Minimum Hardware Requirements
- An Internet connection is required: Cable modem, broadband, or DSL is highly recommended (if this is not available in your area, then there may be additional charges to provide course materials in a CD format, rather than on-line).
- Your computer should be a minimum of a 1.8 GHz CPU with 2 GB of RAM, at least 5 Gig of free hard drive space and, optionally, a DVD drive or other drive where course recordings can be stored if there is not enough room on your hard drive.
- A computer microphone and headset is required and a webcam is recommended.
Minimum software and OS requirements
- A word processor that can read and write .RTF files and read and write .DOC files
- A spreadsheet program that can read or write to the MS Excel .xls format
- A presentation program that can read or write to the MS PowerPoint .ppt format
- Windows® Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1, Windows 10
- Mac OS® X 10.8 (Tiger®) or newer
- If you are using Linux, you will be able to access the course site, but you will not be able to use the required conferencing software from GoToMeeting unless you have Wine or some other Windows emulator and know how to configure Windows applications to run under Linux.
- Tablets and mobile phones can access the course website and be used with the GoToMeeting software for live sessions. The drawback for these devices is that they have very limited storage, so you will need to have storage in the cloud or an external drive to save course recordings and homework. You may find it difficult to do written assignments if you do not have an external keyboard as well.
If you do not have Microsoft Office software (for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations), you can download Libre Office for free. This excellent open source software is similar to Microsoft Office and includes Writer (equivalent to Word), Calc (equivalent to Excel) and Impress (equivalent to PowerPoint). It will read and write MS Office documents and understands .doc, .rtf, .xls and .ppt file formats.
You can also use Google Docs, Corel WordPerfect, Apple's Pages or other word processing software. You must know how to save your word processing documents to an .RTF or .DOC format so that your instructor can read your homework.
Even though students are expected to take an introduction to computers, you still need the following skills and capabilities before you begin your classes:
1. Know how to open, create, save, print, and move files on or from your computer or tablet.
2. Know how to install software on your computer.
3. Be able to access the World Wide Web (www) at least two times a week.
4. Know how to download and print documents from the internet.
5. Have an active e-mail address and know how to send and receive e-mail messages.
6. Know how to attach a file to e-mail and open a file attachment.
7. Know how to "copy and paste" text to and from office applications, the internet and e-mail.