Technology Requirements for Online Learning

Making sure that you have the technology you need for online learning is an important first step. Please take a few minutes to review the technical requirements for successful online learning.

Your Computer and Accessories

Even though there are apps that let you view your courses on your smart phone or tablet, you will need a computer to successfully complete online courses. Some videos and other content may not display correctly on mobile devices. You may want to check posts and messages on your mobile device, but do not try to complete homework assignments or tests on your phone or tablet. Your computer should be new enough to support up-to-date software. You also are likely to need a microphone, speakers and/or a headset, a webcam, and the ability to stream videos for many of your classes.

Internet Access

Access to a reliable, high-speed Internet connection is essential. We recommend 1.5 mbps and broadband. The computer and Internet connection you use should be available to you 24/7. You should not rely solely on your work computer, public library access, or Internet cafes. You also will need to have a backup plan in case you lose Internet access or your computer crashes.


Different courses and instructors may require different types of software. Be sure to check the requirements when you begin any new class. The most commonly used are Word, PowerPoint, and PDF. You will need Adobe Reader (free) to read PDFs, and Microsoft Office for Word or PowerPoint.

You can download and install Adobe Reader for free by clicking here.

For information about free and discounted hardware and software that you will have access to as a UNH student, visit

Although you certainly don’t need to be a computer programmer to take an online course, you should be comfortable with Internet browsers, MS Office Suite, and uploading and upgrading applications on your computer. If you need a technology refresher or an introduction to the basics, try the free tutorials on this site: or look for workshops at your local library or community center.