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UMW Libraries
Simpson | Stafford | Special Collections

Distance/Blended Learning Students

This is a guide that helps answer frequently asked questions of students enrolled in online courses at UMW

UMW Student Email

Every person at UMW gets an email account when they arrive at the University.  These accounts are created for you automatically.  You must know your NetID and Password to access your UMW email.

For new students, you must log into your student email using your temporary password the first time.

  1. Go to to log in.
  2. Enter your full email address (for example: and your temporary password.

The first time you log into your e-mail account you will be asked to change your password. After changing your password and logging back in with the new password you will be asked a few setup security questions; once you have answered those questions you will be brought to your mailbox.


Canvas is the online course management system where many of your online classes will exist.  Canvas will allow you to particpate in course discussion room, submit projects, access syllabi, find assignments, and read class announcements.

Supported Browsers

Canvas supports the last two versions of every browser release. We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser.

  • Internet Explorer 11 and Edge (Windows only—please make sure your operating system is also current as noted in the computer specifications lesson; you may need to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to submit Canvas assignments)
  • Safari 9 and 10 (Macintosh only)
  • Chrome 54 and 55
  • Firefox 49 and 50 (Extended Releases are not supported)
  • Flash 22 and 23 (used for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser (supporting the latest system requirements)

We highly recommend updating to the most current version of your preferred browser. Your browser will notify you if there is a new version available.

Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating "Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas." If you have upgraded your browser but you are still seeing the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies.

Important Components

Webcams are not required, but they are highly recommended.

Flash is required for recording or viewing audio/videoas well as uploading files to a course or an assignment. Other than these features, Flash is not required to use most areas of Canvas. Please note that some browsers may no longer support Flash.

The Java plug-in is required for screen sharing in Conferences. Please note that some browsers do not support Java. Otherwise, there are no other browser plug-ins used by Canvas.

JavaScript must be enabled to run Canvas.

QuickTime or Windows Media Player

Canvas: Technical Requirements

Screen Size

Canvas is best viewed at a minimum of 800x600, which is the average size of a notebook computer. If you want to view Canvas on a device with a smaller screen, we recommend using the Canvas mobile app.

Operating Systems

  • Windows 7 and newer
  • Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
  • Linux - chromeOS

Mobile Operating System Native App Support

  • iOS 7 and newer
  • Android 4.2 and newer

Computer Speed and Processor

  • Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Internet Speed

  • Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments.
  • Minimum of 512kbps

Screen Readers

  • Macintosh: VoiceOver (latest version for Safari)
  • PC: JAWS (latest version for Internet Explorer)
  • PC: NVDA (latest version for Firefox)
  • There is no screen reader support for Canvas in Chrome