Skill & Technical Requirements

In order to take online courses, you’ll need to be prepared to meet the following criteria.

Skill

Experience and fluency with word-processing software such as Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect.
Capacity to:

  • Copy and paste information between documents and/or from program to program
  • Create a new folder/directory on your computer
  • Save files on a disk drive
  • Locate and open a saved file on your computer
  • Download and install software programs

Technical

  • Regular access to a computer. Read more about the computer requirements below.
  • Internet connection through an Internet Service Provider (ISP). High-speed connectivity is highly recommended.
  • A compatible internet browser such as Internet Explorer (10.0 or higher), Mozilla Firefox (48.0 or higher) or Google Chrome (52.0).
  • A word-processor program such as Microsoft Word or WordPad.
  • One or all of the following free programs, depending on class requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader, Flash and Java Virtual Machine.

Note: We strongly advise all online learning students to rely on their Bluefield State email address for course communications. If you’re using Blackboard, you will have a private message box available to you, but we still recommend using your own personal email address in case of network problems. Emailing and messaging are the primary means of communication in these courses, and you will be severely set back if you don’t have this available to you.

Computer Requirements

Bluefield State suggests that all students own (or have access to) a personal computer, and students themselves have indicated that individual ownership of a computer or laptop is preferable. It is also in your best interest to have a working knowledge of how your computer operates, as well as up-to-date programs, before classes start. To help with this, Bluefield State houses many general- and specific-use computer labs available to all students, staff and faculty, and these individuals may also be able to purchase discounted software.


Below are the suggested hardware and software requirements for taking online courses.

Suggested PC Specifications
Minimum Recommended
Intel Core i7 Processor 6th Generation Intel Core I7 Processor
Windows 8 Windows 10
4 GB RAM 8 GB RAM
200 GB Hard Drive or higher 500 GB Hard Drive or higher
Wireless-N network card Wireless-N network card
Ethernet Network card Ethernet Network card
17" Flat panel display Display
Mouse Mouse
Sound card and Speakers Sound card and Speakers
DVD-ROM DVD-ROM/DVD-WRITER
Optional (highly recommended): High-speed Storage Media USB (thumb or flash drive) or other equivalent portable storage media.
Please note: The minimum requirements are suggested for individuals that already possess a personal computer. The "Recommended" configurations are meant for guidance in obtaining new equipment compatible with school technology standards.
Many college instructional buildings and computer labs have been configured for a WiFi connection, or Wireless Internet. To access the WiFi infrastructure, it is necessary to obtain a Wireless Ethernet Card with a new purchase, which may come pre-packaged in newer laptops. Otherwise, these cards can be obtained at local electronics stores.