Computer Hardware, Software, and Plug-in Needs

For Online Courses

Basic Computer Needs

Recommendations: PC (Windows 2000, XP, or newer recommended) or Mac, Modem (>=28K, 56K recommended), Printer, Internet Service.

Browser Check for WebCT Vista ("Westernonline")

Goto use:


To install Java use (the WebCT Browser Check will tell you if you have Java installed)

Plug-ins Needed

Three Notes:

Test to See If You Have These

  1. Shockwave Player - Go to this page to test it:
  2. Macromedia Flash Player - Go to this page to test it:
  3. Adobe Acrobat Reader- Go to this page to test it: To download the Reader go to
    (if you don’t have Microsoft Word, then you need the Microsoft Word viewer)

If you are running Windows XP or newer, you probably already have these

  1. Un-zipper
    1. WinZip (for Windows) at
    2. Go to and search for "unzip." A number of options come up, WinZip, ExtractNow, CoffeeCup Free Zip Wizard.
  2. Media Player
    Download some type of media player. One option is RealPlayer (get the basic one)

If You Do Not Have Word or PowerPoint

Get the Word Viewer at

Get the PowerPoint Viewer at

Other Options

**You can also go to to get any plug-in. Use the search feature to find your plug-in.

See also the Plug-in Gallary at

More Software and Technological Skills needs

Go to the following page

Jim Olsen's homepage
James R. Olsen, Western Illinois University
updated: October 30, 2016