Online Course Requirements

Online / Blackboard Technical Requirements at Owens Community College

Internet Connection

Broadband is preferred. Additionally, wired connections are often more reliable than wireless connections. If using wireless, 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 Chromebooks, iPads, smartphones, and other tablets and mobile devices work well for many online course applications, they may not be suitable for all tasks within Blackboard, 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.

Hardware Recommendations

Laptop or Desktop Computer

Macintosh OS X (10.12 or higher) or PC: Windows 8, Windows 10
4GB RAM (8GB RAM or more is highly recommended)
20GB of available hard-drive space
Screen resolution set to 1280×1024
Broadband/high-speed uninterrupted Internet access
Webcam, microphone and speakers may be needed if the instructor conducts synchronous web conferences using Blackboard

Respondus LockDown Browser

Some instructors require the use of Respondus LockDown Browser™ for taking exams online. This free browser can be downloaded here.

Your instructors may also elect to use additional software resources and services from a third party or publisher, depending on your course. Instructors using these types of resources will provide additional information to students.

Hardware Support

Check to make sure that you are using a 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 Checker

Click here to check your browser’s compatibility with Blackboard.

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 the 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

All Owens instructors have access to and often expect students to use Microsoft Office tools for the submission of assignments.  Owens students can obtain a free copy of Microsoft Office here.

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.