Need technology assistance?
As an online student, ensuring your technology is set up to serve you well is an important part of your online learning experience. The University of Iowa and Distance and Online Education has numerous resources to assist you should you encounter technical issues or have questions about your technology. Find support and resources below.
Information Technology Services
ITS help desk at http://its.uiowa.edu/contact
Distance and Online Education Technical Support
Distance and Online Education Tech Support email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call during regular office hours at (319) 335-3925.
Please provide the following information:
- your full name (and Hawk ID if you know it);
- your contact information (phone number and e-mail);
- your course number and section (if applicable);
- your computer type and operating system (e.g., PC or Mac; Windows 8, Windows 10, MacOS X 10.10, etc.);
- your type of Internet connection ((DSL, Cable, Fiber Optic, Wifi);
- the primary browser you use (e.g., Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari);
- location (Home, Work, Public Library, Internet Cafe, etc.);
- a description of your problem (opening the sample file, downloading the software, and which type of file etc.)
1) Check the system and connection requirements for your computer.
2) Verify whether your computer can play or read files from various programs.
3) Download free software as needed.
4) Contact us for technical assistance.
Reminder: If you meet the minimum system requirements, you will be able to download all of the software and test all of the sample files on this page.
System and Connection Requirements
Internet Connection: Online course materials require an Internet connection and browser
Internet Service Provider (ISP)
- Wired connection highly recommended.
- DSL/cable 1 MB or higher connection.
- We recommend that you have at least two web browsers installed and kept up to date. All of the options below should work:
- Chrome and Firefox are currently the most popular (Extended Releases are not supported)
- Edge (Windows only) and Safari (Macintosh only) are the default browsers for their respective Operating Systems
- Respondus Lockdown Browser (available for download, used for testing)
- Internet Explorer 11 (Windows only—functionally supported; may exhibit slight visual differences from other browsers, but these differences do not restrict product functionality)
- ZOOM Virtual Classroom
- Bandwidth: DSL/cable (wired connection recommended; >1Mbps downstream)
- Verizon Speed Test: https://www.verizon.com/speedtest/
- Ookla Speed Test: http://www.speedtest.net/
- Keep your operating system updated:Microsoft Windows Update Site
- Updated anti-virus protection (As per UI/ITS: http://its.uiowa.edu/support/article/100582):
- Microsoft Security Essentials | http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/security-essentials-download
- Pre-installed on Windows 8 systems
- Sophos Endpoint Protection | http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-antivirus-for-mac-home-edition.aspx
Why do I have to use a headset microphone, my speakers work just fine?
There are several reasons why using a headset microphone is important.
First, this helps avoid audio echo. Audio echo occurs when the signal coming out of the speakers is picked up by an open microphone and sent back into the system. This results in a very distracting, delayed repeating of the audio.
By using a headset microphone the audio comes out the earpiece and is not picked up by the microphone. This is also one of the reasons we ask that you DO NOT leave your microphone on, but only turn your microphone on when you are ready to speak.
Second, the quality of your audio is better if the microphone is near your mouth. The microphone should be positioned just to the side and not directly in front of your mouth. This placement will avoid the loud popping sound when pronouncing words starting with the letter "P".
Finally, we recommend a USB connection for the headphone to the computer rather than the mini-phone style. The digital USB provides a better sound quality and allows for plug-and-play connectivity.
Why do I need to turn my microphone off when I'm not talking?
You should always turn your microphone off when not in use. This prevents unwanted sounds from being transmitted to the rest of the class distracting the instruction. It also reduces the chance of an audio echo being retransmitted to the class.
Why does the audio and video seem choppy or delayed when it was fine last week?
Poor performance can be the result of low bandwidth resulting in a slow connection speed. If you have a cable modem your internet speed will be affected by the number of active computers in your neighborhood linked to the same cable node. If you have a DSL connection in your home the bandwidth of that connection is shared with all the computers you have connected and turned on in your home at that time. Any wireless connection will be a shared connection and of limited bandwidth. Always try to use a wired connection to your internet hub, switch, or modem.
How do I tell if I have a slow internet connection?
Run an Internet Speed Test. We recommend a speed of 1.0 mbps for effective connection to the on-line class.
What actions can I take if my connection is slow or bandwidth low?
There are a few actions you can take to decrease your bandwidth usage: Pause your camera if you are using one. This is accomplished by clicking on the pause icon at the lower right corner of the camera pod. The result of the paused camera will be a freeze frame so smile when you click the button. Make sure your microphone is NOT on. Only open the mic when you have something to add to the classroom conversation. Make sure any other computers in your house are turned off or not connected to the Internet. Note: Clicking on the small green bar in the upper right of the screen will provide a bandwidth usage meter. The meter will show amount of delay, upload and download levels.
Where do I find information on playing back recorded lectures with UICapture / Panopto?
UICapture / Panopto
My class uses the Zoom virtual classroom. Where can I find Information on Zoom?
If you are experiencing technical difficulty with your Zoom session please power down your computer then restart. If you continue to experience difficulty call the DOE trouble line at 319-335-3925 if routed to voicemail/busy call ITS Help Desk at 319-384-4357.