Technology Requirements

Minot State University is not responsible for providing computers, Internet access, or software for students taking online courses. It is your responsibility as an online student to have access to a computer, Internet Service Provider, and the appropriate software (if required) to complete your online course. The technical requirements for your computer are listed below.

Some online courses have additional requirements such as software or test proctors. These requirements are listed on the Schedules page prior to each semester.

» Additional Course Requirements

It is important that you have a computer system that can adequately support your online courses. You will need to have access to a computer system that meets the following minimum technical requirements.  Planned, regular maintenance is also required and part of your ongoing responsibility to maintain access. Some businesses and institutions such as the military or education, do not give users administrative access to computers. You will need administrative access to your computer in order to make sure it is compatible.

  • Internet service provider (ISP) account with a wired connection.
    • Minimum of DSL or cable modem (Students will NOT be able to complete some courses with a slower connection.)
    • You will be able to complete some functions with a wireless connection, but others will require a wired connection. We highly recommend a wired connection for the following functions: using Respondus LockDown Browser, SafeAssign, Collaborate, and YuJa.
  • PC 1.2 Ghz or greater (Intel Pentium or Celeron, or AMD Athlon processors)
    • Important note regarding mobile devices:
      You cannot successfully complete an online course using only an iPad, iPhone, Android device, or tablet even if you are using the mobile app. For example, certain courses contain assignments requiring the recording of presentations that can only be successfully completed with the use of a Windows or Mac OS desktop or laptop. The mobile app is designed for the convenience of receiving course announcements, sending and receiving course messages, and viewing grades. Students will NOT be able to complete an entire course using only the Blackboard mobile app.
    • Chromebooks are not supported.
  • Operating Systems
    • Windows 8 or 10
    • Mac OS 10.8 or higher
  • Browser Requirements:
    • A current version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari
    • Microsoft Edge 2020 version can be used, but older versions cannot be used.
    • Do NOT use Internet Explorer
    • We recommend that you have at least two browsers downloaded. If you have problems with one, you can use the other to see if the problem is related to your browser or browser version.
  • For all browsers Cookies and Pop-up windows must be enabled.
  • Adobe Reader
  • Automatic Updates need to be set to check for updates but let you choose whether to download and install them. Before installing any browsers or service packs, make sure they are compatible with Blackboard.
  • 512 MB RAM or greater (1 GB recommended)
  • 8 GB hard drive or larger
  • 800 x 600 or greater video resolution and 256-color
  • Minot State email address (free of charge)
  • A current anti-virus application (Norton is not recommended at this time.)
  • A malicious software detection tool that can be run weekly.
  • Recommended software and hardware:
    • Sound card with speakers (A headset with microphone is required for some classes.)
    • Microsoft® Office with Word and PowerPoint or PowerPoint Viewer
      • Office 365 ProPlus is available for currently enrolled students.
      • Some courses require a specific version. Course Requirements
    • Windows Media Player, Adobe Reader, Acrobat Flash Player, and other plugins are available by free download under Plug-Ins below
    • Respondus Lockdown Browser (available as a free download inside courses that require it)
  • See individual degree programs for specific software requirements

Once you get started with your courses, make sure you have a USB Flash Drive or CDs on hand. While technology is marvelous, it is far from perfect. Even though it is a rare occurrence, technology does fail at times and your course work could be lost. You will want to have backup copies of each assignment and paper you submit. So from the beginning, create and save copies of your work. You won't regret it. (Instructions to Backup Assignments)

Some online courses have multimedia that requires software that is available as a free download if you follow our instructions. The schedules page will tell you what software is needed for each course. You can wait to download the plug-ins because not all are required for every course. Downloading only the required plug-ins will save space on your hard drive.

» Download Plug-Ins

Online students are required to have virus software and to keep it current. Computer viruses are major problems to the online experience. Their effects range from inconvenient to catastrophic. In an online learning environment, where file attachments are often shared, viruses have a good opportunity to proliferate. At MSU it is our policy to take every precaution to guard against viruses.

You can take steps to minimize your chances of infections by being careful of what you download, open only attachments you know are safe, keep your anti-virus program updated, install all updates, and install a spyware program and run it on a weekly basis (i.e. Ad-Aware). The Federal Trade Commission web site has some tips to help protect your computer from all types of malware.

A list of low-cost or free antivirus and malware options is available on the MSU IT Central Software Downloads page.

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