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What equipment do I need to take an online learning course?

If you do not have regular access to a computer that meets the Blackboard Learning System’s minimum requirements, then choosing an online course may not be for you. A fast Internet connection is helpful in many cases since some courses require you to view large video files. A computer that was purchased in the last five years should be sufficient to access your online course. Your computer should have at least 4GB of RAM and Windows 7 or higher or Mac OS 10.5 or higher.

Blackboard works on both Mac and Windows computers. Some courses may require special software that is compatible with one or the other operating systems. This will be noted in the course offering notes. Chromebooks are not fully supported by Blackboard and may not be accessible to all of Blackboard’s features.

Blackboard constantly modifies its software to meet browser updates. Bb works best with Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. If you run into a problem, try another browser. This generally resolves the issue. To check your browser’s compatibility click here

Courses requiring specific software may have different computer hardware requirements than are listed here. Please check with the software manufacturer for specific requirements before installing the program on your computer.

I have never used a computer. Should I take online learning courses?

You should not take an online learning course if you do not feel comfortable with your computer skills. You do not have to be an expert, but you should have basic experience with

  • Navigating through files and menus
  • Saving files and organizing them in folders
  • Sending/receiving email and email attachments
  • Searching and browsing the Web
  • Using a word processor, e.g. MS Word

If you do not understand the computer terminology in these guidelines, it may be a sign that you are not ready to take an online course. To help you prepare for an online course MWCC students have access to Atomic Learning through the iConnect portal. Atomic Learning is a free resource of 80,000 short instructional videos on over 290 software programs. You will also find other excellent tools such as overviews of PC and Mac basics, how to study guides, and ”Being an Effective  Online Student.”