Technology and Online Learning
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.
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.
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
- 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 http://catalyst.washington.edu/help/index.html.
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 http://www.education- world.com/a_tech/archives/techtorials.shtml.
CTDLC Basic Skills
Additional D2L Resources
MSU Support for On-Line Education through Extended University
The following MSU D2L student resources can be accessed at: http://eu.montana.edu/btc/tlt/support/D2L/
General Access Issues
- Getting Started (PDF)
- Blog Quick Start (PDF)
- Class List Quick Start (PDF)
- Content Quick Start (PDF)
- Discussions Quick Start (PDF)
- Dropbox Quick Start (PDF)
- Email Quick Start (PDF)
- Grades Quick Start (PDF)
- Locker Quick Start (PDF)
- Pager Quick Start (PDF)
- Quizzes Quick Start (PDF)