Student Responsibilities

Technology Requirements and Computer Skills

There are some minimum technology requirements in taking an online course.  The following items will provide you with information on the equipment and skills generally needed for participating in an online course. Before your course begins, check with the instructor for any additional requirements for individual courses (such as browser plugins or additional software). Please note that these are minimum requirements. Online courses will work more effectively with higher technology capabilities.

FIRST: Required Equipment and Access

A minimum computer system that will allow you to access all the tools in the course includes:

  • Access to computer equipment for your course work on a regular basis – your computer must be robust enough to run one of the recent web browsers and download files in a reasonable amount of time.
  • An Internet Connection – students will need access to the Internet to connect to the online courses. It is strongly recommended that students subscribe to a high-speed online service provider such as DSL or cable internet. The internet connection is critical in viewing Sharestream video lectures in Canvas.
  • An Internet Browser
  • Word Processing Program – Microsoft Office Word, preferred
  • A Rider EasyPass account

SECOND: Required Computer Skills

  • Knowledge about your computer - what operating system it runs (Windows 7 or Version 10.6 (Lion), for example), how to navigate to and open files and folders, how to install programs.
  • Basic Word Processing - how to open a word processing program (Microsoft Word, for example), create a text file, save a file, edit your work and name and save files.
  • Ability to use email - how to access an email account, send and read email, send an email message with an attached file, and open an email attachment.
  • Internet skills - how to open and navigate to sites using a browser (Firefox recommended), opening links, and using a search engine to search the Internet.

THIRD: Browser plugins

The following plugins are required for use with our online courses: Adobe Reader, JavaScript, Adobe Flash Player, Shockwave Player, QuickTime Player, and Windows Media Player. All of these programs are available free of charge from the manufacturers. Many browsers can help verify what plugins you have and what common plugins may be missing from your computer. You do not need all these plugins.  We recommend that you write down what plugins you have and don't have in case an instructor requires specific plugins for accessing multimedia.