Technical Skills And Requirements

Important Tips for Success as an Online Learner

  1. Begin planning now for private, uninterrupted time in your schedule to complete the assignments – preferably in at least one-hour blocks and at least three times a week. It can be easy to fall behind!
  2. Check your email account regularly for updated information. We will be using your HSU email account for communication.
  3. Use e-mail for private messages to the instructor and other students. The discussion forum is for public messages.
  4. If you have questions or confusion about an assignment, take action promptly! Check the Frequently Asked Questions FAQs forum to see if your concern has been addressed already. If not, post your question in the Ask Questions Here forum.
  5. Read directions carefully.
  6. For posts to online discussion forums, conventions of on-line etiquette ("netiquette") which include courtesy to all users, will be observed. Please see Communication and Etiquette Expectations for detail.
  7. Check your readiness to complete an online course: Online Re​adiness Skills for Success.

​Attitudes & Technical Skills Required

You will find that the following attitude will significantly contribute to your success in this online class:

  • A positive attitude towards technology
  • An open mind towards online education
  • Willingness to share your experiences with others
  • Strong writing skills needed for expressing yourself in the discussion area
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills for when you "get stuck"
  • Resourcefulness - don't be afraid to click on links and explore and ask questions
  • Time management

Online learning requires only basic technical skills:

  • Competency with file management (for example, creating a folder on your desktop, moving files from one location to another, finding a saved file)
  • Internet navigation skills
  • Download plug-ins from the Internet
  • Update your Internet browser
  • Send and receive email
  • Create and save documents (Word, PowerPoint, Excel or HTML)
  • Toggle between two open software applications on your computer
  • Copy text from a word processing program and paste them into another program

Note: While keyboarding at 35 wpm or greater is not a requirement for online learning, it can be a real timesaver!

Minimum Hardware and Software Requirements

  1. You will need access to a computer and the Internet. Most late model computers have adequate processing capabilities for online courses. If you do not have a computer at home or work but do spend time on campus, you can use any of the computer labs during open hours. A laptop with wireless capability will provide maximum flexibility for accessing the course when on campus.
  2. If you plan to connect to the Internet from home, you will need Internet access. High-speed Internet access with a cable modem or DSL is recommended. For either connection method, you will need an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  3. You also will need word processing software (e.g., Microsoft Word). If you need a word processor, contact the Shasta College Bookstore or College Buys for reduced pricing on Microsoft Office (includes Microsoft Word word processing software) available to registered Shasta College students. You can also utilize Office 365 through the Shasta College Portal; or, you can download the most current version of the Microsoft Office Suite available to allregisteredd Shasta College students through the Office 365 portal located on the Shasta College Portal Launchboard.
  4. Free web browsing software can be downloaded from the Internet but is usually already installed on modern computers. Firefox or Chrome are the recommended web browser most compatible with Canvas.

Computer Specifications

Canvas and its hosting infrastructure are designed for maximum compatibility and minimal requirements.

Screen Size

​Canvas is best viewed at a minimum of 1024x600, which is the average size of a notebook computer.

Operating Systems

    • Windows XP SP3 and newer
    • Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
    • Linux - Chromes OS

​Mobile Operating System Native App Support  

    • ​iOS 7 and newer ​*
    • Android 2.3 and newer *
​​* The Shasta College Office of Educational Technology DISCOURAGES the use of the Student Canvas App for taking Quizzes, submitting Assignments or participating in Discussions as the results are unpredictable and often undesirable. ​

Computer Speed and Processor

    • Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
    • 1GB of RAM
    • 2GHz processor

Internet Speed

    • Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments.
    • Minimum of 512kbps

Screen Readers

Supported Browsers

Canvas supports the last two versions of every browser release. We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up-to-date Flash plug-in.

As of February 20, 2016, Canvas support the following versions of Flash and popular web browsers:

    • Internet Explorer 11 and Edge
    • Chrome 47 and 48
    • Safari 8 and 9
    • Firefox 43 and 44
    • Flash 17 and 18 (used for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)
    • t system requirements).

Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas. If you have upgraded your browser but you are still seeing the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies. Learn how to clear your cache on a Mac or aPC.

Software Recommendations

Some online classes may use the following software:

Technical Assistance

It's crucial to seek help when you can't access Canvas or class materials. It's up to you to ask questions!

  • For technical assistance with Canvas, contact the Shasta College Office of Educational Technology. We are located in the Library (Bldg 200 on the ​Redding Campus)
  • For assistance with course materials contact your instructor (see the instructor contact information in your course syllabus).