Nearly 2,000 ETSU students take most or all courses online

Online student enrollments at East Tennessee State University have reached a milestone, according to enrollment data provided by ETSU’s Office of eLearning. This semester, 1,046 students are taking 100 percent of their coursework online, with 900 additional students taking at least 50 percent of their coursework online.

ETSU Online offers 26 degree and certificate programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels in a completely online format. There are also several programs with most, but not all, coursework offered online. During the spring 2015 semester, which includes winter session, 639 individual online courses were offered.

As course offerings have grown, enrollment in online courses at ETSU has grown, as well – 93 percent since 2008.

“We’ve worked hard to increase the number of available online courses and programs,” says Karen King, vice provost for eLearning, “and we’ve been pleased with resulting growth in online enrollments.”

The flexibility, convenience and quality of ETSU’s online courses are likely reasons for the growth in ETSU’s online enrollments, King says. “Online courses and programs provide access to education, especially for non-traditional and graduate students, many of whom work full time and have a family or other personal responsibilities,” she said.  “Also, students appreciate that the same faculty teaching in ETSU’s classrooms are also the faculty leading courses online.”

Improved access through advances in technology have also affected enrollment, according to King. One such resource is WebEx, which the university adopted last year. WebEx is an online software platform that allows anyone who has an Internet connection, including mobile users, to join online meetings equipped with audio, video, screen sharing and recording.

“WebEx has allowed us to increase overall capacity for offering courses in a live-stream format,” says Director of Instructional Television Rob Nelson, “and the convenience of being able to be ‘in’ class in real-time from wherever they may be at class time has made enrollment in live-streaming course sections a popular choice among students.”

Multiple online course formats are available to students: asynchronous, which has no time-specific or on-campus meetings with all coursework being completed in an online learning environment (D2L); synchronous, which does have time-specific meetings in a virtual classroom environment (WebEx); and ITV, or instructional television, which is broadcast via the Internet to off-campus classrooms at ETSU satellite locations.

The ETSU Office of eLearning provides academic support services to ETSU students, faculty, and staff and provides support for the synchronous and asynchronous delivery of online course content.

For more information, visit ETSU Online at or call toll-free 855-590-ETSU (3878).


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