Technology Requirements & Software

To successfully take an online course through UW Colleges Online, ensure your system meets the following.

Minimum Technology Requirements

Internet Access

All UW Colleges Online courses require a reliable connection to the Internet. You are responsible for setting up your own connection to the Internet. There are many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) available in Wisconsin as well as nationwide. A broadband connection of 384 Kbps or higher is strongly recommended due to the rich media content in many of the online courses.

Hardware and Software

To ensure compatibility with the various software technologies used in online courses, we suggest performing a System Check on your computer. This check is designed to ensure your computer system is properly configured for our web courses, by verifying your browser version, browser settings and display settings. It also ensures you have the browser plug-ins our courses require.

Supported Hardware/Operating Systems
  • PC running Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7 (Recommended)
  • Apple Macintosh running OS X
Supported Browsers for Desire2Learn (D2L)
  • Windows: Internet Explorer 8 or higher, Firefox 5.0 or higher, Chrome (current version)
  • Mac OS X: Mozilla Firefox 5 or higher, Safari 4 or higher
  • Mobile Web: Apple Safari iOS 3 or higher, Android 1.5, 2.1, Blackberry 6

A note about pop-up blockers: If you use a pop-up blocker in your browser, for example what is included with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or the Google toolbar, please ensure you allow pop-up windows for the following sites:

If you are unsure how to disable pop-up blockers, the Service Center has posted directions which can help.

Recommended Settings

  • Make sure that the browser is set to accept cookies (from both 1st party and 3rd party).
  • Javascript must be enabled.
  • Recommended Software
  • The following software should be installed for full functionality within the D2L site:
  • Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is required for the Equation Editor and Online Rooms. JRE 1.6.x (JRE 1.6, update 26 is recommended).

A Note About Viruses

A computer virus is a small program which attaches itself to e-mails, images, documents, and other programs. When an infected file is opened or executed, the computer virus is activated. Computer viruses can forward copies of themselves to people in your e-mail address book, collect and send personal information to hackers, damage or destroy files and programs on your computer, or completely erase your hard drive.

As more and more people use the Internet, the likelihood that a computer virus will infect your computer increases. If you don't already use one, we strongly advise you to acquire an anti-virus program, so much so the Symantec Antivirus Client for MS Windows is available at no charge to current students, faculty and staff for home use. Your login and password is required to download and install this software.

If you have an anti-virus program installed, it is very important to update the virus definitions frequently in order to provide yourself with the best protection possible.