Technology Skills and Requirements

Knowing how to use technology properly to access your course content and ensuring you can sufficiently preform these basic tech skills prior to the term will be essential for your successful learning experience.

Review the following basic technology aptitudes and skills to succeed in COCC's web-enhanced in-person classes, hybrid, remote, and online classes which use the learning management system provided by the college. Follow the steps below and prepare for the term!

If you are new to COCC, we strongly recommend visiting our Getting Technology Ready page to prepare for using technology in your classes here at COCC.

Canvas Learning Management System

Canvas is the learning management system at Central Oregon Community College. Canvas is where the online portion of your courses will take place. You will use Canvas whether you're in a fully-online class, an in-person class, or somewhere in between.

Your instructor may use Canvas as the primary means of communication, or it might be used to submit assignments and participate in discussions, or may be used as the storage place for documents and the syllabus so that they are always accessible throughout the term. Whatever you find yourself using Canvas for, you may think of it as your online home base for your courses.

Canvas Accessibility Statement: Follow the link to find out more about Canvas commitment to accessibility and about other resources detailing Canvas' compliance to ADA standards. View this guide for more information: What are the Canvas accessibility standards?

Tour a sample COCC Online Course

Students in online classes at COCC must be able to navigate through the course and complete required tasks on their own.

First, take a tour of a sample online course by visiting our Sample Canvas Course to learn some of the key elements of online courses. Watch our tour a sample Canvas course video

Next, if you are already registered as a student at COCC please take a look at our Canvas Training for COCC Students course to learn more information about how to navigate the learning management system.

Finally, if you are interested in taking fully online classes please look at our Orientation for Online Classes at COCC information webpage

Necessary Technical Skills for Successful Online Learning

As part of your online learning experience, you are expected to have a basic knowledge of computer and internet skills.

Here are some of the essential skills:

  • Log in to COCC email
  • Access your Bobcat Web Account and Canvas
  • Communicate via COCC email system including sending attachments
  • Search for information on websites using an internet browser such as Firefox or Chrome
    • (Use Safari? A recent September update has caused issues with accessing Canvas with Safari for some users. If you have trouble loading the site, please try Firefox or Chrome as an alternative!)
  • Use Microsoft 365 applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel to create documents
  • Manage files and folders: save, name, copy, move, rename, delete, download and upload
  • Navigate Canvas and use tools such as discussion boards, assignments, and tests
  • Utilize accessibility tools as needed
  • Seek appropriate technical help from Student Tech Support helpdesk
  • Know that Library and Computer Lab resources are available to you

Important! Microsoft 365 is used as COCC's college-wide standard software. Your instructors may not accept files saved in other formats (Google Docs, OpenOffice, Pages, etc.) Use Microsoft 365 available to you for FREE through your Office 365 account.


Zoom is a free app that you can install on any Android device, iPhone/iPad, or computer. View our Zoom Basics webpage for more information.

If you are enrolled in a remote class, you are expected to "attend" the class via Zoom. Many of our instructors have virtual office hours using Zoom. Whether you are enrolled in an in-person or online course, be sure to install the Zoom Desktop Client or Mobile App for effective communication.

While using Zoom here at COCC, please follow Zoom's Community Standards and Terms of Service at all times. Any violations of these terms will be subject to disciplinary actions.

Converting Files

You can also convert other file formats to .docx (MS Word) format.

Follow the instructions below to convert your file to COCC appropriate format. The links will open in new windows.

Fill and Sign PDF's

You may be asked to fill out or add your signature to online forms, assignments, and other PDF documents. You can do this for free using Adobe's free products. Follow the instructions in the videos below to add text or your signature to PDF files:

Recommended Computer Environment

Computer Technical requirements may vary based on the programs and tools required in the class you are taking. Ensure access to your online courses by preparing your computer!

General computer/technology requirements for a typical online class at COCC are listed below. The instructor will provide further information if the course requires specific software or hardware.

View the Canvas Guide:  What are the browser and computer requirements for Canvas?


Operating systems  

  • Canvas only requires an operating system that can run the latest compatible web browsers. Your computer operating system should be kept up to date with the latest recommended security updates and upgrades.    
  • Because it's built using web standards, Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser.  


Internet/ Web browser  


  • A high-speed internet connection (cable, DSL or similar). It is recommended to have a minimum Internet speed of 512kbps.  
  • For best performance, Canvas supports the current and first previous major releases of the following browsers (Click on each browser name for a free download):  
  • You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. Your browser will notify you if there is a new version available.  

Other software and hardware  

  • Word processing software (i.e. Microsoft Word)  
    • Microsoft 365 apps are free for COCC students, check out the Microsoft 365 webpage for installation instructions
  • Up-to-date Java and  Adobe Reader (Click on each product name for free download)  
  • Speakers to listen to the video audio   

NOTE: Microsoft Word or PDF are the recommended file formats for COCC writing assignments. If you use other word processing software such as GoogleDoc or Pages, it is recommended you save the document in Microsoft Word or PDF format before you submit it. 


Mobile Devices 

The Canvas interface was optimized for desktop displays, so using small form factors such as phones may not offer the most pleasant experience while using Canvas.   

For the best user experience, please download the Canvas mobile application. Search your mobile app store for the app “Canvas Student”. The Canvas mobile application require Android 6.0 or later and iOS 13.0 or later.  

Canvas offers limited support for native mobile browsers on tablet devices. For additional details, please reference the  limited-support mobile browser guidelines.  

Mobile Browsers:

Visit the Apple store or the Play store to download mobile browsers. The following major browsers are compatible with mobile devices:  


  • Safari (default browser with limited Canvas support)  
  • Chrome  


  • Chrome (default browser with limited Canvas support)*  
  • Internet  
  • Firefox  

*Android default browser varies per mobile device.

Free Software Downloads


 Student Tech Support graphic, phone number 541 383 7716