Due to the nature of online learning, almost all of your participation in these courses will be conducted via technology. At a minimum, you should feel comfortable with the following basic skills in order to be successful:
Through USF, you have access to a free video tutorial system to help you learn how to use any of the technologies mentioned below (Microsoft Word, Gmail, Canvas), and any other tools that you will need to use during your college career via LinkedIn Learning.
All email correspondence involving your coursework and academic record must occur through your USF Email account. You should check your email on a daily basis for important information and communications from your Professors.
All students are given Google mail accounts. The email address assigned will start with your NetID and end with @usf.edu. With USF Email, you have storage and access to BOX.
Access your email through my.usf.edu.
Most, if not all, of your courses, will require you to submit your written work using an electronic document. The preferred program to type your papers is Microsoft Word.
Canvas is the learning management system used by the University of South Florida and is where you can access all of your online courses. Each of your courses may make use of different features within Canvas, but at the minimum, you should become familiar with the items below in order to participate fully in all of your courses.
Announcements - Check your course announcements regularly. Your Professors may use this to communicate important information about your classes.
Calendar - The calendar will display due dates for assignments that your Professor has created within the course. You can also use the calendar as your personal planning tool.
Modules - This page is typically where Professors organize the course content. This may be organized by content topic or week.
Assignments - This page will list off your course assignments in order by their due date.
Discussions - This page allows you to see all of the course discussions. This tool is used to engage with other students as if you were having a discussion in class.
Grades - Check this page for assignment scores, feedback from your Professor, and course grades.
There are also video tutorials at:
When you first log in to Canvas, set up your profile and notifications preferences so you will get all communications from your instructors. (Go to Account / Notifications) More detail is available in the Notifications Guide.
Master the Learning Tools
In order to take courses online at USF St. Petersburg campus, you will need to have access to a computer that meets these basic system requirements.
A minimum of 1024x600
Windows 10 and newer
Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
Linux - chromeOS
Mobile OS Native App Support
iOS 7 and newer
Android 2.3 and newer
Computer Speed and Processor
A computer less than five years old
8GB of RAM
Minimum of 512kbps
Chrome is the recommended browser for use with Canvas and is also the required browser for Proctorio, a proctoring tool with identity verification, test monitoring, and a number of other features to ensure academic integrity.
Visit this page to download Google Chrome to your computer.
Certain courses may also require you to use additional technology. For example, courses that use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra may require you to have access to a web camera and/or microphone. Be sure to review the technology requirements for your specific course.