Technical Requirements

In order to make the most of your online learning experience, there are several technical requirements you will need to fulfill. Refer to the guidelines below to help ensure your online success.

System 

Windows

Hardware or Software Component Minimum Recommendation
Operating System Windows XP SP 3 (Home or Pro) Windows XP SP 3 (Home or Pro)
Windows Vista SP 2
Windows 7 SP 1
Windows 8
RAM 1 GB 2 GB or higher
Processor 1.7 GHz 2 GHz or higher
Java 1.7 Update 25 1.7 Update 25
Media Device DVD; USB port; Webcam DVD; USB port; Webcam
Audio Device: Headset or Speakers Headset or Speakers
Internet 256 kbps upload; 768 kbps download (Dial-up is supported but not recommended) Broadband/DSL

Mac OS

Hardware or Software Component Minimum Recommended
Operating System OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard)
OS X 10.7.5 (Lion)
OS X 10.8.2 (Mountain Lion)
RAM 1 GB 2 GB or higher
Processor 1.83 GHz 2 GHz or higher
Java 1.6 Update 51 (Mac OS X 10.6 only)
1.7 Update 25 (Mac OS X 10.7 and above only)
1.6 Update 51 (Mac OS X 10.6 only)
1.7 Update 25 (Mac OS X 10.7 and above only)
Media Device DVD; USB port; Webcam DVD; USB port; Webcam
Audio Device: Headset or Speakers Headset or Speakers
Internet 256 kbps upload; 768 kbps download (Dial-up is supported but not recommended) Broadband/DSL
  • Participation in online courses requires access to a fully supported laptop or desktop computer.  While tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices may allow for some completion of coursework, they are not guaranteed to work in all areas.  The use of mobile devices is not recommended when taking tests, quizzes and submitting assignments.

Browser

When using older versions of a browser, users risk running into problems with the course software. If you have an out of date or unsupported browser, you will need to download either a compatible version of your current browser or a compatible browser. Mobile browsers, such as the Safari browser for iPad, are not officially compatible with Blackboard Learn.

Windows

Operating System Supported Browsers
Windows XP Internet Explorer 8
Firefox (Final Release Channel)
Google Chrome (Stable Channel)
Windows Vista Internet Explorer 8
Firefox (Final Release Channel)
Google Chrome (Stable Channel)
Windows 7 Internet Explorer 10, 9 or 8
Firefox (Final Release Channel)
Google Chrome (Stable Channel)
Windows 8 Internet Explorer 10
Firefox (Final Release Channel)
Google Chrome (Stable Channel)

Mac OS

Operating System Supported Browsers
10.6 “Snow Leopard” Firefox (Final Release Channel)
Google Chrome (Stable Channel)
10.7 “Lion” Safari 6.0.6, 6.0.3 or 6.0.1
Firefox (Final Release Channel)
Google Chrome (Stable Channel)
10.8 “Mountain Lion” Safari 6.0.6, 6.0.3 or 6.0.1
Firefox (Final Release Channel)
Google Chrome (Stable Channel)

You can download Firefox (Final Release Channel) for free at:

http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/all.html

You can download Google Chrome (Stable Channel) for free at:

http://www.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel

For full browser support information, visit the Blackboard Browser Support page.

Software & Plugins

These commonly used applications may be required depending on the course or program. You will be able to access your course without them; however, you may not be able to access the specific feature or complete required course work.

  • JAVA Runtime Environment 7 – JRE is only required in order to use the following Blackboard features:
    • Learn collaboration tools virtual classroom and chat
    • Multiple-file uploads
    • Math equation editor

JRE 6 may work for some, but not all Blackboard Learn features.

Internet

Once you have ensured that your computer has the proper operating system, browser, plug-ins and hardware, you should verify that your network connection is fast enough to support the download/upload of large files, streaming audio and video as well as online web conferencing.

Windows & Mac

  1. Check your Internet connection download and upload speeds using the connection test. If your download speed results are 384 kbps or faster and your upload speed results are the same or higher than those listed below for your type of service your connection should be strong enough for streaming video. The higher your download speed number, and the lower your latency number, the better your online experience will be. If your download speed results are slower than 384 kbps and your upload speed results are less than those listed below for your type of service, please proceed to Step 2.
    • Dial-up users can expect 40 kbps or lower depending on the quality of phone lines and modems.
    • Cable modem providers often cap their customer’s upload bandwidth at 128 kbps or 256 kbps, but if they don’t it can be as fast as 1000 kbps.
    • DSL users can expect 64 kbps to 1,500 kbps depending on the level of service purchased.
  2. If your Internet connection is slower than the recommended speeds listed in Step 1, you may still use Blackboard Learn. However, you will encounter difficulties when loading pages, especially during peak usage times. You will also find that both audio and video playback can be very choppy. Additionally, downloading or uploading assignments may take a long time.

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