If you register for online courses at Bucks Online, you must have the necessary technical skills and technology for accessing Canvas course materials and completing activities. You are responsible for having access to a compatible computer and reliable Internet connection for completing coursework.
Note: Chromebooks and computers running in Windows S or SE mode are not compatible with the test proctoring software used in many online courses.
Technical Skills Required for Successful Online Learning
Students are responsible for having adequate computer skills to accomplish the tasks that will be expected of them. Online instructors are not responsible for teaching these skills within the course. If you do not possess the following skills, you may want to take a computer class to increase your knowledge before attempting an online class.
Here are some essential skills required:
- Knowledge of computer terminology, such as browser, operating system, application, software, files, documents, icon, etc.
- Understanding of basic computer hardware and software with the ability to perform computer operations, such as:
- Using keyboard and mouse
- Managing files and folders: save, name, copy, move, backup, rename, delete, check properties
- Software installation, security, and virus protection
- Using software applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, email
- Knowledge of copying and pasting, spell-checking, and saving files in different formats
- Uploading and downloading attachments
- Internet skills (connecting, accessing sites, using browsers)
- Ability to use online communication tools, such as email (create, send, receive, reply, print, send/receive attachments), discussion boards (read, search, post, reply, follow threads), chats, and messengers
- Perform online research using various search engines and library databases
- Create online accounts
Your computer must be compatible with Canvas and test-proctoring requirements:
- Canvas recommends regularly updating your computer operating system and browser with the latest security updates and upgrades. Using a computer no older than five years with at least 1GB of RAM produces the best experience. Visit the Canvas browser and computer requirements web page for more details.
- Online test-proctoring will be required through Respondus Lockdown Browser and ProctorU as determined by the instructor. These test-proctoring solutions may have additional computer/software requirements. You must have administrator rights to your computer to download the required software.
Technology requirements for individual courses may vary, and your course may require additional hardware and/or software. See the course syllabus or contact the instructor for additional technology requirements.
Webcam, Microphone, and Speakers
Online students must have a working webcam, microphone, and speakers attached or built into their computer. Headphones are not permitted.
Web Browser Requirements
For best performance, Canvas should be used with the latest release of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Your browser should notify you if there is a new version available. You can verify that the browser you currently use is up to date with the browser checker tool located in the Canvas Guide: What are the browser and computer requirements for Instructure products? Also, refer to the Canvas Guide for more information on computers, mobile devices, browsers, and troubleshooting problems.
*If you experience problems with a particular browser or Canvas behaves in an unusual way, try a different browser.
Respondus Lockdown Browser requires downloading the institution's licensed browser to your computer. Check out the computer requirements for installation of the Respondus Lockdown Browser.
The Canvas interface was optimized for desktop displays, so smaller screens, such as phones or tablets, may not display correctly. For the best user experience on a mobile device, please download the Canvas mobile application from the Apple store or Play store (Android). These mobile applications require the latest Android or iOS versions.
Canvas support offers limited help for mobile browsers. For additional details, please reference the limited-support mobile browser guidelines.
Third-party applications integrated with Canvas may be required in your course. These might not work on a mobile device (phone or tablet). Also, some instructors won't allow them to take tests.
Note: It is best to use a computer, rather than a mobile device, for most of your activity in an online course.
Tests required through ProctorU cannot be completed on a Chromebook, mobile phone, and some tablets. See ProctorU's Equipment Requirements for a list of devices that are not compatible.
Tests required through the Lockdown Browser may be completed on an iPad if allowed by the instructor. All other tablets and phones are not compatible.
Internet Connection Speed
Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low-bandwidth environments. It is recommended to have a minimum Internet speed of 512kbps.
However, technologies used in individual courses vary. See the course syllabus or contact your instructor for additional technology requirements. A strong internet connection is vital when using test proctoring software to avoid disconnections.
- Why does Internet speed matter?
- Many online courses use videos. Viewing is only possible if a certain amount of data is transferred to your computer in a timely manner. The speed that the data can be sent to you is called your "Internet speed."
How can I determine my current Internet speed?
- Visit www.bandwidthplace.com.
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Adobe Acrobat Reader software is the free global standard for viewing and printing PDF documents. It is the only PDF file viewer that can open and interact with all types of PDF content. Get the Free Reader Download.
Zoom is a conferencing tool used to hold virtual class meetings and can also be used for tutoring or help in any course. Your instructor may choose to hold meetings or office hours using Zoom. You can access an individual Zoom meeting through a link provided by your instructor in an email, or for class meetings, your instructor will probably instruct you to use the Zoom link in the left navigation of your Canvas course. A student must enable or install a browser extension before accessing Zoom on their computer for the first time.