Hardware and Software
To host online courses at the University of Windsor, we recommend using a computer system that meets the following requirements. Please note these requirements are subject to change, and computers that do not meet these standards are likely still to work but may not produce the best experience.
- Operating System: Windows 10; Mac OS and Chrome OS will work, but limited support is available
- Tools: Office 365 Suite (available for free for active students, staff, and faculty)
- Web Browser: Google Chrome; Internet Explorer is not recommended
- Audio/Video: Webcam and microphones are built into many laptops and some monitors, though headset/headphones might provide a better experience
- The Office of Open Learning has made a list of suggested equipment for faculty and staff who are recording lectures
Pre-configured computers are available for purchase by faculty, staff, and students from the University's preferred vendor, Dell.
Generally, an internet connection offering a minimum download speed of 15 Mbps and an upload speed of 5Mbps will result in the best experience. While slower DSL or Cable connections will function, certain features may automatically be disabled to preserve the connection. Blackboard Collaborate, for example, will automatically disable video when it detects issues with bandwidth.
Consideration must be taken for students who have limited or low bandwidth internet such as dial up, or for students who have an internet data traffic cap. Students can also tether their phone as well, but the data cap can be reached fairly quickly and can result in a large overage charge unless an unlimited plan is used.