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Technical Requirements


This article provides a list of basic requirements for taking a course offered by Michigan Virtual. Because courses are offered through an assortment of vendors the specific course requirements will vary. We strongly recommend that all learners go to the Course Catalog, search for their course and review the course syllabus to identify any special requirements well before the course starts.


Internet Connection

You will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection and an up-to-date Internet browser. Generally, it is advisable to update to the latest supported full release of your browser of choice in order to take full advantage of increased security and functionality of the browser. If you are having problems displaying or interacting with any of our web pages, check to make sure that both java script and cookies are enabled. High speed broadband access (LAN, Cable or DSL) is highly recommended for the optimal learning experience. Please note that some courses have more advanced system requirements.

Your Computer (PC, Mac, Chromebooks)

Based upon Michigan Virtual’s web statistics programs, the majority of users of our websites use the Windows Operation System (OS), but we try to accommodate both platforms. In some cases, an application or a resource we may use from a third-party was not designed to be compatible with the Mac OS, or has limited functionality. We strive to make these situations known to our users before they need to access them, so that they can make other arrangements. If you are experiencing issues viewing content while using a Chromebook, please contact your IT administrator to add “[*.]” and “[*.]” exceptions in the Content Settings.

Additionally, internet security tools can utilize whitelists to grant access to authorized websites and web applications while preventing access to those not listed. IT administrators can find further guidance in the Michigan Virtual Course Whitelist.


Michigan Virtual takes the protection of student data seriously. For that reason, our courses can only be accessed from within the continental United States.  If you plan to leave the country during the term (including Canada and Mexico) and want to access your course(s) during your travel, you will need to ask your mentor or parent to alert Michigan Virtual Customer Care so that access to your course materials can be provided. Customer Care can be reached at 888-889-2840 or by submitting a ticket. To be prepared for your phone call or entering a help ticket, please know your dates of travel (arrival and return) as well as the country or countries you'll be traveling to.

File formats that are compatible with the Brightspace Assignment Tool

Preferred File Submission Types 

Permit instructors to both view the student's file submission and provide annotated feedback within Brightspace

FormatDocument Type
*PDF documents must contain text and not images of text.
Text document
XLSX, XLSSpreadsheet
PPTX, PPT, PPS, ODPPresentation Slides
JPG, JPEG, PNG, TIF, TIFFImage files

File Submission Types that Should be Avoided

While these permit instructors to preview the student's file submission, they do not permit instructors to provide annotated feedback within Brightspace.

FormatDocument Type
HTML, HTM, MHTML, MHTWeb document
BMP, GIF*Image files

*NOTE: GIF files convert to PDF and only display the first frame of the .gif

While the Brightspace Assignment Tool will technically permit students to successfully upload and submit these file types, Michigan Virtual does not accept assignment submissions using any of the following file types unless the assignment's instructions state the specific requirement to submit one or more of these file types.  Michigan Virtual does not otherwise accept or score these file submissions, as they do NOT permit instructors to preview the student's file submission NOR to provide annotated feedback within Brightspace. These file types would require instructors to download the file to be viewed offline on the instructor's computer device, and instructors may not possess a device or the accompanying software applications to permit downloading and viewing such files.

FormatDocument Type
WPDText document
SWF, MPG, MPEG, RM, MP3, MP4, M4V, M4A, AVI, WAV, RAM, ASF, MOV, RAMedia files

Security Appliances (Firewalls, Proxy Servers, etc.)

Have your IT administrators contact the Customer Care Center for firewall, proxy server and other networking information. Additionally, internet security tools can utilize whitelists to grant access to authorized websites and web applications while preventing access to those not listed. IT administrators can find further guidance in the Michigan Virtual Course Whitelist.


Email is critical for communicating with instructors, our staff and to our Customer Care Center. Please add the domain to your email service’s “safe senders” list, to avoid Michigan Virtual email from being identified as junk mail or spam. Have your IT administrators contact the Customer Care Center for any additional questions or issues with your email service.

Course Requirements

School administrators or staff members may need to collect technical and material requirements for multiple courses when setting up a lab or computer room. Instead of searching for each course syllabus individually, Michigan Virtual has established a repository listing all these requirements. Please consult the article titled Technical and Material Requirements by Course Title for reference.

Vendor-Specific Technical Requirements

If you know the course Learning Management System (LMS) or course provider, we have provided the following links to run checkers and how to identify any missing requirements.

Mobile Devices

Depending on the LMS being used to deliver your course, you may access and interact with most course elements through tablets and smartphones. While tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices may allow for some completion of coursework, they are not guaranteed to work in all areas. Please ensure you have a PC or Mac-based computer available to complete coursework.

We recommend that learners do not attempt quizzes when using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, due to compatibility issues.

Still Need Help? Contact our Customer Care Center.

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