Programs of Study - Technology Requirements for Online Classes - Southern Union State Community College

Southern Union State Community College

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Programs of Study

Technology Requirements for Online Classes

Basic Technology Requirements

If you register for distance education courses (online, hybrid online, or virtual) at SUSCC, you must have the necessary technology for accessing Canvas course materials and completing activities.  You are responsible for having access to a compatible computer and reliable Internet connection for completing coursework.

Note: Chromebooks and computers running in Windows S or SE mode are not compatible with the test proctoring software used in many online courses.

Note: In addition to these technology requirements, online students must also possess certain Technical Skills to be successful in an online class.

Before registering for a Distance Education course (online, hybrid online, or virtual) your computer must be compatible with Canvas and test-proctoring requirements:

  • Canvas recommends regularly updating your computer operating system and browser with the latest security updates and upgrades. Using a computer no older than five years with at least 1GB of RAM produces the best experience. Visit the Canvas browser and computer requirements web page for more details. 
  • Online test-proctoring will be required through Respondus Lockdown Browser and ProctorU as determined by the instructor. These test-proctoring solutions may have additional computer/software requirements. You must have administrator rights to your computer to download the required software. 

Technology requirements for individual courses may vary, and your course may require additional hardware and/or software.  See the course syllabus or contact the instructor for additional technology requirements.

Distance education students must have a working webcam, microphone, and speakers attached or built into their computer.  Headphones are not permitted.

For best performance, Canvas should be used with the latest release of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Your browser should notify you if there is a new version available. You can verify that the browser you currently use is up to date with the browser checker tool located in the Canvas Guide: What are the browser and computer requirements for Instructure products?  Also, refer to the Canvas Guide for more information on computers, mobile devices, browsers, and troubleshooting problems.

*If you experience problems with a particular browser or Canvas behaves in an unusual way, try a different browser.  

Respondus Lockdown Browser requires downloading the institution's licensed browser to your computer. Check out the computer requirements for installation of the Respondus Lockdown Browser.

ProctorU requires downloading the Guardian Browser for Live+ proctoring. Find the list of supported operating systems for ProctorU here.

The Canvas interface was optimized for desktop displays, so smaller screens, such as phones or tablets, may not display correctly. For the best user experience on a mobile device, please download the Canvas mobile application from the Apple store or Play store (Android). These mobile applications require the latest Android or iOS versions.

Canvas support offers limited help for mobile browsers. For additional details, please reference the limited-support mobile browser guidelines.

Third-party applications integrated with Canvas may be required in your course. These might not work on a mobile device (phone or tablet). Also, some instructors won't allow them to take tests.

Note: It is best to use a computer, rather than a mobile device, for most of your activity in a distance education course.

Tests required through ProctorU cannot be completed on a Chromebook, mobile phone, and some tablets. See ProctorU's Equipment Requirements for a list of devices that are not compatible.

Tests required through the Lockdown Browser may be completed on an iPad if allowed by the instructor.  All other tablets and phones are not compatible.

Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low-bandwidth environments. It is recommended to have a minimum Internet speed of 512kbps.

However, technologies used in individual courses vary.  See the course syllabus or contact your instructor for additional technology requirements. A strong internet connection is vital when using test proctoring software to avoid disconnections.

  • 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." 

Note: WiFi connections are available for use in most campus areas. You may connect to the SUSCC student WiFi without a password. 

How can I determine my current Internet speed?

In the event of an emergency, Southern Union has a limited number of laptops for loan through the Learning Resource Center (LRC).  You must be a registered student to borrow a laptop for the current semester. Complete the Technology Request Form, and your request will be considered on an individual basis.


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