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Computer Equipment and Skills Needed for Online and Hybrid Courses

Other Course Software Requirements

Some courses have special software requirements. These special requirements are available on the Blackboard Learn site by accessing the orientation for your course. Be sure to read the course orientation thoroughly. As you read, be in the lookout for additional course requirements.

Need help?
If you need assistance, contact the Blackboard Learn Helpdesk at bb@northshore.edu.

Computer Requirements

1. You must have daily access to:

  • a computer (laptop or desktop) running Windows 7 or higher with reliable Internet access

    or

  • a Mac (laptop or desktop) running OS X 10.8 or higher with reliable Internet access

    Note: Computers that allow the installation and use of multiple browsers are recommended. Netbooks (such as Chromebook) can provide access to some features in Blackboard Learn but not to all.

2. Your computer needs the following software/freeware installed:

In addition, the following software is needed:

  • Java, which includes Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
    1. Go to the Java site to verify Java.
    2. Click the Agree and Continue button.
    3. Evaluate verification results. If Java is needed, the verification will suggest downloading/updating Java. Follow the prompts or download the latest Java plugin.

3. Your Web browser must be supported by Blackboard Learn and properly configured.

  • Blackboard Learn is functional in various Web browsers on a Windows or Mac OS X system, including: Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.
    • Beta versions or recently released versions of these browsers might not be compatible with all functionality in Blackboard Learn and users may experience some issues.
    • These Web browsers are supported by Blackboard Learn for regular computer devices (desktop/laptop/netbooks).
  • Check if your specific Web browser and version are supported by Blackboard Learn. You can also test your browser in Blackboard using the Browser Checker tool on the My Home page. Note that the browser test will not meet the Java/JRE plugin requirements for some browsers (e.g., Edge, Chrome). However, be sure that Java is installed in your computer. Edge, Chrome and Internet Explorer will not meet the optional components plugin-in requirements (e.g., Adobe Flash, Java, etc.) since they do not support NPAPI plugins.
  • Configure your Web browser to work properly with Blackboard Learn.
  • Meet system requirements for Blackboard Learn.

4. Blackboard Learn can also be accessed via mobile devices (phones/tablets). Bb Student is an app that is free to NSCC users. It is available from the App Store, Microsoft Store or Google Play. Mobile devices can be used to access course information but are not encouraged for submitting assignments and taking tests.

  • Search for and download the Bb Student app.
  • Launch the Bb Student app and type North Shore Community College in the "Type your school’s name" field.
  • Select North Shore Community College if prompted. Click the "Log In" button.
  • Login using your Pipeline credentials (under the Faculty and Student Login).
 

Recommended Computer Skills

  • Basic word processing skills, such as creating, editing, and formatting documents, as well as highlighting, copying and pasting text.
  • Basic computer skills that enable you to use the Web and email, including attaching documents, comfortably.
  • Familiarity with terms, such as Web browser, online, Internet, World Wide Web, URL, Web site, and Web pages.
  • Ability to upload and download materials from the Web.
  • Ability to compose, format, send, cut, copy, and paste email messages.

Need help? If you need assistance, contact the Blackboard Learn Helpdesk at bbhelp@northshore.edu.


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