General Technology Hardware for Online/Hybrid Courses


Taking an online course requires a good computer, and consistent internet connection. In addition there are some basic general skills, along with computer and internet skills that are required to be successful.

This Guide Will Help You to:

  • Identify hardware requirements

  • Identify internet requirements

  • Run computer systems check

  • Seek further assistance

Identify hardware requirements


It's recommended that your computer is fairly new (within 3 years of purchase). You will need to access the internet, work in office suites (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, etc.). A smartphone or tablet will not be sufficient.


A good set of headphones is helpful when viewing course videos. You may also want to look into a headphone/microphone combination. Web conferencing and online test proctoring may be required for some Moodle ISU classes.


You may need to participate in a web conferencing class or create a video or narrated PowerPoint. A headphone/microphone combination is a good option.


Most modern laptops come with a webcam. This will help you in participating in live web conferencing style classes as well as recording video. Web conferencing and online test proctoring may be required for some Moodle ISU classes.

Identify internet requirements

  • Broadband internet (DSL or cable) is recommended. You should get the best internet you can afford.

  • A wired internet connection is preferred to wireless, especially when taking quizzes and exams. This does not mean you can’t use your laptop - just plug it in directly when taking quizzes and exams.

Run computer systems check

To have a successful experience in an online course, it is essential to use the appropriate technology. The following resources will assist you in identifying if your current computer hardware fulfils the general technology requirements needed for online course work.

Seek Further Assistance

If you have any additional technology/computer questions, contact the IT Help Desk

If you have questions regarding your course, contact your instructor

Faculty: for additional assistance please contact, ITRC at (208) 282 5880 or

General Skills list from Hong, S. & Jung, I. (2011). The distance learner competencies: A three-phased empirical approach. Educational Technology Research Development, 59(1), 21-42.

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Article ID: 50627
Tue 3/20/18 12:35 PM
Fri 11/3/23 12:48 PM