Technology Skills for NPTT

This document will cover the basic technology skills and applications with which you should be competent in order to be technologically ready for NPTT.

Specifically, the document will help you determine if…

  • You have the necessary Internet connection
  • You have the necessary word processing software
  • You have the necessary basic computer skills
  • You know how to use D2L (the software for all NPTT courses)

In addition, this document contains supplemental help resources on:

  • Basic online and computer skills
  • Using Desire 2 Learn (D2L)

Do you have the necessary Internet connection?

First, you must determine if you have the necessary Internet connections needed to access NPTT course resources. These requirements include an active ISP, email account, compatible browser, and hardware.

1. Access to the D2L Server at Montana State University

You must be able to access our Desire 2 Learn server through Extended University at Montana State University on the Internet either from school, library or place of employment or from home through an account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) Examples of ISP's include: Comcast, Bresnan, Prodigy, RCN, Concentric, Optimum.

Access the Internet via DSL, cable modem or a high-speed LAN (Local area network such as one found on a college campus) interface is preferred. A dial up modem is NOT recommended due to the bandwidth required to adequately access D2L course content.

The MSU Extended University has provided a comprehensive help guide. This includes a section on help accessing your D2L account.

Extended University -- Burns Technology Center

2. Internet e-mail address

You need to an active email account. You should be able to access this email account either on your home computer email program (such as Microsoft Outlook or Mac Mail), or through one of the many free web-based options: Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.

If you do not yet have an active email account, it is recommended that you acquire one through a web-based service such as Gmail.

3. Validated browsers and settings

Your web browser must be compatible with D2L in addition to being set up properly to access D2L course content. Follow the following link to make sure your browser supports the D2L learning environment for NPTT: Systems Check

4.Recommended Hardware:

  • Pentium PC (or PowerMac)
  • SVGA capable monitor, display resolution 800x600
  • Speakers (or headphones)
  • DSL or Cable connection
  • Printer: black and white or color

Do you have the necessary word processing software?

In each NPTT class, you will be required to submit written papers on a regular basis. You will need the proper software to prepare, share, and save revised papers. This software is also needed to open other students’ papers when necessary. In order to be successful in the NPTT program, the following software is strongly recommended:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

Obtaining Required Software

Since you are a MSU student, the Microsoft Office Suite is available at a discounted price, and can be purchased through the MSU Bookstore. Please note that there is a mailing fee (available to addresses in the US only).

To purchase one of a package, contact MSU Bookstore Technology Sales, at 406-994-5836.

Are you using an older version of Microsoft Office?

If you are currently using an old version of Microsoft Office, you are encouraged to upgrade to the most recent version. If you cannot do this at this time, download the conversion so that you will be able to view files in the newest version of Microsoft Office here: Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack

What if you do not have PowerPoint installed on your computer?

If you do not have PowerPoint installed on your computer, you can download a free PowerPoint viewer here: PowerPoint Viewer 2007

Do you have the necessary basic computer skills?

In order to be successful in the NPTT program, you will need to master basic computer skills, such as: understanding basic computer usage, including keyboard, mouse, CD player, printer and modem.

More specifically, required skills include:

Use the computer operating system (Windows/Mac OS) to:

  • Create folders/directories
  • Find, copy, move, rename and delete files
  • Run and switch between multiple applications.
  • Backup your work to removable media (Flash thumb/USB drives)
  • Navigate between two or more applications without closing and re-opening (multitasking)
  • Minimize/maximize Windows

Use a word processing program to:

  • Open a new file
  • Open an existing file
  • Create, format, edit, spell check, save, print and retrieve a document
  • Cut, copy and paste information within and between documents
  • Save a word processing document in text or rtf format
  • Rename a file (SAVE AS)
  • Accept or Reject Track Changes on the Review tab

Configure and use a Web browser to:

  • Open, print and/or save Web pages to your computer.
  • Open and save Adobe Acrobat files (PDF files) A free download is available here: Adobe Reader
  • Create, maintain and manage a list of Web pages (Favorites/Bookmarks)
  • Copy bookmark/favorites/URLs/hyperlinks to a word processor
  • Use a search engine's basic features to find information on the Web

Download and install programs from the Internet (remote servers)

  • Navigate to and download program/application from the Internet (Such as Mozilla Firefox browser)

Use an e-mail client (program) to:

  • Send, receive, store and retrieve messages
  • Send, receive and open file attachment

Additional Help Guides and Resources


Learning and Scholarly Technologies at the University of Washington has developed an excellent database of a variety of technology help guides called Catalyst. Catalyst can be found at


Education-World is a free resource designed and developed by educators. A special section of the website is devoted to technology support. These Techtorials can be found at

CTDLC Basic Skills

The following help guides are located at

Computer Skills | E-Mail Skills| Word Processing Skills | Web Skills

Additional D2L Resources

MSU Support for On-Line Education through Extended University

The following MSU D2L student resources can be accessed at:

General Access Issues

Problems Logging In

Student Resources


 Download this page as PDF