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Blackboard v9.1 SP13

e-Learning - Online Course Requirements

Technical Requirements for e-Learning at Owens Community College

Internet Connection

Broadband is preferred over dial-up connections. Additionally, wired connections to home broadband solutions are more reliable than wireless connections. Avoid using Internet services such as Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming media applications while accessing time-sensitive materials in Blackboard (e.g. timed tests, discussion boards, etc.)

Mobile Devices

Blackboard’s mobile app provides limited functionality in most scenarios. Support for the app is provided by Blackboard and features in-app purchases. Although smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices work well for many online course applications, they may not be suitable for all tasks, particularly test taking. We strongly suggest that you use a traditional desktop or laptop computer when taking an online assessment. Support for file uploads, viewing multimedia, and publisher content varies and cannot be guaranteed across all mobile platforms.

Minimum Hardware

Please refer to the minimum hardware requirements for the browsers supported by Owens’ current implementation of Blackboard (v9.1 SP13):

Supported Browser Link to Download Browser
Mozilla Firefox (preferred browser) https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/36.0/system-requirements/
Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/ie-system-requirements#ie=ie-10
Google Chrome https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95346?hl=en

Owens State Community College provides computer labs for student use if the requirements cannot be met by home computing devices.

Hardware Support

Check to make sure that you are using certified compatible Operating System here. Blackboard is a web-based application and while other operating systems and devices may work well, only certified compatible configurations of operating systems and browsers are tested and supported by Blackboard.

Browser Support

Check to make sure that you are using a Blackboard supported browser here.

Windows Operating System
Hardware/Platform IE 10 IE 9 IE 8 Firefox (ESR)* Firefox (Final Release Channel) Chrome (Stable Channel)
Windows XP (32-bit)* Unsupported by Microsoft Unsupported by Microsoft Compatible Certified Compatible Compatible
Windows Vista (32-bit) Unsupported by Microsoft Certified Compatible Certified Certified Compatible
Windows Vista (64-bit) Unsupported by Microsoft Compatible Compatible Certified Compatible Compatible
Windows 7 (32-bit) Compatible Certified Compatible Certified Certified Certified
Windows 7 (64-bit)  Certified Certified Compatible Certified Certified Certified
Windows 8 (32-bit) Compatible Unsupported by Microsoft Unsupported by Microsoft Certified Certified Certified
Windows 8 (64-bit)  Certified Unsupported by Microsoft Unsupported by Microsoft Certified Certified Certified

Mac OSX Operating System
Hardware/Platform Safari 6.0.3 Safari 6.0.1 Safari 5.1 Safari 5.0 Safari 4.0 Firefox (ESR) Firefox (Final Release Channel) Chrome (Stable Channel)
Mac OSX 10.6 Unsupported by Apple Unsupported by Apple Certified Certified Compatible Certified Certified Certified
Mac OSX 10.7 Certified Certified (10.7.5) Certified Unsupported by Apple Unsupported by Apple Certified Certified Certified
Mac OSX 10.8 Certified (10.8.3) Certified (10.8.2) Certified Unsupported by Apple Unsupported by Apple Certified Certified Certified

Configuration Notes

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008(R1) will not be supported past SP11.
  • 64-bit Client Operating Systems: We are generally un-prepared to test 64-bit versions of client operating systems. We will continue to keep Windows XP 64-bit unlisted. 64-bit Windows Vista and Windows 7 will remain Compatible [June 2011]
  • Internet Explorer 8 is only supported in Standards Mode.
  • Internet Explorer 9 is only supported in Standards Mode.
  • Blackboard strives to make all its products as accessible as possible. JAWS 13 and 14 were used during accessibility testing of 9.1 SP13.
  • Chrome support: due to the auto-update feature of Chrome, support is based on the version available at the time of testing. 9.1 SP13 was tested with Chrome 26.0.x.
  • Firefox support: due to the auto-update feature of Firefox, support is based on the version available at the time of testing. 9.1 SP13 was tested with Firefox versions 20.0.x and 17.0.x (ESR).
  • Note on OSX 1.8 Java is no longer shipped as part of the OS install and must be downloaded and installed by users on request of application/applet - this is a one-time action on the part of the user.

Client Technology Highlights of Changes from Previous Service Packs

  • OSX 10.8/Safari 6.x support added
  • Windows 8 and IE10 support added (focus on 64 bit)

Technologies NOT supported

  • Internet Explorer 6, 7
  • Firefox 1.x, 2.0, 3.0, 3.5 and 3.6
  • Safari 2.0, 3.x (or any version on Windows)
  • Windows XP 64-bit (unlisted)
  • Mac OSX 10.3, OSX 10.4, OSX 10.5
  • Jre 5 though it may continue to work

Additional technical requirements

Please note: Some web courses have additional technical requirements beyond those listed below. Check the online class schedule for additional course requirements.

Please refer to computer owner’s manual or Properties function in your “My Computer” (Right-Click on "My Computer" and left-click on Properties) to check requirement compatibility.

Software Applications

Word Processing Program

e-Learning instructors use Microsoft Word. If you do not have Microsoft Word, you need to be able to save your word processing documents in a format that is compatible with MS Word, such as a rich text file (.rtf). The Owens Bookstore offers special student pricing on Microsoft Office.

Helpful links:

Listed below are the supported operating systems and browsers for use with the Blackboard Academic Suite. The Academic Suite is a Web-based application and other browsers and operating system may work well; however, the listed configurations are the only configurations that are tested and supported by Blackboard.

Key
Term Definition
Certified Fully tested and supported
Compatible Partially tested
Provisional Future technologies considered supported by Blackboard Support
Unsupported Either not supported or not tested

Browser Settings

  • Java Enabled
  • JavaScript Enabled Not detected
  • Cookies Enabled

Blackboard requires the Java Virtual Machine Sun JRE 6 from Sun Microsystems. You can obtain this free software from Sun's Java web site. Conduct a browser test for Java to determine what version of the Java VM you currently have on your system.

Browser Plug-ins

Some courses may require you to have one or more of the following plug-in programs:

Vendor Plug-in Test/Download
Adobe® Reader® http://get.adobe.com/reader/
Adobe® Flash® Player http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/
Adobe® Shockwave® http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/welcome/
Apple Quicktime http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/
Microsoft Windows Media Player http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/download-windows-media-player
RealNetworks RealPlayer http://www.real.com/ Apple users go to http://www.real.com/realplayer/player-plus
Sun Java VM http://www.java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp

*Please check to make sure you do not already have the plug-ins installed before downloading.

Virus Protection

There are numerous virus protection programs on the market and we strongly suggest you keep an updated virus protection program on your computer.

Pop-Up/Spam Blockers/ Download Accelerators

Pop-up, cookie, and spam blockers and download accelerators may cause you to experience difficulty accessing certain Blackboard resources. If you experience difficulty accessing resources and have one or more of these installed, please contact the appropriate software manufacturer or the IT Help Desk to determine if such software could be the cause of your difficulties.


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