Technology Requirements

Information Technology Department

Technology Requirements for an Online Course

 

In order to successfully access and participate in an Online Course, you will need to be aware of the technology requirements listed below.  You will be using a course management system called Blackboard Learn. 

 

Reliable Computer

First and foremost, as an online student, it's important to have a reliable computer and Internet connection.  A slow-moving computer or Internet signal can be frustrating when you are attempting to complete an assignment.  Any computer older than 4 years may not have the processing power to work with the current version of Blackboard Learn and its componants. If you going to use a public Internet source, you should plan to finish and submit the assignment several days prior to the deadline in order to avoid last-minute issues. 

Be sure that you have virus and malware software installed and set your computer to automatically run important system updates.

Have a "Plan B".  If you have a problem with your computer, visit a friend or better yet, use a computer on campus.  There are two main locations on campus that you can do your work - the Marcus White Student Technology Center or the Library. 

 
Operating Systems, Plugins, and Hardware Requirements

Operating Systems: Windows 7, 8, 10, MAC OSX 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, Chrome OS

Plugins: JAVA Runtime Environment 7 and 8 - JRE is required in order to use certain Blackboard features, such as chat, virtual classroom, multiple-file uploads, math equation editor.  JRE 6 may work for some, but not all Blackboard Learn features.  To check your Java version go to: http://www.java.com/en/download/installed8.jsp

Recommended Hardware Requirements: 2GHz or higher CPU/processor, 2GB RAM/memory or higher, high speed Internet access.  You might also need speakers and a microphone or a headset with a built-in microphone, depending on the course requirements.

Additional software information: You may need the latest version of Acrobat Reader and possibly other software applications.  You will need to check with your instructor to ensure you have what you need on your computer.

Supported Browser on Your Computer

In a nutshell Blackboard Learn supports these primary web browsers:

  • Firefox (current release)
  • Chrome (current release)
  • Internet Explorer (versions 9 and 10)
  • Safari (versions 6 and later)
  • Microsoft Edge is supported but plug-ins might not work.

Click on the link below to make sure you are using a supported browser:

Browser Support for Blackboard Learn 9.1 

You also need to check your current browser to verify your browsers' and plugins' compatibility with the Blackboard Learn system.  Click on the link below to perform this check.

Click on the link below to perform a Browser Check:

Browser Checker


Note about Mobile Devices:

Mobile browsers, such as the Safari browser for iPad, are not officially compatible with Blackboard. A Blackboard Mobile Learn app is available for free as a companion tool to the Blackboard Learn desktop course environment, but is not meant to replace it. The app is only designed for viewing course content and performing light communications tasks. Not all Blackboard course content will be compatible with the Blackboard Mobile Learn app. Participation in Blackboard courses requires access to a fully supported laptop or desktop computer. It is not recommended that quizzes or tests be taken using a mobile device.

Click on the link below for further information about the Blackboard Learn app:

Blackboard App Information

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to check your course syllabus and discuss additional technology needs with your instructor as early in the course as possible.


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