- General Questions
- Technical Support Questions
- Internet Use Questions
- Blackboard and Outlook Questions
- Proxy Server (Online Database) Questions
General Questions (top)
Do I have to use my ECU e-mail account in order to take a class online?
All registered ECU students are issued an e-mail account that has to be used when taking online courses. Your e-mail account will be your initials followed by the month and day of your birthday.
To access your e-mail account click on the following link: http://www.piratemail.ecu.edu
How much computer and Internet experience do I need?
1. Experience navigating through the WWW.
2. Experience downloading files from the Internet.
3. Experience adding attachments to e-mails.
4. Word-processing skills.
What if I experience technical problems?
If you are having trouble staying connected, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If you are having difficulty accessing an ECU e-mail account, call the ECU help desk at 252-328-9866. If you continue to have access problems, contact your instructor and explain the problems you are experiencing. Your instructor can direct you to the appropriate resource to deal with the problem you describe.
ECU nursing students may also contact our IT team.
To get the best technical support, be prepared to answer questions about your hardware system that might include the following:
- serial numbers
- processor type and speed
- the size of your hard drive
- the amount of RAM on your machine
(Windows 2000/Windows XP users can get this info by right-clicking on the desktop's My Computer icon and choosing Properties.)
- Have a list of all the software (plus version numbers) that you've installed, including your browser. Sometimes problems are due to software and hardware conflicts.
- Know what operating system you're using: Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Macintosh.
- See if you can reproduce the problem and/or whether you can reproduce it on another computer.
- Know whether your modem is internal or external.
- Try to figure out whether the problem occurs in all applications or only with certain applications.
- If it is a problem with accessing an account, check your Caps Lock key. Some passwords, such as those for Prodigy Internet, are case sensitive.
- Write down any error messages you receive.
- If your computer (or other hardware) is not working at all, check to make sure all connections are secure. In other words, is everything plugged in?
- Be next to your computer when you call.
Remember, technical representatives are there to help you with your problem. The more information you can provide them, the more they can help you!
When will I hear from my online instructors? Should I contact him or her prior to the beginning of class to let them know I am taking their course?
You may hear from your instructors by letter. If not, you will hear from your instructors within the first week of classes. It is not necessary to notify online instructors before classes since they will receive the latest course roster and make necessary contacts with students by e-mail.
Is there an enrollment limit for online courses?
Yes, because the instructor still has the responsibility of facilitating course lessons and grading course assignments, an enrollment limit is set for each class. Enrollment limit varies by course.
How can I check my grades in an online course?
In Blackboard you may go under STUDENT TOOLS/ CHECK YOUR GRADE.
What services and resources are available to me as a distance education student at ECU?
1. Library Access
2. ECU e-mail
3. Textbook Purchase
4. Financial Aid
Technical Support Questions (top)
What are the minimum hardware requirements for online course clients?
1. Pentium 4 processor
2. 512 MB of RAM
3. CD-RW drive
4. Broadband connection strongly recommended (DSL or Cable)
5. Sound card and speakers (headset recommended for easier communication)
6. Microsoft Office XP Pro or Microsoft Office 2003 Pro.
(Windows 95 or Windows NT operating systems are not supported and their use is strongly discouraged.)
My ISP drops my connection repeatedly. What can I do?
If possible, get a different ISP, preferably a national provider with good customer support. Many local ISPs do not have good equipment and will continue to drop your connection. If another ISP is not available, contact an Instructional Technology Consultant (ITC) about obtaining a program that will run in the background and repeatedly "ping" your ISP while you are online to try to prevent it from disconnecting. Students have experienced difficulty when using AOL and trying to access online courses.
My ISP dropped my connection during a blackboard online exam. What do I do?
You will need to contact your instructor or a member of blackboard support to have the exam reset if it was not transmitted properly.
Why does it take forever to download Real Media content for my class?
If you normally do not have problems, the real server may be temporarily down. Try again later. If the problem is recurring and persistent, your ISP connection may be too slow.
Internet Use Questions (top)
Is your computer acting sluggish? Are you getting strange error messages?
You might just need to clear your Cache and/or History folder. These are temporary areas that store Web sites you have already visited, so they can quickly be reloaded upon subsequent visits.
