Technical Requirements for e-Learning at Owens Community College
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.)
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.
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|
Owens State Community College provides computer labs for student use if the requirements cannot be met by home computing devices.
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.
Check to make sure that you are using a Blackboard supported browser here.
|Windows Operating System|
|Hardware/Platform||IE 11||IE 10||IE 9||Firefox ESR||Firefox (Final Release Channel)||Chrome (Stable Channel)|
|Windows Vista (32-bit)||Unsupported by Microsoft||Unsupported by Microsoft||Supported||Supported||Supported||Supported|
|Windows Vista (64-bit)||Unsupported by Microsoft||Unsupported by Microsoft||Supported||Supported||Supported||Supported|
|Windows 7 (32-bit)||Supported||Supported||Supported||Supported||Supported||Supported|
|Windows 7 (64-bit)||Supported||Supported||Supported||Supported||Supported||Supported|
|Windows 8 (32-bit)||Supported||Unsupported by Microsoft||Unsupported by Microsoft||Supported||Supported||Supported|
|Windows 8 (64-bit)||Supported||Unsupported by Microsoft||Unsupported by Microsoft||Supported||Supported||Supported|
|Mac OSX Operating System|
|Hardware/Platform||Safari 8||Safari 7||Safari 6||Firefox ESR||Firefox (Final Release Channel)||Chrome (Stable Channel)|
|Mac OSX 10.7||Unsupported by Apple||Unsupported by Apple||Supported||Supported||Supported||Supported|
|Mac OSX 10.8||Unsupported by Apple||Unsupported by Apple||Supported||Supported||Supported||Supported|
|Mac OSX 10.9||Unsupported by Apple||Supported||Unsupported by Apple||Supported||Supported||Supported|
|Mac OSX 10.10||Supported||Unsupported by Apple||Unsupported by Apple||Supported||Supported||Supported|
- 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.
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.
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.
|Certified||Fully tested and supported|
|Provisional||Future technologies considered supported by Blackboard Support|
|Unsupported||Either not supported or not tested|
- Java Enabled
- 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.
Some courses may require you to have one or more of the following plug-in programs:
|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|
*Please check to make sure you do not already have the plug-ins installed before downloading.
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.