How to Access Online Courses

Blackboard

Getting Started

Most online courses are taught via a system called Blackboard. In order to participate in Blackboard courses you must meet some minimum computer equipment and skills requirements. Keep in mind that these are minimum requirements-some courses may require additional equipment, software, and skill prerequisites. Contact the course instructor or refer to the course syllabus for details.


Minimum Computer Skills Requirement
Using Blackboard does not require any special skills. Blackboard is, however, an Internet tool so you must possess basic computer skills, specifically

  • using e-mail (sending, opening, replying, and saving attachments)
  • web browsing (navigating, searching, and downloading)
  • word processing (most instructor require MS Word or compatible

For more information and instructions about using Blackboard, see the Blackboard tutorials.


Hardware & Software Requirements
You must have regular and reliable access to a computer with access to the Web. Suggestions and requirements for each are listed below:

Computer

  • The computer must be robust enough to run one of the recent web browsers and download files in a reasonable amount of time. For personal computers, we require at least a Pentium-class personal computer (or its equivalent Apple or Unix machine) with at least 64 MB of RAM.

Word Processor (& other application software)

  • Most courses require some type of word processor for creating assignments, such as a research paper. Your instructor may require a specific word processing program, such as Microsoft Word, or other software that relates to the course, such as a spreadsheet, etc. Check with the course instructor or department head for any specific software requirements.

Web Access

  • You will need to be able to reach the World Wide Web, either through a network at your place of business or through a connection from home, using an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Browser Compatibility

The following tables show browsers which have been certified by Blackboard as compatible with all of Blackboard’s features.

Certified means that all features have been tested and work correctly.

Compatible means that all features have not been tested, but no widespread problems have been reported.

Unsupported means that Blackboard does not support the combination and that there are probably problems with running Blackboard within that browser.

Microsoft® Windows® Operating System

 

Internet Explorer® 9

Internet Explorer 8

Firefox (Final Release Channel)

Firefox 3.6

Chrome (Stable Channel)

Windows® XP (32-bit)

Unsupported

Compatible

Compatible

Compatible

Compatible

Windows Vista® (32-bit)

 

Certified

Compatible

 

Certified

Compatible

Compatible

Windows Vista (64-bit)

Compatible

Compatible

Compatible

Compatible

Compatible

Windows 7 (32-bit)

Certified

Compatible

Certified

Compatible

Compatible

Windows 7 (64-bit)

Compatible

Compatible

Compatible

Compatible

Compatible

Apple® Mac OS® Operating System

 

Safari® 5.0

Safari 4.0

Firefox (Final Release Channel)

Firefox 3.6

Chrome (Stable Channel)

Mac OSX 10.5 "Leopard®"

Compatible

Compatible

Compatible

Compatible

Compatible

Mac OSX 10.6 "Snow Leopard®"

Certified

Compatible

Certified

Compatible

Certified












Logging in to Blackboard

If you have registered for one or more online courses, please follow these instructions on how to log on to your course:

  1. Online courses are delivered via a system called Blackboard. Access Blackboard at http://bb.tctc.edu/ - or - from Tri-County's home page (www.tctc.edu), click the Blackboard link in the Quick Links on the left of the page. It's a good idea to add this page to your Favorites in your web browser.
    Note: The Blackboard server is unavailable Monday - Friday from 2 a.m. until approximately 4 a.m. for daily backups.
  2.  Click on "Log in to Blackboard
  3. Enter your Blackboard ID (user name) and password, then click the "OK" button.
  4. Click on the name of your course(s) on the My Blackboard page to enter the course homepage and read all of your instructor's instructions.
  5. Some courses require an Access Code that comes bundled with your textbook. Enter the code after accepting the user license agreement. You will only have to enter this code the first time you log on to the course. Click on "Submit."


Getting Help
1. Your Instructor

Your instructor will be the primary person you communicate with during this online course. It's important to let your instructor know if you're having trouble, or if you have any questions about your course. Contact your instructor when:

  • You have questions about course content.
  • You have questions about assignments, quizzes, tests, or your grade.


2. Service Desk

The Blackboard Service Desk can help you when you're having trouble logging into the course, or when you experience problems with the Blackboard software. The Service Desk is available from 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM Monday - Thursday and 7:30 AM - 2:00 PM on Friday.

    To contact the Blackboard Service Desk
    On the Web (preferred method):
    Complete an online support ticket.

    Telephone
    864-646-1779

 

Please note: When requesting assistance from your instructor or the Service Desk it may take up to 24 hours before you receive a reply on Monday thorugh Friday (weekends can take longer). Not all problems can be solved the same day; however, faculty and staff will do their best to help you find a resolution in a timely manner.

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