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Online Program Delivery

Technology Requirements: Web Activities

Program courses and practicum experiences delivered online require basic equipment and skills for operating in the online environment to have a successful learning experience. At a minimum, students need ready access to a personal computer at home or work (or a public library or friend’s house), a reliable connection to the Internet, a full-featured web browser with other plug-ins installed in the browser and and application software installed on the computer’s hard drive.

Preparing the Computer for Online Learning

To prepare the computer, students will need the following:

  1. A computer that is either a PC with Windows OS 98, NT, 2000 or XP OR a Macintosh PowerMac OR iMac with OS X or higher. If the OS does not meet these specifications, purchase an OS upgrade OR locate another computer to use OR purchase a new computer. 
  2. The computer’s Central Processing Unit (CPU) should have a processing speed of 500 MHz or better with internal memory of 512 MB RAM or higher. If the computer does not meet these specifications, upgrade speed and memory as needed OR locate another computer to use OR purchase a newer computer. 
  3. Speed of connection to the Internet requires at least a dial-up modem of 56 kbps, BUT cable modem OR a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) of 128 kbps or higher (or Internet Services Digital Network (ISDN) line OR T1 line OR other high speed connection) is preferred for high quality sound and images. ACTUAL connection speed in a specific location can be confirmed by completing the  speed test
  4. An inexpensive microphone (adequate) or headset (preferable) that can be connected to the computer to record audio assignments and to speak to the instructor and class during audio conferences.

Students who do NOT have a computer and Internet access that meets these standards at home or at work may be able to locate them at a public library.

Configuring the Browser for Online Learning

To prepare the browser, students will need the following:

A full-featured web browser (preferably Mozilla Firefox 1.0 or higher OR Netscape Communicator 7.0 or higher OR Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher OR Safari 1.2 or higher; download and install a free copy or updated version of any browser from each company’s website;

The browser’s settings must be set appropriately to access course features:

  • enable Java and JavaScript;
  • disable pop-up blocker (at least prior to course access);
  • disable spyware (at least prior to course access);
  • set browser preferences to clear cache at every visit to page; and
  • set browser preferences to allow cookies from

Confirm browser compatibility.

The following plug-ins must be installed in the browser’s plug-ins folder:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 or higher (text files and library materials);
  • Macromedia Flash Player 8.0 (slides, interactive activities, and application sharing);
  • Apple QuickTime 7.0 or higher (audio and video files and/or webcasts).

Free copies of plug-ins are obtained at each company’s website; follow ALL directions for downloading and installing the program within the browser’s plug-ins folder and NOTjust on the computer’s desktop.

Installing Software Needed for Learning Activities
Each student will need a CURRENT version of this software to complete assignments: Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint) 2000 or later. Some courses may also require other software programs.

Accessing WVU eCampus

All courses that are delivered entirely online or include an online component will be delivered in  WVU eCampus, an online learning management system that incorporates a variety of tools and formats for teaching and learning.

For more information about WVU eCampus designed especially for students, see the  WVU eCampus Tutorial.

Requesting Assistance

Assistance in meeting technology requirements can be obtained by contacting: