To be able to use Blackboard well, you're going to need three things: a reliable and pretty fast Internet connection, a common modern computer operating system, Windows 98 and Mac OS 9 just won't cut it, and a reasonably recent web browser. So what specific operating system and web browser should you be running? That depends upon the specific version of Blackboard your institution is running. There are different versions of Blackboard 9, each with its own unique operating system and browser requirements. For the most part you need to be running Windows XP or later, and that includes Windows Vista and Windows 7, 32-bit, 64-bit, Ultimate, Home, Premium, it doesn't matter.
You just need to be running Windows XP or later. To find out what version of Windows you're running, go to Start. I'll actually open up my Start menu here, and then either go to Run or in this little Run box type the word winver. That's Windows Version. What will pop up is a screen telling you what version of Windows you're running. If you use a Mac for the most part, you need to be running Mac 10.5 Leopard, or 10.6 Snow Leopard.
10.7 Lion may cause some problems. At the time of this recording Lion is only been out for a few weeks and institutions and Blackboard are still catching up. To find out what version of Mac OS you're running, click the Apple menu and then choose About This Mac. As for your web browser you need to be running a reasonably up-to-date web browser such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari. By the way, a tip for Internet Explorer 9 users, log in to Blackboard and then in Internet Explorer right-click somewhere up at the top of the screen and choose menu bar.
You're going to turn on the menu bar just temporarily. And then go to Tools and Compatibility View. Websites are displayed as if you're running the previous version of Internet Explorer. You only have to do this once, so the next time you come to Blackboard Internet Explorer will automatically show it to you in the Compatibility View. I'm actually going to turn off this menu bar now. By the way, just because your computer came with Internet Explorer or Safari doesn't mean you cannot use some other web browser.
Most savvy Internet users have multiple web browsers. If they encounter a web site that just doesn't work in one web browser, they just try it again in another web browser. To download and install Mozilla Firefox it's absolutely free. Just go to getfirefox.com and click on the green Firefox Free Download button. To download and install Google Chrome, just go to google.com/chrome and click on the blue Download Google Chrome button.
Finally, some institutions provide a browser check, usually on your Blackboard login page. Do not rely on some other institution's Blackboard browser check. That institution may be running a different version of Blackboard than your institution.
- Configuring a browser to work with Blackboard
- Updating account information
- Accessing courses and course content
- Resolving missing courses
- Downloading and printing course files
- Submitting assignments
- Taking tests online
- Viewing grades with My Grades
- Sending and receiving email messages
- Joining and accessing a class group