Technical Prerequisites

  • Proficiency using computers running Windows (7-10) or Mac OS, particularly word processing, e-mail, and web browsing. (This includes the information found under Technical Competencies below.)
  • Access to a personal computer (laptop/desktop), either at home, office, or school, capable of providing graphical access to the Web, plus Adobe Acrobat software and email capability.  Almost all modern computers possess far more than the minimum system requirements for running Canvas.  Access to certain features of Canvas can be obtained on a mobile device (tablets/smartphones) via the Canvas Student app, available through the Google Play Store for Android devices and the App Store for iPhone and iPad. The University does not offer technical support for the mobile app, but may be able to resolve some connectivity issues.
  • The Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browsers.  Microsoft Edge is acceptable, but for the most part, Microsoft browsers, particularly Internet Explorer, are discouraged. For Mac users, Safari is an adequate browser for Canvas.

Technical Competencies

Computer Operation

You should be able to:

  • Start up and shut down computer system and peripherals
  • Identify and use icons, windows, menus
  • Start an application and create a document
  • Name, save, retrieve, revise a document
  • Use printing options
  • Create and name/rename subdirectories/folders
  • Save, open, place documents inside subdirectories/folders
  • Open and work with more than one application at a time

Setup, Maintenance & Troubleshooting

You should be able to:

  • Clean computer components and printer
  • Make backup copies of key applications and documents
  • Use self-help resources to diagnose and correct common hardware and printing problems
  • Install and upgrade an application
  • Maintain proper operating environment for computer and peripherals
  • Protect against computer viruses
  • Obtain technical assistance resources from your Internet Service Provider

Word Processing

You should be able to:

  • Enter and edit text and copy and move text
  • Copy and move blocks of text
  • Change text format and style, set margins, line spacing, and tabs
  • Check spelling, grammar, word usage
  • Insert page numbers


You should be able to:

  • Connect to the Internet, either wired or wireless
  • Use E-Mail (compose, send, retrieve, read, respond, and forward messages, and attach files)
  • Access and use resources on Internet
  • Obtain/maintain an account on the Internet or an on-line service that provides Internet access
  • Connect a computer to a Cable/DSL modem (or other device, such as wireless router) for Internet access
  • Use an online search engine