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Online Learning

Technology Requirements

You may run a browser test to ensure that your computer system is properly configured for the web courses. It verifies your browser version, browser settings and display settings on your computer.

Online Technology Requirements Download (PDF)


Recommended Technologies for Online Instruction

The following technology requirements are essential for completing online courses:

An Internet connection is required to participate in online courses with a minimum recommended speed of 1.0Mbps.

  • Broadband (Cable, DSL, Fiber or LAN) connection is recommended for optimal   student experience.
  • Wireless providers, Cellular (3G/4G) and satellite may also be used, however, it is recommended that you verify if your provider has data limits, or bandwidth restrictions.
  • A personal or University email address.

Supported Operating Systems:

  • Windows Vista and higher are supported, Windows 7 is recommended as the best option currently available.
  • MAC OS X 10.9 and higher is supported for most online course materials, though there may be applications requiring a supported Windows Operating System. You should be prepared to run a virtual machine environment such as Parallels desktop, or VMWare fusion, with an installed and supported Windows Operating System (as mentioned above) if you elect to use a MAC.

We recommend that you have administrative rights to the computer used for your coursework so you can load software or apply updates as required. If you must use a computer over which you do not have administrative rights (such as a library or lab computer, or a workplace computer), you may experience difficulties with needed functions, such as installing plug-ins.

Productivity Tools:

  • Microsoft Office 2003 or newer (Windows) or Microsoft Office 2004 (Mac).
  • VLC Media Player (A free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols.)

Supported Internet Browsers:

The following web browsers are supported for using Canvas. Due to the successive release cycles of some supported Internet browsers, the two latest releases of each browser are supported. Older browser versions may cause problems using course software.

Windows Users

MAC OS Users

Internet Explorer will work, but is typically not a preferred browser alternative.

Internet Browser Settings

The following browser settings are essential:

  • Pop-Up Blocker: disabled
  • Javascript: enabled
  • Java: enabled
  • Cookies: enabled

Plug-ins:

The most recent versions of the following plug-ins are required for many of the resources available in your online courses:

Plug-ins are typically, if not always free of charge. It is recommended that you review installations of the listed plug-ins, and install or update them prior to beginning your courses.

  • Processor:

Windows:  x86 or x64 1.6-gigahertz (GHz) or higher processor; 512MB RAM\
MAC: Intel Core Duo 1.83-gigahertz (GHz) or higher processor; 512MB RAM

  • CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive - Some software may require a DVD drive for installation
  • Hard drive: 25 GB available drive space.
  • Graphics card: 64 MB RAM minimum, 256 MB RAM or higher recommended. NVIDIA, ATI, and Intel chipsets supported.
  • Monitor capable of 1024x768 display
  • 16 bit sound card, speakers
  • Microphone headset (USB or analog connector)
  • A Webcam is highly recommended as it may be required in some courses.

Additional Information and Recommendations

Screen Settings

Your screen resolution (dimensions) should be set at 1024 x 768 or higher.

NOTES:

Some courses may require purchase of additional software. Oftentimes, requisite software is available at an educational discount for students. Vendors such as Adobe or Apple will provide this information and what you need to do to acquire the discount (i.e., provide evidence of university enrollment) Information about software is typically provided in the syllabus for your course(s).

While mobile devices (i.e., smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks) may enable completion of some coursework, they are not guaranteed to work in all situations. The safest alternative is having access to a Windows or Mac based computer in the event your mobile device does not fulfill the requirements of the course.

Free office software

  • Open Office - download Open Office, is an open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.

Purchase software

Students can purchase software applications and operating systems at academic pricing online from the Wildcat Shop.

Configuring Browsers

In Firefox 3.6.x and higher you may reset these settings by clicking on Tools in the menu bar at the top of your browser. Next click on Options and find and set proper features under the Content and Privacy buttons.

Pop-Up Blockers must be turned off If you have problems after logging into Blackboard after clicking links that may open a new window you probably have your browser set to block pop-ups. This has been occuring when students try to take tests that are set to open in a new window. In this case a blank page appears after the link is clicked to take the test. Blocking of pop-ups is something you can turn on or off if you have Internet Explorer 6.02 or higher. To turn it off go to Tools menu-->Pop-up Blocker-->Turn Off Pop-up Blocker. If you don't have this option in the Tools Menu please go Tools Menu-->Window Update to update your browser.