Online Learning

Technical Requirements


Your computer's operating system should have Microsoft Windows (XP or above works best) or Macintosh (OS X or above works best).

Any relatively recent PC with the Windows operating system or a Macintosh will work just fine with Blackboard. The processing speed, hard disk space and RAM for these computers should suffice. You'll need your own Internet Service Provider, and though fast web speed is preferred, all speeds will work with Blackboard.


It's always best to have a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word, on your computer. This way, prior to submitting assignments, you can check work for spelling and grammar errors. If your instructor requires you to submit specifically formatted documents either through the Assignments tool in Blackboard or via email, it is suggested that you submit a Word document. By doing so, you are ensuring that your instructor will be able to open your assignment on her computer.

Alternatively, you can use Google Docs, in which you can create a document online, then download it to your computer in the Word format. Google Docs is available when you log into Zonemail.

Some online courses, such as many of LPC's Computer Information Systems courses, require specific software like Microsoft Office. This requirement will be detailed in the Schedule of Classes.

If your instructor allows you to submit assignments as web pages, you might need a web-page editor, such as Adobe Dreamweaver. You can download a free web-page editor, or you can use Google Sites, which is available when you log into Zonemail.

Web browser 

Certified: fully tested and supported.
Compatible: partially tested but should function properly.
Provisional: future technologies considered supported by Blackboard Support.
Unsupported: either impossible or not tested.

Note: Firefox is the preferred browser for Blackboard. Chrome and Safari are also good options. Try to avoid using Internet Explorer. If you insist on using IE, be sure to enable Compatibility View.

Windows configurations
  Internet Explorer 10 Internet Explorer 9 Firefox (latest release) Chrome (latest stable release)
Windows XP (32-bit) Unsupported Unsupported Compatible Compatible
Windows Vista (32-bit) Unsupported Certified Certified Compatible
Windows Vista (64-bit) Unsupported Compatible Compatible Compatible
Windows 7 (32-bit) Compatible Certified Certified Certified
Windows 7 (64-bit) Certified Certified Certified Certified
Windows 8 (64-bit) Compatible Unsupported Certified Certified
Windows 8 (64-bit) Certified Unsupported Certified Certified


Mac OSX configurations
  Safari 6.01 Safari 5.1 Firefox (latest release) Chrome (latest stable release)
Mac OSX 10.6
Unsupported Certified Certified Certified
Mac OSX 10.7
Certified Certified Certified Certified
Mac OSX 10.8
Certified Certified Certified Certified

It is recommended that you have at least two browsers installed on your computer because if something doesn't work in one browser, it should work in the other.

To enable cookies in Firefox:

  1. From the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Click Privacy.
  3. Under History, choose Use Custom Settings for History in the drop-down next to Firefox will. Make sure Accept Cookies from Sites is checked and Always is selected for Accept third-party cookies. Click OK.


In order to view certain multimedia elements and documents on the Web, you need specific plugins. Your instructor will tell you exactly which plugins you need for your course. The most popular are Windows Media, QuickTime, Flash, Shockwave, and Acrobat Reader, and they are all freely downloadable.

Note: If you do not have a particular plugin, Firefox might ask you to install it. Following the instructions will usually install the plugin sucessfully.

Online Learning

Instructional Technology Student Support

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Page last modified: January 13, 2016