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1. About eCampus

Orientation Section 1

About eCampus

The orientation begins with an overview of the eCampus Center: characteristics and definitions, vision and mission, support and services, and important contacts. To download a copy of this content see About eCampus (Google Doc – must be logged in to employee account).

What is online education?

Online Education Characteristics

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (2008) provides further definition of online education.

  1. It is education that “uses one or more” technologies—”(i) the Internet; (ii) one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices; (iii) audio conferencing; (iv) video cassettes, DVDs, and CD–ROMs, if the cassettes, DVDs, or CD– ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed in clauses (i) through (iii).”
  2. It delivers “instruction to students who are separated from the instructor.”
  3. It supports “regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, synchronously or asynchronously” (Higher Education Opportunity Act, 2008, emphasis added).

eCampus and Online Education at Boise State

At Boise State, eCampus is the term used to categorize instruction where an academic class/program is “delivered” using technology to bridge a location difference or distance between the instructor and student for most or all of the class.

The eCampus tagline of “We Bring the Blue to You” means that we bring “The Blue” to our students who choose to learn online by giving them a sense of community, respect, passion, and quality through online learning. Instructors who teach eCampus courses achieve regular and substantive interaction through a combination of asynchronous and synchronous activities.

Synchronous and Asynchronous Activities

Asynchronous activities are not “real-time” while synchronous activities are in “real-time.” Students expect asynchronous activities while enrolled in an online class. If your course has synchronous activities, contact the eCampus Center and we will add a class note in the class registration system so students are properly forewarned.

Examples of asynchronous activities:
  • Posting to a discussion board
  • Reading or sending emails
  • Watching an online video
  • Listening to a recorded lecture
  • Taking a quiz online
  • Uploading assignments
Examples of synchronous activities:
  • Chatting online with students or faculty
  • Participating in a video conference
  • Taking a proctored exam
  • Attending an in-person lab session

NWCCU Standards Applicable to Online Education

Institutions accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) are expected to follow the Standards for Accreditation found at Several standards pertain to the administration, development, and delivery of online education. In particular, several standards speak of programs and courses “wherever offered and however delivered.” (Updated 2010 by NWCCU)

For a complete list of accreditation standards that apply to online education see NWCCU Standards Applicable to Online Education.

Additional Resources

For additional reading about online education, explore these additional sources.

  1. Carlson, C. S., Aust, P. J., Gainey, B. S., McNeill, S. J., Powell, T., & Witt, L. (2012, December). Which technology should I use to teach online?: Online technology and communication course instruction. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 8(4). Retrieved from
  2. Dell, C. A., Low, C., & Wilker, J. F. (2010). Comparing student achievement in online and face-to-face class formats. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6(1). Retrieved from
  3. Higher Education Opportunity Act, Pub L. No. 110-315. 122 STAT. 3078 (2008). Retrieved May 4, 2009, from

About the Boise State eCampus Center

Extended Studies

The Boise State eCampus Center is a unit within the Division of Extended Studies, located at 220 E. Parkcenter Blvd, Boise, ID 83706 in the Ron and Linda Yanke Family Research Park.

Vision and Mission

The eCampus Center is the innovative leader in creating, delivering, and supporting outstanding online higher education experience.

To learn more about the growth of online education at Boise State see the eCampus Snapshot.

eCampus Center Support and Services

All online education at Boise State is offered in collaboration with academic departments through the Boise State eCampus. The eCampus Center provides administrative support for fully online courses and programs, professional development for online faculty, and online student support services.

Contacts for Online Faculty

Boise State eCampus staff are available to assist with administrative, student, and faculty support. To learn more about our staff, visit Contact Us.