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TECHNOLOGY | Hardware & software needed for online courses

 

1. What kind of technology do I need to take a class?

You need a current computer (see specifications in #2) and access to the Internet to attend online classes at Baker University. Online tech support is provided through the Baker help desk or by calling 785.594.4544.

2. What computer hardware do I need to take a class?

Computer specifications are reviewed and revised annually to accommodate changes in technology. Although every attempt is made to ensure that these specifications satisfy all curricular needs for students completing a college course online, Baker reserves the right to require upgrades in the event of technology changes. Students will be given a 90-day notice before such changes are implemented.

3. What computer software do I need to take a class?

Operating System

  • Windows: The currently supported operating system by Microsoft. It is strongly recommended that you have administrative rights to the computer used for college online course work. If you must use a computer over which you do not have administrator rights (such as a library computer or a workplace computer), you may experience difficulties with needed functions, such as installing plug-ins or gaining access to appropriate sites via the Internet.
  • Mac: The currently supported operating system version by Apple, but some applications may require Windows OS. You should be prepared to run the Parallels desktop and a Windows OS if you elect to use a Mac system..
  • We highly suggest you do NOT use a Chromebook or any netbook that uses the Chrome operating system

Productivity Tools

Students need access to Microsoft Office products: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and so on. These tools are used extensively in the program. Mac users can use appropriate counterparts to these tools but must be prepared to save them in a file format readable in a Microsoft environment. Microsoft Office is free for degree-seeking students. Login to portal.office.com to Install office.

Internet Access

ISP account for Internet access and email address (See more on Internet connectivity specifications below.)

Java-Enabled Browser

  • Windows: Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher. Free download available at Internet Explorer
  • Windows: Mozilla Firefox 3.x or higher. Free download available at Mozilla
  • MAC: Mozilla Firefox 3.x or higher. Free download available at Mozilla

NOTE: The AOL, Opera, and Safari browsers are NOT currently supported for online course work. Chrome browsers are not reliable in use with our course software.

4. What plug-ins will I need to access the resources in my course?

All plug-ins needed to participate in online coursework are available free of charge. Review the list of plug-ins below and install them before beginning your course. 

Additional plug-ins and downloads may be required for a specific course. The courses will include information for obtaining and installing the appropriate plug-ins.

5. What kind of security do I need?

The ease and convenience of online education brings with it the need to ensure that our computers do not become targets for unwanted and often malicious attacks and intrusions by computer viruses and hackers. To prevent this, we recommend using an antivirus package and a corporate or personal firewall. Your computer is subject to virus attack whether you are surfing the Internet or getting information from CDs or a network. Email attachments are particularly vulnerable.

Personal firewalls are another means to protect your computer from malicious activity when you are connected to the Internet. Windows comes with a built-in personal firewall. It is recommended that you enable the Windows Internet Connection Firewall and learn how to use this application to protect your computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet. The help desk can help you enable this firewall. Call 785.594.4544 or submit an online Help Desk request for assistance. Baker IT staff can guide students to solutions for their software and hardware issues, but Baker IT will not physically work on a student’s personal device. Students should contact a local IT service company for resolution.

6. How can I get Internet access?

Internet access is required to participate in online components of your college courses at Baker. An Internet service provider (ISP) will provide you with the software and access necessary to use the Internet in order of preference:

  • Cable/Fiber: The amount of bandwidth needed for class will vary depending on how many devices you have connected at once and what type of traffic the devices are doing (for example, streaming services will take a lot of bandwidth). Contact your ISP for recommendations on what bandwidth package would fit your needs. Videoconferencing software, such as Zoom, will require more bandwidth than normal Internet browsing.
  • Satellite and/or wireless Internet connection: Satellite and wireless connections are not recommended. Performance may be suboptimal due to latency and signal instability.

If you connect to the Internet through your company, you may need to ensure that appropriate plug-ins and access rights are available to you. Check with your IT department to ensure that you may access course materials from your company’s network.

If you would like to test your bandwidth, please visit speedtest.net. Please note that many factors affect bandwidth consumption, such as the type of device you are testing from, the state the device is in (e.g., viruses, software inhibiting bandwidth consumption).

7. What email account should I use?

We provide all students an email address that we require you to use. This will prevent issues with spam blockers and other problems that may prevent you from receiving email from your instructors. It will also enable you to participate in special student offers that are available only to students with a “.edu” email address.

8. What should I do if I need assistive technologies?

Students who need assistive technologies will have different computer and technology requirements. Please check with your academic advisor to determine the requirements for the specific technologies needed to support your coursework.

9. What if I am purchasing a new computer system?

If you are purchasing a new computer system, the following are recommended by Baker University. These specifications may provide you with a guideline for configuring your new system.

Windows-Based System | Desktop

  • Operating system – Current Microsoft supported Windows Operating System
  • Current anti-virus program (e.g. Mcafee, Norton, AVG, etc.). If bought more than 3 years ago, it isn’t current.
  • Antivirus program must have current virus definitions
  • Network card
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Monitor
  • Webcam – either built-in or use USB plug in webcam
  • Microphone – USB plug-in microphone for conferencing or presentation creation
  • Headset for videoconferencing
  • High-speed Internet access
  • Administrative access to the computer (to have the ability to install course-specific software or reach certain links)
  • Currently supported Internet Explorer or Firefox browser
  • Currently supported Microsoft Office version with Access, Microsoft Project, and PH Stat plug-in for Excel

Windows-Based System | Laptop

  • Operating system – Current Microsoft supported Windows Operating System
  • Current anti-virus program (e.g. Mcafee, Norton, AVG, etc.). If bought more than 3 years ago, it isn’t current.
  • Antivirus program must have current virus definitions.
  • Wireless LAN built in
  • Network card as backup for wireless
  • High-speed Internet access
  • Webcam – either built in or use USB plug-in webcam
  • Microphone – USB plug in microphone for conferencing or presentation creation
  • Headset for videoconferencing
  • Administrative access to the computer (in order to have the ability to install course-specific software or reach certain links)
  • Currently supported Internet Explorer or Firefox browser
  • Currently supported Microsoft Office version with Access, Microsoft Project, and PH Stat plug-in for Excel

Apple-Based System

  • Operating system – Currently supported Apple operating system
  • Current anti-virus program (e.g. Mcafee, Norton, AVG, etc.). If bought more than 3 years ago, it isn’t current.
  • Antivirus program must have current virus definitions
  • High-speed Internet access
  • Webcam – either built in or use USB plug-in webcam
  • Microphone – USB plug in microphone for conferencing or presentation creation
  • Administrative access to the computer (in order to have the ability to install course-specific software or reach certain links)
  • Currently supported Internet Explorer or Firefox browser
  • Currently supported Microsoft Office version with Access, Microsoft Project, and PH Stat plug-in for Excel

**Apple/Mac users must be able to access a PC because some course textbooks have supplemental CDs/DVDs that WILL NOT work on or install to Apple computers.

**We highly recommend you do NOT use a Chromebook or netbook device.

10. How do I contact Baker University for technical support?
11. What should I do if I have the wrong login information?

You can call 785.594.4544 or submit an online Help Desk request for assistance.

12. What should I do if I can't remember my login name and password?

You can call 785.594.4544 or submit an online Help Desk request for assistance.

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