All online courses require some common software applications that are probably already installed on your computer (e.g., a Web browser).
Some online courses require discipline-specific software that you may need to purchase and install. Software requirements are included in the Course Detail information on the registration site and in your online course materials. Direct questions about software requirements to your instructor.
The following are general software requirements that apply to most online courses:
- A suite of "office" tools (e.g., word processor, spreadsheet, presentation)
- A Web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox
All WSU students who lease a laptop through the e-Warrior Digital Life and Learning Program have access to preinstalled Microsoft Office applications (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
Students who are not leasing a laptop through WSU can purchase Microsoft Office at a discounted, academic price. There are also free, open alternatives to Microsoft Office that may be acceptable to your instructor.
- Google Docs - Google Docs is a set of free Web-based applications for creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and forms. Take a tour of Google Docs.
- Windows Live - Windows Live is a set of free Web-based applications for creating documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and notes. Take a tour of Windows Live.
- Zoho - A set of free Web-based productivity applications, including Zoho Writer (word processing), Zoho Sheet (spreadsheet), and Zoho Show (presentations).
- OpenOffice - A free application similar to Microsoft Office that you download and install on your computer. It includes Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheet), Impress (presentations), and Draw (image editing). Learn more about OpenOffice.
All Web-based applications supported by WSU are compatible with the latest versions of both Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, configured with default security settings.
Online courses may not be fully functional when using other browsers, such as Apple Safari or Google Chrome. Internet Explorer and Firefox users may experience various problems based on custom security settings or other browser modifications (e.g., the installation of plugins).
Finally, there are other applications (e.g., LimeWire) that can interfere with the proper function of interactive Websites in any browser and should be avoided.
If you experience any problems accessing online course materials and activities via your Web browser, contact the WSU Technical Support Center (TSC) at 507.457.5240 Option #1 or via email at email@example.com.
Some online courses require specific software that may not already be installed on your computer. For WSU students who lease a laptop through the e-Warrior Digital Life and Learning Program, many software titles can be installed from the Control Panel (PC) or through WSU Additions (Mac).
For those with a personally-owned computer, this software may need to be purchased or free alternatives identified. Many titles offer reduced academic pricing to students. Information about course-specific software requirements are available in your online course materials.
Consult our list of supported software for more information about purchase, installation and alternatives. If you experience any problems installing course-related software, contact the WSU Technical Support Center (TSC) at 507.457.5240 Option #1 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.