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Online Learning FAQs

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What is online learning?

      Online learning is a method of learning that offers students the flexibility of completing some or all of their coursework and assignments online, without having to regularly attend classes on an SUNY Erie campus. SUNY Erie currently offers two forms of distance learning course delivery:

      • Online Courses - In an online course, students access some or all of the course material and participate in course activities over the Internet. Students can work from any Internet-connected computer to complete assignments and interact with other students and the instructor. Textbooks are normally required in addition to the online course material. To participate in an online course, students should have regular access to a computer with an Internet connection. Students should also have some familiarity with Internet use, email use, and file management (saving files, downloading files, attaching files to email). Students are expected to work independently with instructor guidance. Online courses are not self-paced. Students are required to complete and submit assignments or participate in course activities according to an instructor-defined schedule.
      • Hybrid Courses (can be found in seated course schedules) - In a hybrid course, an online component is used as a substitute for a portion of the instruction that a student would otherwise receive in a campus classroom or lab. Hybrid courses meet approximately 50% of the normal classroom hours on campus and students do the remainder of their work online. A hybrid course meets for the first time on the date and time identified in the course listing. The on-campus meeting requirements will be discussed during this first meeting.

      For both online and hybrid courses, students should have regular access to a computer with an internet connection. Students should also have some familiarity with internet and e-mail use and file management (saving files, downloading files, attaching files to e-mail).

    2. What degrees are offered online?

      You can find a listing of all of SUNY Erie’s degree programs at www.ecc.edu/degrees/, where you can sort by online. A complete listing of courses offered online can be found at Online Course Blueprint.
    3. How do I take an online course?

      Online students must have access to a computer with sufficient Internet access. You will communicate with your instructor electronically via email, a discussion board, and through assignments in Blackboard. Your instructor will deliver electronic lectures and assignments, but will also initiate contact with you by responding to discussion posts, providing assignment feedback, and monitoring your course progress and course interaction. In addition, students can telephone the instructor or come to campus during designated office hours, if desired. Make sure you check your professor's syllabus for detailed information on how they prefer to be contacted.
    4. How do I know if online learning is for me?

      Online learning at SUNY Erie provides the flexibility of learning anytime and anywhere. Students who have family responsibilities, work schedule conflicts, class schedule conflicts, as well as lifelong learners will find SUNY Erie's online courses convenient. Online learning is also attractive to those who need or want to update job-related skills.

      Before committing to enroll in an online learning course, the student should be aware that this is a different kind of learning. You should ask yourself a few questions before registering:

      • Am I self-motivated and can I work independently?
      • Can I stick to a schedule of tasks?
      • Do I have good reading skills?
      • Do I have access to a computer and possess basic computer skills to navigate the Internet?
    5. Is there an assessment I can take to help me decide if online learning is right for me?

      We recommend that all potential online students take the Open SUNY readiness assessment. This site will assess your readiness for online learning. After completion, it will identify your strengths and opportunities for improvement, and provide resources to help you succeed in an online environment.

      Are you ready for online courses?

      SmarterMeasure includes seven major assessment components that measure:

      • Individual Attributes - motivation, procrastination, willingness to ask for help, etc.
      • Life Factors - Availability of time, support from family and employers, finances, etc.
      • Learning styles - Based on the multiple intelligence models
      • Technical Competency - Skills using technology
      • Technical Knowledge - Knowledge of technology terms
      • On-screen Reading Rate and Recall
      • Typing Speed and Accuracy (note: typing portion cannot be completed on a mobile device.)

      To get started, go to http://commons.suny.edu/assessment/readiness-assessment/.

      1. Under First Time User Login, enter all required information.
      2. You will receive an email with your login and password, along with a link to take you to the survey page.
      3. Click on the link provided, and once the page opens, click on Login as First Time User.
      4. Use the username and password emailed to you to get started.
    6. What type of computer, operating system and internet connection do I need to take an online course?

      For a complete listing of the technical requirements needed in order to take an online course at SUNY Erie, please visit www.ecc.edu/online-ready/.
    7. How much do online courses cost?

      The cost of taking an online course is the same as the cost of taking a traditional seated at SUNY Erie. However, there are online courses that are badged as Low Cost Classes. Although the tuition is the same for all courses, a Low Cost Class is a class whose books, access codes and other required materials do not exceed $30.00. For a complete listing of SUNY Erie’s tuition and fees, please visit www.ecc.edu/tuition-fees/.
    8. Where can I find the courses that are listed as Low Cost Classes?

      A complete listing of Erie Community College’s Low Cost Classes, as well as all of SUNY Erie’s online classes can be found on Online Course BluePrint.
    9. I have registered for my course. Now what do I do?

      Log into your MyECC account at https://myecc.ecc.edu. On the main page, click on Blackboard Classes. Any classes you are registered for will appear here. Open the class you wish to enter.
    10. How can I find out about specific course requirements and books?

      A complete listing of SUNY Erie’s online courses can be found on Online Course BluePrint. You have access online course syllabi, review course requirements and books used in the course, and view each online instructor’s contact information. SUNY Erie’s bookstore site is useful for finding the books the instructors will be using in the class.
    11. When will I see my class in Blackboard?

      You will have access to your Blackboard course on the first day of the semester for that course. When the first day of classes start can be found on the academic calendar.
    12. Will I be able to contact my instructor to get some help if I need it?

      Yes, your instructors are available to help you. You can contact them via e-mail through your Blackboard account, which can be found on MyECC or by phone. Your instructor's phone number can be found by searching the campus directory.
  • Need Help?

    Online Learning

    South Campus
    Building 4, Room 4118
    P: (716) 851-1942