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Article ID: ITSKB-3-127

Article Purpose

The purpose of this article is to help inform users about what they will need in order to access online course material via the BlackBoard learning system.​​​​​​

Additional Information

Online classes at UAA use the Blackboard Learning Management System and Blackboard Collaborate software. If you have trouble accessing your online classes, first check to make sure your computer and browser meet the minimum requirements to run Blackboard.

Note: Since some parts of Blackboard require the Java runtime, Blackboard is not fully functional on the Ipad or Iphone. For the full Blackboard experience, use a laptop or desktop computer.

Computer Hardware and Operating System

Blackboard, Inc. lists browsers and operating systems requirements, however both Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari have known problems using Blackboard, the current supported browsers are:

Also see UAA's Minimum System Requirements for Desktop Service
  • Monitor resolution of 1024 x 768 or higher
  • Internet connection – Broadband internet connections are highly recommended and often required
  • Headset with microphone - Microphone and headphones are important for web conferencing
  • Windows 7 and above
  • MAC 10.7 and above

Recommended Software 

IT Services recommends the following software for the best online class experience.

  • Antivirus
  • Web Browser
  • PDF Reader
  • Java runtime environment
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Office Applications
    • Word processor
    • Spreadsheet
    • Presentation

Some courses may have more specific requirements which should be described in the syllabus.

In order for Blackboard and Collaborate to operate properly, you need to be running the latest version of Blackboard Collaborate Launcher:

If you've confirmed that the Launcher is up-to-date but are having trouble getting Collaborate to work correctly, you may wish to check Blackboard support page on Collaborate:

The Adobe Flash plugin may be required to access some course content:

A PDF (portable document format) reader may be required to view some documents:

UAA uses Windows Media to stream videos. To play back Windows Media Videos (wmv format) on Windows, use Windows Media Player or VLC:

To view Windows Media videos on a Mac, use VLC, the VideoLAN media player:

Having difficulties unresolved by any of the links on this page? Contact the IT Services Call Center at 786-4646 or at

* Some courses might have more specific hardware or software requirements. Please consult your instructor regarding possible additional materials.

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For additional assistance Contact the IT Call Center at 786-4646.