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Online Courses: Technology Requirements

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).