Technology Requirements for Online & Distance Learning Classes
Basic Technology Requirements
If you are taking online, virtual, or hybrid courses at JM 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 normal 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 the download of additional software that may not be allowed by your employer.
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 not available 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.
Note that in addition to these technology requirements, online students must also possess certain Technical Skills to be successful 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 key skills required:
Knowledge of computer terminology, such as browser, operating system, application, software, files, documents, icon, etc.
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, email
Knowledge of copying and pasting, spell-checking, 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, it is important that your computer meet the basic specifications needed to access Moodle. There may be requirements in some courses that may require additional technologies.
For best performance, you should access Moodle with a computer that supports the most recent browser versions. It is recommended to use a computer five years old or newer with at least 1GB of RAM.
Moodle only requires an operating system that can run the latest compatible web browsers. Your computer operating system should be kept up to date with the latest recommended security updates and upgrades.
*Chromebooks and computers running in Windows S mode are not compatible with the testing software using in most online classes.
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. For the best user experience on a mobile device, please download the Moodle mobile application. The Moodle mobile applications require Android 6.0 or later and iOS 13.0 or later.
Other technology required in your course may not work at all on a mobile device (phone or tablet).
Emergency Laptop Loan Program
In the event of an emergency, John Melvin University has a limited number of laptops for loan. To borrow a laptop for the current semester, you must be a registered student. Email the IT Department at IT_support@johnmelvin.university and your request will be considered on an individual basis.
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 of the course materials and resources, particularly large 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.
Why does Internet speed matter?
Many online courses use videos. Viewing is only possible if a certain amount of data is transferred to your computer in a timely manner. The speed that the data can be sent to you is called your "Internet speed". **
Approximate speeds of the common types of Internet Service Providers:
Dial-up internet* - 56 bps (from phone company)
DSL internet - 768 kbps+ (from phone company)
Cable internet - 1,000-10,000+ kbps (from cable company)
*Dial-up connections cannot load the data fast enough which causes video to pause to let more data arrive. DSL and Cable connections are more than adequate to watch most online videos.
How can I determine my current Internet speed?
**Note: Wifi connections are available in most areas on campus. You should be aware that during testing, you will be required to be located in a private area so make arrangements before your test.
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's 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. If you experience problems with a particular browser or Moodle behaves in an unusual way, try a different browser. If you find that 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's 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 the use of 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.