U3A Online has two methods for studying the courses as an Individual member:
Independent Study -- from the time your membership payment is received and your membership is activated you have free access to all the courses as Independent Study and can enrol in them and access them for as long as you are a financial member. There is a Course Discussion Forum available but whether it is accessed depends entirely on the members who are enrolled.
Click to see Independent Study Courses
With a Course Leader --- there is an additional cost of $5 for these courses. There is a starting date for the course and each week for the next 8 weeks (or for the number of units/topics in the course) a new topic is released. You work through the topic at your own leisure throughout each week (no actual 'meeting' times) and chat to other participants and the course leader through the online Course Discussion Forum. Use of the Course Discussion Forum is encouraged/expected by the Course Leader. After the last topic is released the course notes and discussion remain available until the end date listed for the course and then access is denied.
Click to see Courses with a Leader
Both options use the same course notes and you are able to download and print the notes for future reference.