As an online student, it's important to ensure you have good self-motivation, self-discipline and good time management skills. The technology is just as important, however, so it doesn't get in the way of your learning and so that computer problems are minimized while learning online.
Be sure to check your browser using Blackboard's Browser Checker to ensure your computer is configured correctly for Blackboard.
GRCC's online courses are designed with several prerequisite skills. As a student in an online course, you should have:
- Familiarity with the basic operation and troubleshooting of a computer.
- Familiarity with the basic operation of connecting to the internet.
- Familiarity with the installation of programs.
- Familiarity with a Web browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox (Firefox is preferred).
- The ability to send and receive e-mail with attachments.
- Familiarity with Microsoft Word or other word processing programs.
In addition to the prerequisite technology skills, your computer must meet some basic hardware and software requirements. Unfortunately, we have found that Chromebooks are unable to handle most of the software/browser requirements you will need to be successful in an online class — especially when it comes time to take a test or assessment. Your professor may require you to use the Respondus Lockdown Browser which will not work on Chromebooks.
Take a few moments to double check that your computer meets these requirements.
- Display – Online courses will display best at a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels and a color depth of Hi Color (16 bit) or greater.
- Speed – The speed of your computer, and the amount of system and video memory are important. Using a computer with adequate processing power and memory will significantly improve your interactive learning experience.
- Audio – A sound card, with speakers or headphones, and a microphone may also be required.
A fast, reliable Internet connection are basic requirements for taking online courses. A high speed connection is recommended.
The recommended browser for online courses is Mozilla Firefox. At a minimum, you will need a current version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox (Firefox is recommended), Google Chrome, or Safari. The following preferences will need to be configured in your browser: (These settings are usually the browser defaults, therefore, you may not need to modify them.)
- Cookies must be enabled.
- Java must be enabled.
- Turn off or set to 0, the cache size on the browser.
Your professor may be using several different file formats to deliver course materials. Therefore, you may need to download and install several plug-ins before you are able to view your course materials. Plug-ins such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, RealPlayer, Adobe Flash, and Microsoft Word and PowerPoint Viewer are the most common.