Frequently Asked Questions

About Online Learning at Emily Carr University

About online learning generally

About technical concerns

Who can take an Emily Carr online course?

Currently registered Emily Carr students including program students, unclassified students, exchange students, or visiting students. Learn more on under Admissions about how to become an Emily Carr student.

How can I register for an online course?

If you are currently a registered student at Emily Carr, go directly to insideEC.

If you are not currently a registered student at Emily Carr, apply to become a program student, unclassified student, exchange student, or visiting student. Learn more on under Admissions about how to become an Emily Carr student.

How many students are there in Emily Carr courses?

Enrolment in each online course is limited. Most classes have no more than 20 students and usually fewer. This allows for one-on-one contact with your professor and ample opportunity to collaborate with your peers. (Top)

If you have further questions or need clarification contact Admissions:
Phone: 604.844.3897

To contact Admissions from outside of the local 604 calling area:
from Canada and the USA: 1.800.832.7788
from Mexico: 1.800.514.4347



What are online courses?

Online courses are those conducted over the Internet. Courses are offered on a dedicated course website and via e-mail. Students register for courses, and a professor teaches the material. Assignments and discussions take place through forums. Emily Carr Online Learning courses are primarily asynchronous, which means that you can log on at any time to participate, there are also synchronous components such as chats. Courses have designated start and end dates, with assignments scheduled by the professor. (Top)

What are the benefits of online learning?

Some of the benefits are obvious: for people who live far away from our campus, online learning opens up educational opportunities never before available. Besides regular full-time Emily Carr students there are professionals, people with other obligations or restraints who find it too difficult to travel to a face-to-face classroom and find online learning advantageous.

Online courses also allow you to work independently and absorb material at your own pace, but still offer a great deal of personal contact with your classmates and professor. Students report an excellent level of interaction with their professor and encounter a diverse group of students. (Top)

Is an online course right for me?

Online learning is best if you are self-motivated enough to sit down at the computer and work on your own. Online students also need to be able to follow written instructions and communicate in writing. You would benefit most if you are a keen reader. You need to feel comfortable with the technology of e-mail, the Web, CD/DVD, and opening and sending file attachments – and you must have regular access to a computer with sufficient memory and a reliable Internet connection. For more information visit Technical Requirements. Keep in mind that online courses provide a great deal of written interaction amongst students and professors, with no face-to-face interaction. (Top)

Will I miss the face-to-face contact of a classroom. Will I be able to communicate with the instructor or other students?

A lot of people think that they'll feel isolated in an online course. To their surprise, most find that online courses actually provide a high degree of personal contact. Not only will you and your professor communicate directly, everyone in the class will be involved in many group and individual discussions. The online format actually facilitates and enhances contact in ways that would be impossible in other situations. (Top)

How much time does an online course take?

Again, this depends on the course, but as a minimum you should set aside three hours per week for regular class activities (that is, for what you would normally do in a face-to-face classroom), plus at least 3 more hours for homework, reading, exercises, projects, etc. The advantage of an online course is that large portions, often the entire course, is asynchronous, that is, you participate on your own schedule and do not have to be at a given place at a given time. However, students most benefit from being online regularly and that falling behind in projects and assignments is not an option. In the end online course require at least as much time as face-to-face ones. (Top)


Do I have to have a computer at home?

It is preferable to have a computer at home if you do not have regular access to a computer elsewhere (e.g. at work or on campus). You will need to have daily access to a computer with broadband access (cable or ADSL) to the Internet. (Top)

What type of computer equipment will I need?

Emily Carr supports both Mac and PC users. Beyond that it will depend largely on the type of course you are taking. A course involving high-resolution images and video, for instance, might require a more powerful computer than one involving only discussion forums, text submissions and email communication. However, at a minimum, you will require a computer with CD-ROM and reliable Internet access. (Top)

What sort of software is required ?

You should have the most recent version of an Internet browser (Mozilla Firefox is preferred for our Learning Management System) available.

There may be specific software requirements for a course. For instance, you may need a photoediting program like PhotoShop or a sound editing program. If needed for a course, you will find specific software requirements listed with the course description.  Please refer to the  Online Course list for the courses that interest you. (Top)

Do I need broadband Internet access (i.e. cable or ADSL connection)?

A broadband connection is preferable for online learning, as up and downloading large files is very slow with other types of service. It may also be difficult or impossible to view all visual course material or upload your assignments. In addition your Internet connection should be reliable and easy to access. (Top)

How can I access my course once I have registered?

An Emily Carr email address will be assigned when you register. You are required to use this address instead of a personal email while attending the course. At that time you will receive instructions from your instructor with the course URL and with your Emily Carr address you will be able to log in. (Top)

Who can I contact if I'm encountering problems?

If your problem is related to the curriculum e.g. how to do a particular assignment, consultation about research projects, etc, you should contact your online professor by email or through the course website.

If you are having technical difficulties directly related to the course delivery you can contact our Information Technology Services (ITS) department at:

M-F from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Before contacting ITS, please ensure that your troubles are not originating at your work station and/or with your internet service provider. For instance, if you are unable to maintain an Internet connection, you will need to resolve that problem with your service provider. (Top)

What prior technological training is required to take online courses?

Students are expected to be familiar with word processing, basic email and web browsing. You must have a valid email address to register in these courses.

Individual courses may have specific requirements. If needed for a course, you will find prior training requirements listed with the course description.  Please refer to the  Online Course list for the courses that interest you.  (Top)

Do I have to make any hardware or software purchases and are there other costs apart from registration?

Some courses may require that you have access to certain hardware and software. If you do not have this access and are not able to get it, yes, you would have to purchase such items to complete the course.

If you are a currently enrolled student at Emily Carr, check with your professor to see if there is such access available on campus. Other costs may include textbooks, course packs or other course materials available in hard copy or in digital formats.  (Top)