Distance Education
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Online and Hybrid Classes

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What is the Diffence between Online and Hybrid?



Online, with no on campus or regularly scheduled online sessions.



Partially online, with required regular on campus face-to-face class sessions.


Live Online 

Online, with no on campus requirement, but required regular, live, synchronous, scheduled online class sessions. Class times and dates are listed in the schedule.



Online, with no on campus requirement, but some required live, synchronous class meetings or required proctored testing. Limited meeting days. Please see the schedule notes for dates and times.


Online and hybrid classes offer the same quality instruction and cover the same course material as face-to-face classes, the main difference is you are not always physically present on campus.

The registration process, course credit, and cost per unit is the same as courses held on campus. Anyone eligible to take courses on campus may enroll in online or hybrid courses.

Ready to take online classes? Please click on the Start here link or the link on the left menu by the same title.

What Do Classes Look Like?

In online classes you will have regular lessons each week. You log in to the online learning management system, Canvas, and complete your class lectures, assignments, interactive activities and tests to fulfill the course learning objectives. Your instructors will post their course materials, assignments, and announcements. The same learning objectives are used for all ECC classes whether it’s fully online, hybrid or on-campus.

These days, online learning can be just as or even more engaging than a traditional course, since your instructors will use the latest technological and teaching methods, including the use of multimedia and tools that increase social interactions in class. This makes learning more fun, as people get to know one another and support each other in their online course. Think of your class as your new learning community!


Is Distance Education for You?

Online and hybrid classes may be a good option for you:

  • Have good computer skills
  • Are self-directed and motivated
  • Are highly organized
  • Need a flexible learning schedu

To set yourself up for success in an online class, it is recommended that you have the following technology: 

  • A laptop or computer newer than 3 years old, that has one of the following operating systems:
    • Windows 10 or newer
    • Mac OSX 10.10 or newer
    • Linux - ChromeOS
  • At least one of the following browsers:
    • Chrome
    • Firefox
    • Edge
    • Safari
  • Built-in or external microphone and webcam
  • Headphones
  • Stable internet connection

This is a list of basic computer system requirements to use Canvas.
It is a best practice to keep your computer and any software up-to-date.

Your faculty may have other technology requirements, check your syllabus for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students in online courses communicate with their instructor and classmates electronically via Canvas course website. The instructor posts such things as lectures, assignments, announcements, and other information to the site. The class may respond with questions, comments, etc.

In order to succeed in a distance education course, you must be self-motivated and be able to work well independently with minimum supervision. You do not meet regularly with your instructor in the classroom, so you must be able to manage your time effectively and stay on track with your coursework. It’s also important that you have strong reading and writing skills. Please see Skills for Success for more information.

Distance education courses are every bit as challenging as on-campus courses. In fact, surveys we’ve conducted reveal that some students find distance education courses more difficult.

Some instructors require students to be online at a particular time to take quizzes or exams, or to participate in chat sessions. You may contact your instructor for details.

It’s very important that you get in touch with your instructor as soon as possible if you’re having trouble. You may contact them by phone or by email. Our full-time instructors hold weekly office hours, so you can visit them in person, if you wish. Contact information for your faculty will be in your syllabus.

If you find you need help with the course material, check out the Tutoring Program administered by the ECC Learning Resources Center (LRC). Tutors help students prepare for tests, learn new concepts, improve study techniques, and answer questions about assignments. Free tutoring for ECC students is available each semester. All LRC tutors are highly trained and certified. Visit the Tutoring webpage for more information. Also Canvas assistance is offered through Canvas Assist, which is located on the Distance Education webpage, or the Learning Resource Center webpage.

If for some reason you cannot access your course, use the link "Ask Us About Canvas" tab on the right hand side of this page or email the Online and Hybrid Education helpdesk. We will get in touch with our Information Technology Services department and find out what the problem is.