Coronavirus (COVID-19): Open Learning FAQ

Still using Internet Explorer?

You'll have a happier experience on the TRU website — and most other sites — if you update to a modern web browser such as Firefox, Chrome, or Edge. You can continue to use Internet Explorer for certain tasks, such as using Banner.

Thompson Rivers University 50th Anniversary
Thompson Rivers University 50th Anniversary

Technical Basics

If you own a newer computer (last five years), you likely have the tools needed to complete a distance course. Some courses have special requirements so it’s a good idea to check details before you enroll.

Computer Hardware/Operating System

Supported operating systems are Windows 7 or newer and Mac OS X 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.

Some courses require a DVD player. If so, this is noted in the course details on the registration website.

Tablets and Smart Phones

A tablet or smart phone can give access to some online course content but neither enables reliable access to all content. In some cases you may not be aware that the course content is not displaying correctly. You need a computer running Windows or Mac OS.

Internet Connection Speed

Two types of courses require an Internet connection: online, paced cohort and self-paced study. A high-speed connection is recommended. A dial-up connection allows you to send email and access your learning environment, but download and upload times are slow, and you may have trouble viewing certain types of media.

Some print courses require Internet access to resources. Read the course description. If you have questions, contact Student Services.

Access for Students

Software and wireless access is available to our students, often for free or a small fee. For example, students can access the Eduroam wireless network on many university campuses (not just at TRU) for secure, high-speed Internet.

Software Requirements: All Courses

We recommend that you have access to Microsoft Office or compatible software. Other requirements are provided in the course description.

Software for Students

The latest version of Microsoft Office is available to students with a free subscription. Visit IT Services for Students for currently available programs.

Software Requirements: Paced and Self-paced Web Courses

Your web browser, the program you’re using to read this web page, is your most important tool in a web-based course.

We recommend you have at least two browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari installed on your computer. Some pages and software function better on some browsers than others. Internet Explorer is 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

You should use the newest versions of web-related software to avoid problems.

  • Adobe Reader
  • Adobe Flash Player (may require extra steps for Apple computers)
  • Java (may require extra steps for Apple computers)
  • Anti-virus and anti-malware programs (IT Services offers links to the latest versions of this free software.)

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

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