Technology Requirements for Online & Distance Learning Classes 

Basic Technology Requirements

Basic Technology Requirements

If you are taking online, virtual, or hybrid courses at the University, you MUST have access to appropriate technology to access course materials. It is strongly recommended that you have access to a personal computer when you register for a distance education course. Students may use computers in the open computer labs, but that access will be limited since computer availability is on a first-come basis during regular operating hours. Therefore, it is not recommended that you rely solely on access through the lab. Additionally, some students plan to use computers at their worksite, but you should be aware that some classes may require downloading additional software that your employer may not allow.

 

You will need to have access to the following software/hardware:

  • Computer (Mobile devices are not recommended. Mobile applications are available for Moodle, but many features are unavailable with a mobile device. Testing in an online class is not available with all mobile devices.)

  • Working microphone and webcam (can be combined or included with computer hardware such as in a laptop)

  • Speakers or headphones

  • High-Speed Internet Connection

 

Technology requirements for individual courses may vary, and your course may require more hardware or software. See the course syllabus or contact the instructor for additional technology requirements.

 

In addition to these technical requirements, online students must possess specific Technical Skills to succeed in an online class. Students who enroll in an online course are responsible for having enough computer skills (and access to technology) 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 computer knowledge before you attempt an online class. 

 

Here are some essential skills required:

  • Knowledge of computer terminologies, such as browser, operating system, application, software, files, documents, and icon.

  • 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, and 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

Computer Hardware and Software Requirements 

Since John Melvin University uses a Learning Management System (LMS) called Moodle to deliver online courses, your computer must meet the basic specifications needed to access Moodle. There may be requirements in some courses that may require other technologies. 

 

Computer Specifications

You should access Moodle with a computer that supports the most recent browser versions for best performance. Using a computer five years old or newer with at least 1 GB of RAM is recommended.

 

Operating System

Moodle only requires an operating system that can run the latest compatible web browsers. Your computer operating system should be updated with the latest recommended security updates and upgrades.

 

*Chromebooks and computers running in Windows S mode are incompatible with most online class testing software.

 

Mobile Devices

The Moodle interface was optimized for desktop displays, so using small form factors such as phones or tablets may not be a pleasant experience in using Moodle. Please download the Moodle mobile application for the best user experience on a mobile device. The Moodle mobile applications require Android 6.0 and iOS 13.0 or later. The technology required in your course may not work on a mobile device (phone or tablet). 

 

Internet Connection Speed

A high-speed internet connection with speeds of 1.5 Mbps or higher is recommended for online courses to ensure that you can access all course materials and resources and substantial file sizes as with streaming video. However, technologies used in individual courses vary. See the course syllabus or contact your instructor for additional technology requirements.

 

Web Browser Requirements for Moodle

For best performance, Moodle should be used on the current or first

previous major release of Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari. Because it is built using web standards, Moodle runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser. You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. Your browser will notify you if there is a new version available. Try a different browser if you experience problems with a particular browser or Moodle behaves unusually. If you find another tool or website you are trying to access for your class is not working, try a different browser before contacting support.

 

Other Required Components

  • Adobe Reader: Adobe 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. Many virtual classes (online classes with scheduled meetings) require using Zoom. In most cases, you will access your Zoom meeting through a link provided by your instructor, or the instructor may instruct you to use the Zoom link in your Moodle course. The student may be required to enable or install a browser extension before accessing Zoom on the computer for the first time.

 

We do not proctor computers running within virtual machines. If you are running within a virtual machine when you connect with us, you will be asked to exit your virtual machine and reconnect using your host operating system to take your test.

 

 Acceptable Use Policy

This policy aims to define standards, procedures, and restrictions for end users connecting a personally owned device to the University’s organization network for educational purposes. This policy is intended to provide freedom for students to use their preferred personal devices while protecting the security and integrity of the University’s data and technology infrastructure. Limited exceptions to the policy may occur due to variations in devices and platforms.

 

This device policy applies, but is not limited to, all devices and accompanying media (e.g., USB thumb and external hard drives) that fit the following classifications:

  • Smartphones

  • Tablet computers

  • Portable media devices

  • Laptop/notebook computers, including home desktops

  • Any personally owned device capable of storing organizational data and connecting to a network

 

The policy applies to hardware and related software that is not organizationally owned or supplied but could be used to access organizational resources. Access to and continued use requires that each user reads, respects, and follows policies concerning the use of these resources or services.

 

Expectation of Privacy

The University will respect your device’s privacy while protecting the integrity of the confidential data that resides within the technology infrastructure. University students using personally owned devices and related software for network and data access will, without exception, use secure data management procedures. Students must keep their passwords confidential which means never disclosing passwords to anyone. To ensure privacy and security and prevent unauthorized access, the following is required:

  • The device must be password protected.

  • Sharing of passwords, PINs, or other authentication information is prohibited.

 

Protection

All computers must have anti-virus and anti-malware software installed, updated, and currently enabled. If your software is not up to date or disabled, it may lead to an infection. Students are responsible for updating their computers with security patches/ fixes.

The updates include applications like MS Office, Adobe, iTunes, and Chrome. Network access will be restricted if your computer is not up to date.

 

Help and Support

The IT department will assist students with connectivity issues and can recommend hardware or software issues students may experience. If the student-owned device requires maintenance, the student is responsible for taking the device to a third-party vendor.

 

The University recognizes the value that technology can bring to the classroom. Students and faculty are encouraged to use technology to improve learning outcomes. The need for responsible use has also increased with the increasing use of technology. The technology used by students (including but not limited to laptops, tablets, and cell phones) should be related to the requirements of the course. Each instructor is responsible for establishing and communicating their technology use policy that will define and limit the appropriate use of technology by students in their classroom. Without such a policy, the University stipulates that each student is expected to use only technology appropriate for the course being taught and not distractive to other students. The use of cell phones or other devices for verbal or written personal conversation during class time is prohibited unless it is required for the course.