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MSU Online

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’s 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 user's 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. Functions that absolutely require a wired connection are Respondus LockDown Browser, SafeAssignment, Collaborate, and Tegrity.
  • PC 1.2 Ghz or greater (Intel Pentium or Celeron, or AMD Athlon processors)
    • You cannot successfully complete an online course using only an iPad, iPhone, Android device, or tablet even if you are using the mobile app. The mobile app will only allow you to perform certain functions NOT complete an entire course.
  • Check the Blackboard List of Supported Browsers for Recent Updates:
  • Operating Systems
    • Windows 7 or 8 or 10
    • Mac OS 10.8 or higher
  • PC Browser Requirements:
    • Internet Explorer 11 if using Windows 7 or higher. Internet Explorer 9 if using Windows Vista
    • Firefox 31
    • Chrome Versions 36-41 with the exception of Chrome 42 which is not supported for functions such as Chat, Virtual Classroom, Collaborate, Java, etc.
    • Edge may be used for some functions in Blackboard, but is not supported for other functions such as Chat, Virtual Classroom, Collaborate, Java, etc.
    • The mobile app versions of these browsers are not fully supported at this time.
  • Mac Browser Requirements:
    • Safari 6.0.1 if using Mac OSX 10.7 or 10.8.
    • Safari 5.1 if using Mac OSX 10.6
    • The mobile app version is not fully supported at this time.
  • The following technologies are NOT supported:
    • Windows XP 64-bit
    • Mac OSX 10.3, 10.4, 10.5
    • Java 5, 6, or 8
  • Instructions on how to find out your browser version
  • For all browsers JavaScript, Cookies, and Pop-up windows must be enabled.
  • Java Runtime Environment
  • Adobe Reader
  • Adobe Flash
    • Most new MACs are not shipped with Adobe Flash.  So the user must download the software. This may affect the speed of your computer.
  • 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
  • MSU e-mail 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.
  • Software and hardware recommended for all courses. Some of these are required only in certain courses.
    • Sound card with speakers (headset with speakers and microphone is required for some classes)
    • USB Headset with microphone
    • CD-ROM
    • Inkjet or laser printer
    • Microsoft® Office (The version required is dependent on course requirements; BIT courses require Office 2013.)
    • Microsoft® Word
    • Microsoft® PowerPoint or PowerPoint Viewer
    • Windows Media Player,  Adobe Reader, Acrobat Flash Player, and other plugins are available by free download under Plug-Ins below (for selected courses)
    • 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)

We have also prepared some instructions to check your Browser Settings so you are ready for your online courses.

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 Windows updates, and install a spyware program and run it on a weekly basis (i.e. Ad-Aware). The McAfee site has some tips to help protect your computer from viruses.

Here is a list of low-cost or free antivirus options:



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