Technical Considerations

An online student should be comfortable with computers and navigating the Internet. This includes the ability to complete tasks such as creating, moving, and copying files; installing software, surfing the web with Internet Explorer or Netscape, sending and receiving email, and using various software programs.

Since the computer is the primary interface used in online instruction, it is necessary for the student to own, or have access to, a computer that meets certain technical specifications. The minimum computer requirements listed below will allow the student to participate in most facets of online courses. Online students should check with the specific program and/or course for additional requirements.

Minimum Computer Requirements

Recommended Software

Certain courses may require specialized software for completing coursework. While this will vary between courses, the software packages listed below are usually necessary for any online course.

Internet Connectivity

In order to communicate with your instructor, submit coursework, research online resources, and correspond with other class members, you will need reliable Internet connectivity, a web browser for viewing relevant web sites, and an email program capable of sending and receiving email with attachments.

  • Internet Service Provider (preferably high speed with unlimited monthly access)

  • Web Browser that supports Java and JavaScript (Internet Explorer 6.0 and above, Firefox 2.0 and above, Opera 6.0 and above, Safari 3.0 and above).

  • An e-mail program capable of sending and receiving e-mail and file attachments.

Troubleshooting Skills

The online student must also be aware of the many problems associated with using computers. This often requires great patience and some degree of flexibility. The ability to troubleshoot problems with equipment such as printers, modems, and cable hookups is highly recommended.