All programs are slightly different in both the way they work and the type of technology they require. Some courses only use Canvas, while others use more complex systems, such as video conferencing, web conferencing, and mobile devices.

Computer Requirements, Services and Software

students sitting on steps looking at a computer

To take online or hybrid courses you will need some basic equipment:

  • Ensure that you have consistent and reliable Internet access - Almost everything you will be doing for your Canvas course will be online, so regular Internet access is a must. For compatible web browser information, please consult the browser support website for Canvas.
  • Take some time to become familiar with Canvas and other applications you will need to participate in your online courses. Explore the applications discussed in the course syllabus to ensure that the technology works on the computer you will be using.
  • Install productivity software used for producing information (such as documents, presentations, worksheets, databases, charts, graphs, digital paintings, electronic music, and digital video).
    • Microsoft Office 365 is productivity applications that include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Access (Publisher and Access are available on PC only). The applications can be installed on multiple devices, including PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, and Android phones.
    • Microsoft Office 365 is free for students, staff and faculty. You may download and install Microsoft Office on up to five devices. Learn how to get started using Microsoft Office 365.

Technical Difficulties

  • You can use tablet computers and smartphones for viewing Canvas pages and submitting discussion posts. However, taking quizzes and submitting assignments on mobile devices is NOT recommended. Accessing Canvas using a mobile browser is possible, but certain functions are NOT fully supported and others need to have been considered when the course was developed by your instructor. Unless you have permission from your instructor, we recommend submitting assignments and taking quizzes on a desktop or laptop computer.
  • You are encouraged to install and use the latest versions of at least two different web browsers by Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and/or Safari. If you encounter problems viewing content or experience other unexpected behavior, try using the second browser to resolve the issue. Contact the Service Desk if you continue to experience the problem.
  • In the event you have technical issues at home with your personal computer or Internet, contact your instructor as soon as possible to agree on the best way to submit your work or access course materials.
  • Please review our Frequently Asked Questions for additional answers to questions you might have.
  • If you have problems with Canvas or other technical issues, contact the Service Desk.

Page last updated 3:25 PM, April 15, 2021