Updated Aug. 10,2020
Online learning will be a part of every student’s schedule in Fall 2020. In order to ensure you have the technical capabilities — hardware, software, and internet connectivity — to maximize your online experience at home, please review the specifications below.
- Moodle is being upgraded to a new version (Moodle 3.8), which will enhance security and performance. The server hardware is also being enhanced. We have added new themes and course layout options to make learning more interactive and intuitive.
- Across the campus WiFi has been upgraded to improve access, reliability, and speed.
- All classrooms and teaching spaces are being equipped with cameras and microphones so that in-person classes can be recorded and streamed.
- Loaner laptops have been purchased and will be available through the Library.
- Five students will be hired to provide technical assistance to both faculty and students.
Internet connectivity recommendations
We recommend internet connectivity with broadband speeds of at least 50 Mbps for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads. This is the minimum internet speed recommended for all Canadians by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC): https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/internet/performance.htm
Types of internet service
- Fibre optic internet services will generally exceed this minimum requirement.
- Cable TV internet services will usually meet this minimum requirement.
- DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) internet services will not usually meet this minimum requirement but may be minimally sufficient for online learning if the service is not also used for many other purposes in the household. You may sometimes experience difficulties with video.
- Fixed wireless internet services will generally not meet this minimum requirement. These services may be minimally functional for online learning, but you are likely to often experience difficulties, particularly with audio and video.
This is a general recommendation only. Your actual online learning experience will be affected by other people and devices in your home that also use the internet connection. These may include general internet access, home automation systems, streaming video (e.g. Netflix), security cameras, and other uses. In general, when more people, systems, and applications use your internet connection, you should try to get faster internet service. Your online learning experience can also be affected by daily internet conditions, both in your local area and across the global internet.
You can check with your local internet service provider if they are experiencing any outages with their services. You can look up most service providers through a site such as this: https://downdetector.ca/ Simply enter your service provider's name and hit search.
There are several sites available where you can check your internet connection quality by doing a speed test, such as https://www.speedtest.net/ A reminder that the information returned is for that specific point in time. Your connection speed changes over time due to the reasons mentioned above.
- Processor: Dual Core Processor or better 1.6 GHz (or higher)
- Memory: 8GB or more
- Video camera, microphone, and speakers: Headset with mic is recommended. Built-in mic and speakers will work but may cause echo. Any built-in or USB camera should work.
- Screen: 1024 x 768 screen resolution minimum, 1080P (1920 x 1080) or higher recommended.
- Operating System: Windows 10 or Mac OS X 10.11El Capitan or later
- Software: Microsoft Office (Office 365) is provided by Mount Allison. Other required software will vary by program. Mount Allison will provide remote access to required software that is not available for students to install on personal computers.
How to check your hardware specifications
To find out whether or not your computer will meet the minimum recommended requirements for online learning, check the system information menu to view the installed processor and memory available.
Checking your hardware specifications on a PC
- Click the Windows Start button. This is the button with the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
- Then click Settings. This is the gear-shaped icon just above the power button.
- Next, click System.
- Scroll down and click About from the left sidebar. Here, you can find details about your processor, RAM, and other info.
Checking your hardware specifications on a Mac
To find your Mac's basic specs:
- Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen.
- From the drop-down menu, click About This Mac.
- This will open the System Information window, which tells you about the processor and memory that is installed on your computer.