Technology Requirements

Distance Education: Technology requirements and competencies

Online Hybrid Learning in General

Students in the Weekend OT Program should expect to spend as much time in study and preparation, or perhaps more, as a completely classroom-based course. Students are managing their own learning using the information and resources located in Blackboard.

This requires that the student be self-disciplined, motivated, and have some skills using a networked computer and a Web browser. At a minimum, the student should have experience using email, sending email attachments, and browsing the World Wide Web. The content and rigor of an online course offered by GVSU is equivalent to the on-campus, in-class version of the same course. Many online students have conceded that the online course is more rigorous than what they typically experience in the face-to-face courses, but well worth it for those who are self-directed learners.

If you are considering the OT Weekend Program you might want to check out the GVSU Online Learning Orientation (optional but encouraged). This tutorial will help to prepare you for what is involved in being an on-line hybrid student. You will learn the features of Blackboard, determine if your computer meets the technical requirements, and hopefully get a sense as to whether learning online is right for you! You can access this tutorial at the following site

Each student will be given a Username and a Password for Blackboard before the first day of the OT Weekend Program. If you need assistance with your Username and Password, please contact the Academic Computing department at 616-331-2101.

Hardware/Software Requirements

Students must have access to sufficient hardware and software to complete the courses. The minimum requirements to access course materials through the Internet are:

  1. Access to a High Speed Internet connection (a modem or dial-up connection is not recommended because of the need to access video streaming and mp3 audio files). However, you may access audio files from one of the GVSU computer labs, but you will need to bring your own headphones.
  2. Microsoft Word (WordPerfect and Works are not acceptable word processing applications for the course assignments)
  3. Firefox 3.0 or higher or Internet Explorer 7 or higher
  4. Blackboard assistance can be found under the Course Information menu item
  5. A Webcam may be used with some of your classes.

Page last modified July 20, 2011