Get ready for your online courses
You will need the following hardware and software in order to access your courses online, work on and submit assignments, communicate with professors and peers, and successfully complete your courses and your degree program:
|Personal computer||With administrative rights (the ability to download software and change security settings)||With administrative rights (the ability to download software and change security settings)|
|Broadband Internet connection||Speed of 512 kb/s or higher for DSL or 1 Mbps or higher for (upload) cable connection||Speed of 512 kb/s or higher for DSL or 1 Mbps or higher for (upload) cable connection|
|Operating system||Windows XP or higher||Mac OSX 10.5 or higher|
|Microsoft Office||2010 or higher||iWork or Microsoft Office 2011|
|Browsers||IE 8.0 & 9.0, FireFox 3.6 & Final Release Channel, Chrome (Stable Channel)||Safari 4.0, 5.0 & 5.1, Firefox 3.6 &
Final Release Channel,
Chrome (Stable Channel)
|Java||Version 1.6 or higher||Version 1.6 or higher|
|RAM memory||4 GB or higher||4 GB or higher|
|Webcam and microphone||Internal or external||Internal or external|
Office productivity software
While the software you will need will vary by course, it is likely that you will need office productivity software such as the Microsoft Office Suite. If you don’t already have the required programs, the Microsoft Office Suite and many other programs are offered to the university community at reduced prices through the information technology store, iTech Xpress. You must be an enrolled student to enter the store.
OpenOffice is a free productivity suite that emulates most of the functionality of Microsoft Office and allows you to open, edit, and save Microsoft Office documents. It is available at www.openoffice.org.
If you don’t have Microsoft Office or OpenOffice but need to view Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, or Excel files, you can download Office viewers from the Microsoft website. If you have an earlier version of Microsoft Office than Office 2007 (e.g., Microsoft Office 2003), you can download a compatibility pack allowing you to open, edit, and save files using the 2007 formats.
Microsoft Office is available in a Mac format. However, Mac users using iWork software should consult their instructors for the proper format when save their documents. Learn to share iWork files in an Office compatible format.
Some courses may require certain free browser plug-ins to play or utilize materials. You may or may not need the plug-ins, depending on what type of files your instructor shares with you via Blackboard. These plug-ins are free to download and install on your computer:
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Windows Media Player
You can test whether you have recommended and necessary components by performing the following steps:
- Visit the UofL Blackboard home page
- Click the "Help" tab at the top of the screen
- Click "Test your browser for Blackboard compatibility" on the right side of the screen
If you have technical questions, contact the UofL IT HelpDesk at 502.852.7997.