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Student Technology Recommendation

​This page provides recommendations for minimum device, software, and internet resources that students should have in order to use online instructional tools with minimal technical issues. Please visit the Student Computer Access Expectations and Assistance​ page for more information on student technology, how to access computer labs and purchase discounted computers, and answers to frequently asked questions. 

Note: Workstations in UHD’s computer labs meet or exceed these minimum requirements, so students are encouraged to use those computers when/if the labs are open and their personal devices do not meet the following specifications.


Recommended Hardware

A computer (desktop/laptop), less than 5 years old is preferable. A newer (also less than 5 years old) tablet/smart phone will also work, although their functionality may be limited.

Minimum Specifications
Recommended Specifications
  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster​

  • RAM: 4GB

  • Hard disk space: 256GB

  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver

  • ​Display: 800 x 600

  • Speakers or headset with microphone

  • Webcam​

  • WiFi or Ethernet connection

  • Processor: 2.5 gigahertz (GHz) or faster​

  • RAM: 8GB

  • Hard disk space: 500GB

  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver

  • ​Display: 800 x 600

  • Speakers or headset with microphone

  • Webcam​

  • WiFi or Ethernet connection

Note:
  • Chromebooks are not recommended and may not be compatible with all third-party tools used in Blackboard.
  • ​If you don't have speakers/headphones/earbuds, make sure that the web camera that you use has a built-in microphone. 

Recommended Software

  • A current version of your device’s operating system, such as:
    • Windows 10
    • macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or higher
    • iOS 13.5
    • To determine if your device and operating system are compatible with Blackboard, use the Blackboard Browser Check tool.​
    • Windows operating system software is available to all UHD registered students through Azure Dev Tools for Teaching​
  •  The latest version of an internet browser, such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Macintosh users are strongly encouraged to use Chrome, rather than Safari, for online course work.

    • ​  Mozilla Firefox (latest version) - Download

    • ​​​  Google Chrome (latest version) - Download

    • Note: Do not use Internet Explorer. This browser is obsolete and is no longer supported by Blackboard. We also discourage students from using Microsoft Edge. Although it is on Blackboard's list of supported browsers, there have been a significant number of issues reported by students using Edge with Blackboard.

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (latest version) - Download

  • Office 365 (available to all UHD students)​

Internet Requirements

A stable Internet connection for using basic tools/features in an online course.  We recommend using a high speed (broadband) DSL/cable internet service when completing tasks in an online course such as attending classes that require video.  Keep in mind that, if you share a router or WiFi service with others (e.g., you live in a house/apartment with family/roommates), how fast and efficient your internet connection is can vary greatly depending on how many people and devices are accessing the internet at the same time.

​Synchronous Online Meetings (Zoom, Teams, Collaborate, etc.)

For synchronous class meetings, students should use a full-function computer/laptop. Cell phones and tablets are more likely to result in technical problems and may not permit the degree of interaction required by your instructor. 

Here are some additional tips for successful online meetings:

  •  Shut down all applications, tools, etc. on your computer except for the browser or tool needed for the meeting. This includes closing your email, social media (e.g., Facebook, Google Hangouts), and other applications.

  •  Unless your instructor requires you to be seen, leave your camera toggled OFF.

  •  Keep your microphone muted until called upon to speak to the group.

  • ​ If you share internet access with others (e.g., roommates, family members), ask them to avoid using "high bandwidth" internet access (e.g., streaming movies or music, downloading files, online gaming) during important online class meetings. ​

Technical Requirements for 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. 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.​

**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

Is your browser supported by Blackboard? Run the browser checker​ to see.​​  

Follow this link​ for supported Blackboard browsers and Operating System.  

To learn more please visit the Blackboard Support​ page.


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.​


FAQs

How to find your current device specifications:

  1. Click Start menu.
  2. Click on Settings (gear icon).
  3. Select System.
  4. Navigate to About at the end of the list.

What About Using My Cell Phone or Tablet?​​

Blackboard m​​akes a mobile application for iPad, iPhones, and Android devices. However, it is not a fully functioning version of Blackboard and there may be limitations on the type of tasks you can complete in the app. It is also possible to access Blackboard through the browser on your cell phone or tablet. Again, these devices may not function as intended, especially when taking online exams, submitting assignments, and other graded tasks. In general, such devices are best reserved for consuming information that your instructor has made available in Blackboard, such as articles, lecture notes, PowerPoint files, etc. For graded work, activities, and assignments, students should expect to use a full function desktop or laptop computer.​



Last updated 7/15/2021 9:58 AM