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Frequently Asked Questions

    Many online students experience similar challenges and difficulties when using technology as a learning environment. They may be hardware or software problems, connection failures, or general knowledge. In an effort to help students get answers quickly, and find solutions anytime, we have compiled a list of frequent questions.

    If you do not find an answer to your question, eMail:etech.help@rctc.edu or Phone: 536-5555 and a support technician will be glad to assist you.

    What are the minimum system/browser requirements?

    In order to have efficient use of the D2L system, your computer must meet some minimum specifications. If you are not sure of your computer's capabilities or configurations, please consult your local computer service outlet.

    Please keep in mind these important points:

    1. If your computer is more than 3 years old, it might not be able to efficiently run the programs required for your online class.
    2. Online courses require substantial writing and word-processing skills. If you are not comfortable with using Microsoft Word (or a word-processor that can save in a Word format), then you might wish to improve your basic computer skills.
    3. Courses in D2L may require media (audio, video, simulations, animations). You might need broadband (DSL or cable-modem) Internet access for these course materials.

      To complete an online degree program or take courses completely from your home computer, your computer system will need to meet some basic minimum requirements to be able to use our online Learning Management System called Desire2Learn.


      • Operating System: Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X
      • Video: SVGA monitor, minimum resolution of 800 x 600
      • Internet speed: 56K modem or faster
      • Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE): JRE v1.4.2.x, 1.5.x, 1.6.x
      • JavaScript: Enabled
      • Cookies: Enabled


      • Windows: Internet Explorer 7 or higher, Firefox 3.5 or higher
      • Mac OS X: Firefox 3.0 or higher, Safari 3.1 or higher

      Additional Information

      • When you enroll in a program or course with a specific school, check with that school for additional options and requirements (e.g., Microsoft Word is required by many online instructors) specific to online learning.
      • Test your personal computer 
        Quickly test and identify your current computer set-up and browser.
      • Desire2Learn Support Site
        The requirements listed above change with technology. Check here for additional up-to-date information regarding both system recommendations and requirements for the Desire2Learn Learning  Management System.

    Will Pop-up Ad Stopper software work with Desire2Learn?
    If you are getting Error on Page messages, or nothing happens when you click on Mail, Discussions, or Quizzes, you may be running a Pop-Up Ad Stopping software such as Pop-Up Stopper, Norton Suite, Pop-Up Killer, or others. Desire2Learn uses Javascript pop-ups to display test windows, new messages and mail and will not function with this software. Be sure to disable any pop-up software before entering the class website, and enable when finished.

    What settings should I use with my network Firewall?
    Some students who have Cable Modem service or use a network have indicated problems accessing the Desire2Learn Log In page or class sites. In most cases, the problem was traced to the default settings as High Security. Because Firewalls monitor risky connections, you may need to reset the overall settings to Medium-High or Medium. Make sure that you are not blocking all ports, and if problems persist, power down the firewall and restart your system. You may also need to contact your network Administrator or service provider to resolve all issues.

    Why can't I see my online classroom when I use America Online?
    One of the more common problems we have encountered is the Internet browser built in AOL. When students dial up to AOL, and use the web interface included, often menu items do not show up or the page is incomplete. This is due to settings within their environment, but can be overcome. Once you establish an AOL connection, minimize (do not close) the AOL application to the taskbar. Then use a browser (Explorer or Netscape) on the Windows or Mac desktop to gain access. This will still give you web access, but connects outside the AOL environment.

    What operating systems and platforms are supported by RCTC Online?
    RCTC supports both the Windows and Macintosh environments.

    How do I submit assignments to my instructor?
    This should be indicated in the syllabus from the instructor, but in general there are a few preferred methods. One is to attach the file(s) to an email message and send directly. This works well except in cases where large files (2 or more Mg) are involved. Many classes use dropboxes within class sites so students can hand in work "virtually." In extreme cases, files are saved to CD or disk and sent to the instructor, or brought to campus if possible. It is also possible to request a hardcopy print of work, but arrangements should be made prior to due date.











Contact Information
(507) 285-7210 or 1‑800‑247‑1296
Rochester Community and Technical College
851 30th Ave SE :: Rochester, MN 55904-4999
Rochester Community and Technical College, a member of Minnesota State.
RCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer.
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