DE 101 ~ Future Students

Are you a New DE Student? Visit the Getting Started page for next steps.

We recommend that you review the modules on the Student Readiness website.

You may also wish to view the Online Learning 101 module, presented by the UNC System,

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.

Page sections:
Is online learning right for me?
Frequently asked questions

East Carolina University offers online distance education programs that allow students to access their coursework 24 hours a day, seven days a week via the Internet. At ECU, online courses are taught by the same instructors as our campus classes and the readings, assignments and exams mirror the on-campus section. These programs include structured, well-designed courses and special instructional techniques to help you succeed as an online student.

Learning management system (LMS): These course management systems typically have tabs or folders in which instructors can post course information, course materials and assignments for students to access easily. ECU uses Canvas as the main Learning Management System. If the course uses a different system, the instructor will let you know. Students are advised to regularly check their ECU email account, even between semesters.

The course outline and schedule of assignments (syllabus) that an on-campus student would normally get the first day of class are located in the learning management system during the first few days of the semester.

Communication: Students and instructors can communicate in text-based discussion forums where students can “talk” with each other about the coursework and respond to various topics posted by the instructor. Some courses include real-time chat sessions where students interact with their instructor and classmates online at a scheduled time.

Assignments and homework are submitted online via the class website (in Canvas), usually on a weekly basis. Many instructors give their tests online. Students will have a particular “window of opportunity” to login and take tests. Some instructors may require students to secure a proctor to administer tests.

There may be additional fees associated with Distance Education courses for verification of student identity for proctored examinations. For additional information on exam proctoring, see our proctoring information page.