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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Technical Basics

If you own a newer computer (last five years), you likely have the tools needed to complete a course delivered using an alternative format to face-to-face delivery. If courses have special requirements, details will be included in the course schedule. Please check course details before you enroll.

Operating system /computer hardware

Supported operating systems are Windows 10 or newer and macOS 10.7 (Lion) or newer. There may be special considerations if you are using a Mac, so please check course details. Newer computers have more storage capacity and memory, making tasks faster and videos easier to access.

Webcam and microphone

Webcam and microphone capabilities are highly recommended for students enrolled in courses being delivered in alternative formats.

Tablets and phones

Tablets and phones are not recommended to access course content. Although a tablet or phone can provide access to some online course content, neither device enables reliable access to all content. In some cases, you may not be aware that the course content is not displaying correctly. To successfully access all course content reliably, you will need a computer running Windows or Mac.

Internet connection

For most courses, including most print-based ones, you need access to high-speed internet. Although a dial-up connection allows you to send email and access your learning environment, download and upload times are slow, and you may have trouble viewing certain types of media and participating in video-conferences.

For secure, high-speed internet, you can access the Eduroam wireless network for free on many university campuses, including TRU.

Software requirements

Web browser

Your web browser is your most important tool in a web-based course. You should use the newest versions of web-related software to avoid problems.

We recommend you have at least two browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, installed on your computer. Some pages and software function better on some browsers than others. Internet Explorer and Safari are not recommended.

If you have trouble viewing course content, your browser likely needs to be updated. You can check by going into the browser’s File, About or Help menus.

Browser add-ons

Some courses may have additional interactive content that requires Java software to be installed in order to display correctly in your browser.

Microsoft Office

We recommend that you have access to Microsoft Office or compatible software. The latest version of Microsoft Office is available to you with a free subscription. Visit the ITS Portal for currently available programs.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Acrobat PDF files may be included in your course material. Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you to open, read and print these PDF files.

Additional software for students

You can download a variety of software options onto your home computer for free or a small fee through IT Services. These software offerings can be helpful for online coursework, communicating with fellow classmates and professors and helping to protect your computer. You can view all the available options and details on the ITS Portal.

If you have any questions about your computer’s capabilities, or are not sure how to check if your tools satisfy these requirements, send an email to

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