General Technology Resources

As an online student, you may encounter a wide variety of hardware, software, internet-based resources, and other technology tools and interfaces.

Explore some general resources and tutorials below to help you along the way.

Graphic: Cartoon person with long blond hair and big black glasses rising up out of computer screen.

General Technology Tutorials

Need general help with your technology skills? The Goodwill Community Foundation offers many free tutorials on technology, computers, and more on their Technology section. Microsoft also has some helpful tutorials on their Office 365 suite of programs. Below are some links to relevant tutorials from both of these resources:

Browser Tips

Your browser is your doorway to the internet. It’s how you will access your virtual course space, as well as conduct research and complete other vital tasks. Knowing how to effectively use your internet browser is essential for success when learning online.

This page is here give you valuable tips on using your internet browsing program to ensure you have the skills you need to succeed.

Learn tips and tricks for using search engines more effectively. Visit Search Better.

What is a Browser?

A browser is the window you open to access Internet sites. Some examples of browsers are Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.

Things to Know

Once in the browser, there are some areas you should be familiar with:

Address Bar
Screenshot: Address bar in browser.

The address bar is where you type in a URL, or web address, to navigate to the location you wish to view. In this example, the URL for the Washington State University home page is listed:

Common Browser Buttons

Shown below are Chrome’s browser buttons

Screenshot: Graphic of small house for Home button in browser.

Home: Takes you to the browser’s home page, or the first page you see when you open the browser

Screenshot: Left hand arrow for back button in browser.

Back: Takes you back to pages previously viewed during the session

Screenshot: Right arrow for moving ahead to previously browsed web pages.

Forward: After you have used the back button, takes you ahead to pages previously viewed

Screenshot: Circular arrow for reloading web page in browser.

Refresh: Reloads the page you are currently on

Screenshot: Minimize and maximize buttons on PC.

Minimize/Maximize – PC Browsers: This set of buttons is located in the upper right hand corner of PC browsers: The button on the left (looks like a horizontal line) minimizes the browser to the bottom of your computer screen, the middle button (overlapping squares) maximizes the screen so it fits the entire computer monitor, and the right hand button (X) closes the browser page.

Screenshot: Three lights in a horizontal row: red, yellow, green.

Minimize/Maximize – Mac Browsers: This set of buttons is located in the upper left hand corner of MAC browsers. The red dot will close the browser page, the yellow dot will minimize the browser to the bottom of your computer screen, and the green dot will maximize the page to fill the monitor.

Screenshot: Three lines stacked vertically - a hamburger menu icon.

Menu: Menu allows you to view settings and make changes to your browser

Browser Tabs
Screenshot: Address bar of browser with New Tab area circled.

Tabs allow you to have multiple web pages open at the same time within the same browser.

To open a new page, click in the small tab to the right of all open tabs (circled above in red). On some browsers, you’ll see a plus sign (+) in the small tab.

Screenshot: address bar in browser, with bookmarks below.

For easy access to websites you visit often, you can keep web addresses in the Bookmarks Bar.

Check whether your web browser works well with Canvas. Visit Canvas Browser Requirements for information.

When you need to access videos, or connect with the proctoring service, your video feeds will run much smoother if you first clear your browser history. By doing so, you clear the history of all websites you have visited or interacted with.

If you are experiencing issues during an online proctored exam, your proctor may ask you to clear your browser’s history while trying to resolve the problem. Please visit the following links for browser-specific instructions.

Presentation and Collaboration Tools

WSU faculty may use innovative technology tools to aid in collaboration and presentations while learning online. Learn more about some common tools on our Presentation and Collaboration Tools page.

Virtual Proctoring

Global Campus courses may require virtual proctoring. To find out if a course requires proctoring, visit the course “More Information” page which can be found on the schedule of classes website. If your course requires proctoring, visit the Global Campus Proctoring Service website for information on equipment requirements.

WSU Libraries Database

Students enrolled in WSU Global Campus have access to WSU Library Resources. Learn more on the Global Campus student library resource page.