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Distance Learning Office
Bldg C, Room C211, ECC Campus
Tel: 847-214-7945
Fax: 847-608-5479
Hotline: 847-214-7620
Hours: M-F: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed Fri. Summer Session

Distance Learning FAQs

General frequently asked questions.

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1. What is Distance Learning?

Answer: Distance learning is a form of education where instruction occurs when student and instructor are in separate locations. Distance learning at ECC consists of online classes, hybrid classes, and telecourses.

2. What is an Online/Internet Class?

Answer: Online/internet classes are courses that utilize the internet as the source of access to the course content and as a communication tool for the student and faculty member.

3. What is a telecourse?

Answer: Telecourses are independent study classes that consist of a textbook, study guide and video. Students work independently and at their own pace. More»

4. What is a Hybrid Class?

Answer: Hybrid classes are courses in which approximately 50 percent of instruction, evaluation and communication are provided electronically via the course management system. Time required in a traditional classroom setting is reduced but not eliminated.

5. What is Desire2Learn (D2L)

Answer: D2L is the course management system used by ECC to access online classes. It is also used as an enhancement to many face-to-face classes. Faculty and students log into the system using their user name and password. Students must be registered in a course using D2L to have access to the system. More»

6. Once registered, how do I obtain information regarding my telecourse or online class?

Answer: Students registered in a distance learning class (online or telecourse) will receive an informational email approximately one week prior to the start date of the class. This email will provide important information about the class, as well as provide log-in information to Desire2Learn, where the course syllabus and other essential course resources are available.

7. If I'm not in a class that meets with a teacher, how do I learn?

Answer: Your instructor remains an integral part of the learning process and provides you with specific course instructions and guidelines. Depending upon the class, a variety of tools are used which help you in learning the course content.

8. Will I have a schedule to follow?

Answer: Most online instructors provide a week by week schedule, while other instructors allow students to self-pace their learning. Most telecourse instructors provide students with a general schedule to follow.

9. Do I earn the same amount of credits for an online class, as I do for a face-to-face class?

Answer: Yes, as you are required to learn the same material. The only difference is the course delivery method.

10. What about financial aid? Am I still eligible, if I take distance learning classes?

Answer: Yes. The financial aid process is the same whether you are enrolled in distance classes or in traditional classes.

11. Is there an orientation I can attend, if I'm taking a distance learning class for the first time?

Answer: Yes. Orientations for first time distance students are held at various times during the semester. These orientations provide information on how to be a successful distance student, as well as a hands-on learning experience with D2L. Anyone can attend these orientation sessions, but they are especially geared to students taking an online class or telecourse for the first time. There is also an online orientation* available for students. More»

*Orientation can be found on the D2L instruction page, under the heading 'Desire2Learn Assistance'.

12. May I take an online class even if I don't have a computer?

Answer: Yes. Computers are available in the college’s computer labs or library.

13. I have a computer, but no internet access. Is there something I can do?

Answer: The computers in the college’s computer labs and library have free Internet access. To connect your own computer to the internet, investigate different internet service providers (ISP). Some offer free internet access.

14. Is registration done differently for distance learning classes?

Answer: No. Registering for an online class or a telecourse exactly the same way you register for any other course.

15. How is testing handled?

Answer: For telecourse classes, most testing is done in the testing center in building B, room B115. Online classes are a little different, and actually depend upon the instructor. Some exams are only available online.

16. Will a distance learning class appear differently on my transcript?

Answer: ECC transcripts do not differentiate between distance learning and face-to-face courses.

17. What if I experience technical problems in my distance learning class?

Answer: If your technical problems consist of getting or staying connected to the Internet, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Once you are online and have problems with your course website, there are a couple of things you can do:

  1. Contact the distance learning help desk at 847-214-7620 or email
  2. Get instant answers to your D2L related issues. D2L live help is available during the office hours of 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Use D2L chat»

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