Technology Requirements

Each online course space at UBC may look different, even within the same faculty, school, or department. These differences exist because your instructors are using the best tools for teaching in their specific classes. No matter how online course spaces are presented, these technical requirements for students should help you get up and running.

Prep Your Tech

As a starting point, try to meet the following requirements as best you can.

Computer

A desktop or laptop computer will be easier to complete your work on than a mobile device or tablet. Smaller devices have less screen real estate for viewing and interacting with your online course content. Additionally, not all UBC learning technologies work on tablets and mobile devices.

We recommend a computer with the following minimum specifications:

  • Intel i5 or equivalent processor
  • 8GB memory
  • 256GB drive
  • The latest, fully updated operating system
  • Updated antivirus software

Audio

Many computers come with a built-in speaker and microphone. But a headset with a microphone that you plug into your computer will provide the best audio experience.


Video

If your computer does not have a built-in camera, it’s best to get a webcam you can attach. You can still participate in web-conferencing lectures and meetings without one, but online exams may require it.


Web Browser

Each technology may have different requirements of which browsers they work with best. As a starting point, install the latest version of at least one of these browsers: Chrome, Edge, or Firefox. You can refer to our supported browsers page for which browsers are compatible with different learning technologies.


Software

All active UBC students can download Microsoft Office 365 software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) for free. Additional teaching and learning tools are available to download for free, including Camtasia for video editing, Snagit for screen capturing, and VideoScribe for animations.

Tips

Connect to the Internet

There are a few different ways you can consider connecting to your online learning.

Wired or Wireless Connection

It’s best to use a wired or wireless connection, if you can. Many courses deliver content in a variety of multimedia, including video streaming for lectures. So the higher the speed, the better. Generally, a minimum 5.0 Mbps download and 1.0 Mbps upload speed will handle most UBC learning technologies.


Mobile Hotspots

If you are in cellular range and have a data plan for your phone, you may be able to use your phone to connect your computer. Read about using mobile hotspots for Apple or using mobile hotspots for Android, and check with your phone provider to understand how this use may impact data and billing.

Tips

  • Internet speed can be improved by closing unused applications and browser windows or tabs, as well as turning off any video sharing.
  • Know that ResNet internet in all UBC student residences exceeds the minimum for UBC speed recommendations.
  • Try using the UBC VPN (Virtual Private Network) to connect, if you have issues accessing learning technologies from your location.