Welcome to online learning at El Paso Community College. The Distance Learning Support Services Department (DLSS) administers the learning management system called Blackboard, the software used to deliver instruction in online, hybrid and enhanced courses. DLSS provides instructional support and training to EPCC faculty and students.
As part of the Division of Instruction, the Distance Learning Support Services Department supports teaching and learning in the use of distance learning technologies by:
- Managing and maintaining the learning management system, to ensure consistent delivery of online content.
- Providing quality professional development opportunities to prepare faculty to develop academically rigorous, accessible and enriching educational experiences for all learners.
- Promoting best practices and Universal Design in the development, design, and teaching of online, hybrid and enhanced courses.
- Providing technical support services in distance learning technologies to students and faculty.
Thinking about Online or Hybrid Courses?
What are Online Courses
In online courses, students “attend” class through the Internet. Online courses offer flexibility for learning and studying. Course materials are available seven days a week and 24 hours a day. Are you self motivated and disciplined? If you are, an online course may be right for you.
What are Hybrid Courses?
Hybrid courses combine face-to-face on campus meetings with online course work.
How does this work?
Instead of coming to the campus for every class period, you will attend class as scheduled, attendance is required, and complete course work online. The first week class sessions will include an orientation by faculty and clarify major course concepts, assignments, expectations and the use of the Internet.
Are You Prepared to Take Online Courses at EPCC?
In order to be successful in online courses, students need to have several computer skills. Having computer literacy, keyboarding, and word processing skills is a great start, but may not be enough. The SmarterMeasure online readiness assessment is provided by the DLSS Department to help you identify your strengths and provide suggestions to improve areas that will help you be successful as you prepare to learn online. SmarterMeasure helps you succeed!
Take the opportunity to complete the SmarterMeasure assessment. This is a wonderful way to check both your computer to be sure it is ready for class, but to also check your skills to ensure you can successfully complete the activities your instructor requires. SmarterMeasure takes about 40 minutes to complete and is free of charge.
You will be asked questions on different topics, such as "how well you can use a computer," "how motivated, organized, and self-directed you are," and "how you prefer to learn new information." You will also measure your on-screen reading speed and comprehension.
Review and save a copy of the report that is provided at the end of the assessment. But relax, SmarterMeasure is fun! Your scores on this assessment will not prevent you from taking online courses. Moreover, your scores do not impact your grades in courses you may currently be taking.
SmarterMeasure web link
Are You Ready to Register for Online Courses?
Distance Learning Fee
El Paso Community College charges a $55 Distance Learning fee for each online and hybrid course enrollment. There are no additional costs associated with verification of student identity for online courses related to compliance with the Higher Education Reauthorization Opportunity Act of 2008.
Faculty who teach online courses may require you to visit an EPCC campus for meetings, testing or other course requirements. If you are unable to visit an EPCC campus, contact the faculty member to determine whether alternate arrangements are possible.
Students may be required to take Proctored Online Tests. Respondus LockDown Browser (LDB) and the optional webcam feature (which may be required for some exams) is the software provided to students. The software may be downloaded at no cost. Faculty will provide more information in their syllabus or in Blackboard.
Which Courses Should I Take?
Contact the EPCC Counseling Department, the counselors and advisors can guide you and help you reach your educational and personal goals.
Computers purchased within the past several years should function without any issues. Blackboard works with current Windows and Mac Operating Systems. Please review the following for more information.
Browser Compatibility Checker
Browser Compatibility Chart
*Internet Explorer is no longer supported for Blackboard Learn(c)
For the best user experience in Blackboard, it is highly recommended that students have a broadband Internet access. All DSL, Cable, and Satellite Internet Services meet this recommendation.
EPCC online courseware is compatible with assistive technology. Contact the EPCC Blackboard Help Desk 24/7 for technical assistance.
Respondus LockDown Browser - Online Proctored Testing
You may be required to take Proctored Online Tests. Respondus LockDown Browser (LDB) is the software provided to students. LDB is a secure browser for taking tests in Blackboard. It prevents printing, copying, going to another URL, or accessing other applications during a test. If your instructor requires Respondus LockDown Browser to be used, you will not be able to take the test with a standard web browser. Respondus LockDown Browser should only be used for taking Blackboard tests. It should not be used in other areas of Blackboard. Respondus Monitor is an addition to the LDB. If used, you will be required to use a webcam, which will record you during an online exam. Please view the Respondus Lockdown Browser video for more information.
Typically students must purchase a Student Access Code to be able to access textbook publisher course materials in the course. The cost for a Student Access Code varies by publisher and title. Student Access Codes are bundled with new textbooks or sold individually in the EPCC bookstore. If a student purchased a book from a source other than the bookstore, the student should contact the publisher to purchase an Access Code. It is recommended that faculty post the publisher's online Access Code purchase information in the syllabus and a convenient location in the course for students who are in need of an access code. Some publishers may give the students a 15 day grace period give them time to purchase their textbook/access code, by clicking the grace button when they log into their course. Follow the instructions on the screen to purchase, or the instructions below:
There are two ways you can purchase an access code:
- Purchase a textbook that includes the access code online, or at the EPCC bookstore.
- Purchase a student access code online.
When you receive your access code, it will look like one of the following:
- A combination of letters and numbers, such as: CT-TCT-6321-711931-1
- All letters, such as: LOVE-LITE-JUST-GIVE-WAGS-IDLE
Access Code Tips
- Open a course item to get access to enter your access code.
- Type your access key exactly as it appears in the e-mail you received or on the printed card included with the textbook you purchased.
- Your access key is not the same as your user name or password supplied by your institution, nor is it your Blackboard Learn user name or password.
Distance Learning students have access to the same resources and services available to traditional students.
Blackboard is the course management software used by EPCC to deliver courses over the Internet. Blackboard has the tools students will use to view the calendar, turn in assignments, take tests, and participate in discussion online.
Login to Blackboard
- Go to
- Login using your EPCC email address and password -
MyEPCC Login Assistance & Details
- Click on the Blackboard link.
EPCC Blackboard Help Desk
For assistance getting started with an online course and technical support, contact the EPCC Blackboard Help Desk available 24/7 (Toll Free); information below.