Web-Conference Course Guidelines

Participate in a web-conference class at Harvard from anywhere in the world. At a scheduled time each week, you connect to a virtual room and interact with faculty and fellow students via web-conferencing software.

Prepare to Use the Software

Web Conference courses use either Zoom or Adobe Connect software as indicated in each course description.

All first-time web conference students must learn to use the software before their first class. Please go to the web conference information page, and select the link on the left (example 'Zoom') to find upcoming training dates and times.

You may also follow the links below to learn the software.

Once you are registered, you can find the URL for web conference classrooms in online services and on password-protected course websites a week before the start of classes.


1. Computer minimum specifications:


  • 2GHz Intel Core Duo or faster processor, 8GB RAM
  • Windows 8.1 and 10
  • Web browsers (versions): Chrome 52 and later, Firefox 47 and later. Edge for Win10.


  • 2GHz Intel Core Duo or faster processor, 8GB RAM
  • Mac OS X 10.11 and 10.12
  • Web browsers (versions): Chrome 52 and later, Safari 8 and later, Firefox 47 and later

We do not support

  • Beta versions of any software
  • Taking courses or viewing videos on mobile devices
  • Linux

2. Internet speeds 

Download/upload: Minimum 3 Mbps, use a wired connection

Can check at http://www.speedtest.net

3. Video

Students are required to use a webcam during class.

4. Audio

Be prepared to use a microphone during class. We recommend a Logitech H390 headset, but any USB headset should be adequate. Do not use a microphone that is built into a laptop.


Zoom will automatically download when a user connects to the correct URL. In most cases, an applet will open upon download. If your web browsers prohibits the auto-launch please double-click on the downloaded file. Please be aware that most Zoom courses are video intensive so a good webcam and headset are important.

If this is your first Zoom course, you must complete a training session before the first class. Either attend a live training session or watch our training video.

Adobe Connect

Please attend a live training session or review the Quick Start for Participants guide. The quick start will give you information about the various tools available in the interface.

Getting help

After completing the steps above, if you still have problems either in configuring your computer or when you try to attend class call:

Online Support Help Desk (technical questions and computer/software troubleshooting) 

   • (617) 998-8571 Monday–Thursday, 8:45 am–10 pm; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 am–8 pm

   • or e-mail academictechnology@dce.harvard.edu

Enrollment Services (registration, access, and general questions)

Online technology status page



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