To take an online course, you do not need to purchase any additional software. You will log in to your school’s online platform and you should be able to do so with an assigned username and password. Not all browsers support the different platforms, so you might need to install a new browser or certain plugins for the program to work properly.
In terms of the hardware, you need to have access to a computer with internet connection. Ideally, you should have a computer at home to be able to access the course at any time depending on your schedule. Accessing a course in a library or school computer can prove to be a challenge since they might not be open when you’re free, all the computers are taken, the internet might be slow or their computers don’t have the required browser and plugins.
You can also access the course on your tablet or smartphone. As mentioned above, some browsers do not support all platforms, so while you might be able to log in, you will not see all the course features. In this case, you will be advised to download a mobile app that should work fine. Of course, in terms of convenience, your smartphone is probably not the best option to submit assignments or take quizzes, but at least you can access the course and be on top of things.
Technical problems are not uncommon in the virtual world, so all schools have a help line for virtual students to help you with any technical issues you might encounter. Your platform will also have tutorials and a help section to aid with troubleshooting or common problems. You can always google your problem and try to find an answer online. There are many videos on YouTube with tutorials and explanations on how to solve common problems. Be sure to know the name and version of the program you are working with.