For Internet Explorer 6.0 users:
1. Select "Tools" (Internet Explorer 6.0) from the toolbar.
2. Select "Internet Options."
3. Off the General tab, click "Delete Files" under Temporary Internet files, then "OK."
4. Again off the General tab, click "Clear History" under History, then "OK."
Blackboard and Outlook Questions (top)
What is my Blackboard username and password?
Username - Your ECU PirateID
Password - your PirateID passphrase
Is my Exchange e-mail password related to my Blackboard password?
Yes. All USERNAME and PASSWORD information within Blackboard will match your ECU e-mail username and password information. Any changes made to your e-mail password will now be reflected within Blackboard.
Can I use a non-Exchange e-mail address within my Blackboard class?
No. ECU requires you to use ECU's Exchange e-mail in all Blackboard courses.
Where can I find a Student based Blackboard tutorial?
Blackboard has a very helpful student tutorial site. Here is the address.
You may also access this site within your Blackboard course. Click on the yellow "Resources" button under the course control buttons:
On the left select "Students."
Select Reference Center.
Select 5.5 Student Manuals.
How do I enter a Blackboard Course?
1. Open your browser (Note: Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox are recommended for Windows users.)
2. Access the blackboard Gateway. Type the URL (address), https://blackboard.ecu.edu/, in the location or address space at the top of your browser window.
3. Click the Login button, located under the Blackboard logo. The "Username and Password Required" screen will appear. You will then type in your username and password that you have been assigned. Your password is the last 6 digits of your social security number.
4. The Announcements page of the course will then appear with a menu of navigation buttons on the left side of the page. This menu will appear on the majority of the pages except for external links. This menu will help you navigate through the course.
How do I exit out of a Blackboard Course?
To completely log out of all course(s):
1. Click the "Logout" button at the bottom of the left side menu.
2. Exit your browser program by clicking on the "X" at the top right of screen.
To log out of one Blackboard course and enter another Blackboard course, Click on the "My Institution" tab in the top left hand corner underneath the East Carolina University logo.
How do I navigate through a course?
1. To move throughout the course click on the appropriate button from the navigation menu. (Some of the buttons will not be accessible if your instructor has disabled them.)
2. To return to a previous page use the "Back" button at the top or bottom of the page, rather than the "Back" button associated with your browser program.
3. Many times when you click on the various navigation buttons, folders will appear on the main page. You will know that it is a folder because the icon looks like a folder. This tells you that there is more material under these folders. To access this material you click on the name of the folder then click on the subdirectory that you need. For example, you may have a folder labeled "Syllabus". Once you click on Syllabus the subdirectories grades, attendance, and assignments appear. If it is a document, the materials will be visible immediately and the icon looks like a piece of paper with writing on it.
4. When you are within a folder, you will notice an extra navigation tool appear at the top of the screen (ex. [Top] : [Grades]). This lets you know where you are within the folder hierarchy. When selecting [Top], you will be taken back to the highest level of folder in the hierarchy.
How do I access my course materials?
If the material is entered directly into Blackboard as a document file, you may view the file immediately. (You can tell it is a document file because the icon looks like a piece of paper with writing on it). However, if the material is attached as a link (HTML, text, audio, video, Word Document, PowerPoint Presentation) the title of the linked material will be underlined. To access this material, click on the underlined title.
Why is Blackboard inaccessible on various days?
This is most likely a temporary condition. Try again later, and if you still cannot connect, call the help desk (328-9866).
Proxy Server (Online Database) Questions (top)
What is a proxy server?
The proxy server is a computer that allows ECU users to access our online resources by verifying that they are legitimate users.
How does the proxy server work?
The proxy server uses your e-mail user name and password to verify that you should have access to ECU resources.
Who can obtain remote access to the electronic resources?
- Only ECU students, faculty, and staff with active ECU Exchange e-mail accounts are able to remotely access resources using the proxy server.
- EAHEC users will be able to use Remote Patron Authentication (RPA) when it comes online. RPA will allow access through the patron's library registration. More information will be provided at a later date concerning RPA.
I tried configuring my browser and it's still not working. What do I do?
- Make sure you are in the Exchange database directory.
- Make sure you have used the account and that your password has not expired. If you have not used the account or have not used the e-mail account in a long time, chances are your password has expired. You will need to update your password before the proxy server will work for you. Students can change their password by going to https://signup.ecu.edu/.
- If after doing this, you are still having problems please direct them to Bart at 816-3056. If he is not available you can call the Joyner Library Systems Department at (252) 328-4353.