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Resources for Boise State Students

Flexible and Remote Learning

Whether you are enrolled in an online, hybrid, or in-person course, you will use Canvas and other Boise State technology resources to communicate, complete tasks, and view course content.

Resources and Services for Online Learners

Prepare in Advance

Student Computer Recommendations

Boise State University recommends minimum specifications for student computer hardware and software. Certain disciplines may require additional software or platform recommendations, and we advise checking with your instructors for more information.

Visit the Student Computer Recommendations page for information:

Student Computer Recommendations

Practice Safe Computing

Protect your computer, identity and privacy. Be sure your computer has antivirus software and learn how to protect yourself on the web.

Get Software

Boise State offers free Microsoft Office and select statistical and mathematics software for installation on personal computers.

Microsoft Office can be installed on up to five computers, including phones and tablets, for each Boise State account.

Mobile apps for iOS and Android phones and tablets are also available for Canvas, Google Workspace, and Zoom.

Internet Access and Wireless Hotspots

  • Free or low-cost internet: If you don’t have internet access at home, visit the National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s website to learn about Free and Low-Cost Internet Plans. There are several options to consider, including some temporary offers available due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Students may install Microsoft Office on up to five devices, including phones and tablets.
  • Please keep in mind that other devices on home networks will impact your speed (e.g., if a family member is streaming Netflix or playing online games). If you do experience network issues, check with your Internet Service Provider. Contact the Help Desk if needed.
  • Most students carry a powerful computer in their pocket. Mobile apps for Microsoft Office, Canvas, Google Workspace, and Zoom are available for free from iOS and Android app stores and work over cellular connections.
  • Check for local resources in your community such as colleges and schools that may offer public WiFi access.
  • Most wireless phone service providers offer personal hotspot service to be added to wireless plans to create a WiFi network from a smartphone. This option can also provide greater WiFi range. Check with your carrier for details. The Help Desk can assist you with setting up your hotspot if needed; contact us at (208) 426-4357,, or chat online.

Update Your Software

Be sure your computer’s operating system and applications are patched and updated.

Pay close attention to ensuring you are running the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Microsoft Edge browsers.

Contact the Help Desk for assistance if needed.

Communicate with Your Instructors

Check In, Ask Questions

Communication is essential when a course is online for a semester, or if you participate in a single class meeting.

If your instructors use Canvas, check your Canvas site and your Boise State email account at least once each day for important information.

Be sure to communicate clearly with your instructors if you have questions or need assistance.

Chat, Voice, and Video

Solutions for Flexible Learning and Collaboration

Several platforms are available for voice/video/chat conferencing.

  • Consider using your smartphone to join remote classes, since it probably has a better microphone than a laptop. Test and see what works best for you.
  • If your computer does not have a built-in camera, you can also use an external USB camera for video conferencing.
  • Have a set of earbuds/headphones (especially ones with a built-in microphone) for attending online courses and meetings.
  • If your computer does not have a built-in microphone, use an external device such as a USB microphone or headset.
  • Close other programs and limit streaming/large downloads while you work. Other programs on your computer may consume processor or network resources. Try disconnecting or limiting use of other non-essential devices on your network.


Zoom makes it easy to share screens and host real-time video conversations, host live web broadcasts, and record to a computer or cloud for easy sharing.

Boise State offers an enterprise license for encrypted Zoom sessions. Be sure to sign in to Zoom at before you join a class or session to take full advantage of Zoom’s features.

Zoom chat and video conferencing apps are available for desktop, laptop, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.

A phone conference line is included with your Boise State Zoom account, making it easy for participants to join meetings using only a phone.

Google Meet

Create, join, and participate in video meetings with up to 250 people using Google Meet through Boise State G Suite. Meet is available for all devices.

You can access Meet through your Boise State Gmail account.

While you can invite as many people as you want to join, Meet sessions are limited to 250 or fewer participants.


Panopto provides features for live webcasting, screencast recording, and live discussions. Capturing a lecture with Panopto is as easy as opening a laptop and clicking “record.”

Strategies for Success

Support and Assistance

  • Ask questions. In fact, ask a lot of questions! In hybrid or online courses you should expect some lag time for feedback from your instructors, so set aside time to look through each week’s assignments and ask your instructor questions via email or Canvas discussion board.
  • Be sure to clearly communicate with your instructors to understand timelines for completing activities and assignments, as well as any issues or problems that may prevent you from engaging in your remote courses.
  • Instructors are aware that not all students have the same access to webcams, computers, and the internet.
  • Many online or hybrid courses require you to interact with your peers and instructors through video or collaboration tools. Treat your classmates like they’re in the room with you, and find constructive ways to support each other.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to reach out for help if you feel stuck! Contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357,, or chat online if you need technology assistance.
  • Visit the Office of Information Technology’s website for resources to help you use Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, Canvas, and more.
  • The Advising and Academic Support Center offers free online tutoring for help in all subjects.
  • The Writing Center offers free online consultations to help you with your writing assignments.
  • If you require additional accommodations for online learning visit the Educational Access Center’s website.

Allow Time for Hybrid and Online Learning

Give yourself more time than you think you need to complete assignments. Online and hybrid classes can require more time than in-person, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself taking an extra hour or two to finish your work.


Give yourself more time than you think you need to complete assignments. Online and hybrid classes can require more time than in-person, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself taking an extra hour or two to finish your work.

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