Technology Requirements

Updated July 2013

 

General Personal Computer Requirements

Students enrolled in CGCE online and hybrid courses must own a personal computer that will be their primary computer for use with their courses. That computer should have specifications that meet or surpass the minimum specifications below. All CGCE courses are compatible with both PC (Windows) and Mac platforms. Computer style, desktop or laptop, is to your discretion based on ease of access and need for mobility.

 

Personal Computer Specifications
Spec Minimum Recommended
Processor Intel Core i3+ Intel Core i5+
Hard Drive 250 GB 500 GB +
Memory (RAM) 2 GB 4 GB +
Operating System Windows 7
Mac OS X Snow Leopard
Windows 7 or 8
Mac OS X Lion
Warranty N/A 2 years parts/labor/on-site service
Apple Care service agreement

 

New Personal Computer Purchase Considerations

For students enrolled in a CGCE degree or certificate program in which you will attend a series of online and/or hybrid courses, you should consider investing in a new computer (unless you have recently purchased a new computer). A good rule of thumb is that your computer should not be more than 2 years old when starting a new program. Ideally, your new computer purchase should surpass the Recommended specifications posted above.

 

Smart Phone, Tablet, and Mobile Device Support

CGCE provides support for use of smartphones and tablet devices with most of our technologies used in conjunction with online courses. Overall, there are many apps and features available on a variety of smartphone and tablet platforms that can enhance your online learning experience. However, in some cases, certain courses require technology that is not currently supported on most smartphone or tablet devices (such as real-time conferences which run in Adobe Flash). For this reason, CGCE cannot support such mobile devices as a primary student device (in place of a personal computer or laptop) for use with online and hybrid courses. Students who own or are considering purchasing a mobile device are encouraged to use it to compliment their computer usage with online courses. More details about mobile apps and features available for use with online courses is available under "Go Mobile" on your dashboard after logging into the Portal.

 

Learning Management System

All online and hybrid courses at Rowan University are currently hosted and managed in CGCE's Canvas (www.instructure.com) Learning Management System (LMS). Canvas is entirely web-based and runs in most modern browsers without the need to install any special software on your computer. CGCE provides students with orientation, training, and support for Canvas.

 

Internet Connection

CGCE courses are designed to accommodate most standard Broadband/High-Speed Internet connections**. If you are unsure of your current connection speed, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for more information. You can also test your Internet connection speed online at SpeedTest.net.

 

Minimum Recommended
DSL, Cable, or Satellite Broadband (High-speed @ approximately 1 Mbps/download or better) Cable Broadband, FIOS (Fiber Optic), 3G, 4G, or better (High-speed @ approximately 6 Mbps/download or better)

 

** Due to the requirement of most multi-media presentations and software used in online learning environments, high-speed Internet access is REQUIRED for all Online & Hybrid courses. Internet connections with download speeds of less than 1 Mbps, such as dial-up modem connections are no longer supported.

 

Required Electronic Document Format

Students may own or purchase the Word Processing and Office Productivity software of their choice. However, Microsoft Office version 2003 (or newer) document format is the required standard for submission of word processing (MS Word), spreadsheets (MS Excel), and slide show presentation (MS PowerPoint) deliverables (for assignments collected online). This ensures that instructors can open and view assignment file submissions. For students who do not currently own or have access to an Office Productivity Suite of software, you may consider purchasing a student version of the latest MS Office Suite, or you can consider using freely available products such as Google Documents (available with your Rowan Student Google Apps Account) or Microsoft SkyDrive (available with a MS Hotmail or MS Windows Live account).

 

Browsers & Plug-ins

The following software is freely available for download, installation, or upgrade at any time. Students are required to have the latest version of each as shown below. Consult the manufacturer’s website for each browser or plug-in to determine if you have the latest version installed on your computer.

 

IMPORTANT: For the best user experience, we strongly recommend using Mozilla Firefox (http://www.mozilla.com/firefox) or Google Chrome* (http://www.google.com/chrome) on either Mac or PC for use with all online or hybrid courses .

 

Web Browsers Plug-in (For Your Web Browser)
Firefox 24+
Chrome 30+
Safari 5+
Adobe Flash Player 11.2+

 

* For users working with Rowan owned and managed computer equipment (i.e. employee or lab computers), CGCE recommends Chrome when Mozilla Firefox is not available.

 

Data Storage & File Back Up

Rowan CGCE Division of Online Services does not provide storage or archiving of student work. Work may be housed in online courses (in the LMS) during the specified offering period of the course (between the course start and end date). All courses hosted in the LMS system are removed and archived 90 days from the course end date. Once the course is removed from LMS, CGCE cannot restore or retrieve any student’s work or files from the course.

 

Cloud Storage

Students should frequently backup copies of all data and files related to online coursework. While a large variety of portable storage devices are available including portable hard drives, thumb drives, flash drives, jump drives, etc, CGCE recommends that you consider Internet Cloud Storage as a more long-term and robust solution. Several companies currently offer cross-platform cloud storage services (typically with the initial storage limit being offered for free) where files are hosted securely online. Examples of popular vendors for this service include Dropbox.com (first 2GB free), Amazon Cloud Drive (first 5GB free), and Apple iCloud (first 5GB free). The advantage of cloud storage is that if your computer crashes, jump drive dies, or if you lose your portable storage, your files are safe on the cloud and accessible from anywhere at any time.

 

Additional Software & Hardware Requirements

Some online or hybrid courses will require the use of additional specialized computer equipment or software. For example, some courses require assignment documents to be scanned into a PDF document using a document scanner. If this is a requirement for the course, you will be expected to either have ready access to a document scanner or obtain your own document scanner.

 

Some courses utilize specialize software (for example, JMP Statistics Package for courses with statistical instruction). Specifications related to the software package needed for the course including the appropriate software version(s), optional vendors from whom students can purchase the software, and tech assistance for installation are provided in the course syllabus.

 

Some courses may have additional specialized equipment required for use with the course. These requirements will be posted by the course instructor in the course syllabus. The instructor may provide additional information and answer questions regarding these requirements. Some requirements may involve additional costs for students, as noted in the course syllabus.

 

Student Technology Policy

Students enrolled in or considering taking online or hybrid courses with CGCE should carefully review the student technology policy in the CGCE Standard Policies document. This policy clearly outlines the level of support provided by CGCE DOS for online courses as well as your responsibilities as a student for your own technology needs.

 

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