For students in Diana Kleiner’s Roman Architecture class, the snowfall has brought a chance to experiment with online learning through Open Yale Courses.

Kleiner, who directs the Open Yale Courses initiative, sent an e-mail to students asking them to watch the day’s lecture online after she found herself blocked by snow in Woodbridge, Conn.

“I have been up since 5:30 a.m. trying to determine if I can get in to class by 9 a.m. today and the answer appears to be no,” she wrote. “I live in Woodbridge and the snow is so high in my driveway (the people who plow it have not yet shown up) that I can’t even get my four-wheel drive car out of that driveway.”

Kleiner encouraged her students to see the “silver lining” of the situation and use Open Courses to review the relevant material.

“This will give me a chance, with your help, to get a deeper sense of additional ways in which that initiative can be used for on-campus as well as worldwide teaching,” she said.

Open Yale Courses provides free video and transcripts online of lectures from selected Yale College courses. The initiative was launched in 2007, and ten more courses will be added to the site in spring 2011, according to its website.