Technology Requirements

To participate in Missouri State University-West Plains web-supported or online courses, you need to have:

Suggested Minimum Computer Requirements

  • Must be able to run Chrome 16.0, Firefox 10.0 Internet Explorer 11.0/Microsoft Edge or Safari 9.0
  • High-speed Internet access
  • 16-bit color video graphics card
  • Hard drive disk space (This is for downloading articles and installing required plug-in software.)
  • 24x CD-ROM drive (Some classes may provide supplemental materials via CD.)
  • Sound card and speakers
  • Microsoft Defender and Security Essentials

Internet Connectivity

To connect to the Internet from off campus you must have hardware that allows physical connectivity and an Internet Service Provider (ISP). For most users, monthly Internet access charges range from $20 to $80, depending on the type of connection.

Hardware for Connectivity

The most common hardware connections are:

  • 56K/28.8K Phone Line Modem Connection

    This is the slowest connection and ties up your phone line, but it is available to anyone with telephone service. Most newer computers have a modem installed. Modems with connection speeds slower than 28.8K are unsuitable for internet access.

  • Cable Modem Connection

    A cable modem connection is usually faster than a telephone connection. However, as more and more people on the same circuit connect, individual speeds decline. You don't need to subscribe to cable TV to use this connection, but you do need the physical wire.

  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Connection

    A digital subscriber line allows you to use your phone and be online at the same time. The connection uses your existing phone line, separating voice signals from high-speed data. It isn't available in all areas, however. While generally more expensive than other connection types, its speed and convenience make it a viable option.

  • Satellite Connection

    If you live outside the access area of local DSL and Cable providers and you prefer a faster connection than you can get with a 56K modem, consider a high speed satellite connection. All satellite ISPs use the same satellite system, so select your provider based on the quality of their service and support.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Begin your search for an ISP by checking to see what local services are available or search online.

Campus Email Account - GrizMail

When you register for classes, a campus email account will be created for you. This email address will be used for all official correspondence from your instructors and the University.

Basic Computer Skills

You should be comfortable with word processing and have some experience using the Internet and email. Signing onto an Internet Service Provider (ISP) a few months before the semester begins will give you time to practice using the Internet and email.

Students who wish to print online resources will need access to a printer.

Some courses may require you to have access to a word processing package such as Microsoft Word or another product compatible with it, a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel, a database package such as Microsoft Access and a presentation package such as Microsoft PowerPoint. Students have access to Office 365 for Education through their student email. The software included is Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Publisher, Outlook, Lync and InfoPath. The student my use the software on the web or may download it to their personal devices five (5) times.

Other courses may have additional requirements, such as mathematics which may require a calculator.

Acceptable Use Policies

Users of Missouri State University-West Plains information technology resources are expected to know and abide by the University's acceptable use policies.