades on these students without significant IT intervention at the host campus? - Tying the last two bullets together: A campus electronic ID is necessary to do pretty much anything. If emptydesk students are a new role with limited access, this impacts the identity management resources across campus, which in many cases are decentralized. - Many of the key courses for earning a degree in a timely manner are already impacted due to enrollment caps, classroom and lab capacity issues, etc. Is there any data that suggests the classes with extra capacity are actually the ones that would get a student to degree? - Enrollments fluctuate well into the start of a term. How will emptydesk students be given enough notice to properly plan for funding and taking these courses such that it will work with employment, childcare, commutes, etc.? Will this require institutions to "set aside" guaranteed seats, which seems to go against the point of this app? - How are these students counted in terms of institutional reporting?
There area many other issues that come to mind, but I guess my point would be that there are logistics that appear to be missing from how this would actually work as a practical matter. Again, within my own University system we have a lot of unconquered hurdles to providing cross-campus enrollment in courses. The feasibility of this endeavor at scale seems really questionable without more context into how the practical matters like those above will be addressed school by school.