Technical Requirements for UHCL Blackboard Courses
Most modern computers will be able to access Blackboard courses without a problem. It is strongly recommended that you access Blackboard from a desktop computer with a cable (or higher) internet connection. Please review the below requirements for the best online experience. The document "Technical Suggestions for Online Teaching and Learning" also goes into further details about technological impacts in the web-based learning environment.
Some courses have live instructional sessions that require speakers and a microphone or a microphone-headset. Standard microphone-headsets are generally supported and should work fine but here is a recommendation: Logitech ClearChat Comfort/USB Headset H390.
**It is strongly advised that students should avoid taking tests, quizzes, and submitting assignments on tablets or mobile (phone) devices. Performance on these systems is unpredictable and the use of a computer is highly recommended for the above tasks.
Blackboard Supported Browsers, Operating Systems, and Plugins
For detailed information, visit the Blackboard Help Browser Support April 2014 page.
Is your browser supported by Blackboard? Run the browser checker to see.
The following web browsers are classified by Blackboard as "Supported" with that application. However, based on user reports, our team recommends that Macintosh users use Safari, Windows 7/8/8.1 users rely on Chrome, and that Windows 10 users employ Firefox when accessing and working in Blackboard.
- Chrome** 36+
- Edge** 1+
- Firefox 31+
- Internet Explorer 9+ (Windows only)
- Safari 6+ (MacOS only)
* Mobile app versions of these browsers aren't support at this time, although users may have success using them.
** Google Chrome versions 42+ and Microsoft Edge do not support NPAPI-type plug-ins including Java plug-ins and many media browser plug-ins. Blackboard doesn't support these these browsers for use with the Virtual Classroom and Lightweight Chat tools, the multiple-file upload interface, or embedded media that require NPAPI plug-ins for viewing.
Tested Devices and Operating Systems
A variety of devices and operating systems were used to test the supported browsers. Support is not limited to these specific operating systems. The desktop browser versions above are supported regardless of the particular device or operating system on which they run.
- Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, MacOS 10.8, MacOS 10.9, MacOS 10.10, Chrome OS
- Chromebook (Chrome browser; features requiring NPAPI plug-ins are not supported)
Java and other Browser Plugins
A handful of features in Blackboard Learn require particular additional software to be installed. Without these, the features themselves do not function. For this release of Learn, the following features have plugin requirements:
- Multiple file upload
- Virtual Classroom Tools
- Blackboard Collaborate
JRE versions 7 and 8 are the recommended versions for features that depend on it. JRE version 6 may work, but could result in unexpected behavior. Oracle has acknowledged some security issues with JRE version 6.
Blackboard Learn does not require any other browser plugins. To learn more about browser plugins, assistive technology, and other supporting software, see the Browser Support Policy topic in this section.
Streaming Video Playback
For online courses featuring streaming video, we recommend using cable/broadband internet access with a minimum speed of 1.5Mbps. Higher bandwidth and speed will greatly assist you in your online courses and minimize playback issues. When and where possible, a higher internet speed is recommended.
We strongly suggest that you have consistent access to a cable modem connection or higher. Streaming video playback functionality may be limited with DSL or cable modem connections. Some courses/programs are not functionally feasible to take with a dial-up connection; so please be aware of limitations that come with lower-speed internet connections.