Module 4: Technology Requirements
All eLearning courses, whether partly online (PNET) or fully online (FNET), require that students have regular access to a computer with an Internet connection. To take an eLearning course you will need:
1. Minimum Computer Requirements.
• Pentium 4 or 5.
• Windows XP, Vista or 7.
• Macintosh users - System 9 or OSX.
• 512 MB RAM or higher
2. Browser Requirements.
• Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher.
• Firefox 3.6 or higher
• Safari 4 or higher
3. Internet Access.
Internet access is required to participate in online components of your college courses at Queensborough Community College.
• An Internet Service Provider (ISP) will provide you with the software and access necessary to use the Internet.
• Your computer should be hooked up to a fast internet connection, such as LAN, DSL or Cable. These type of internet connections are highly recommended for optimal student experience. You want to get the most out of your eLearning courses, and having a fast Internet connection is key to achieving that goal.
4. System Requirements and Technical Skills.
• Familiarity with the Blackboard Learning Management System. Tutorials are available on the College's Blackboard website.
• Familiarity with the Epsilen Learning Management System. Tutorials are available on the College's Epsilen website.
• An active Blackboard account. For information about how to activate your Blackboard account go to http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/qcconline/blackboard.html
• An active tigermail account. For more information about obtaining a tigermail user name and password go to https://tigermail.qcc.cuny.edu
• MS-Office 2007 or 2010.
Note: It is required to have access to a word processor that can open and save doc and docx files. Microsoft Word is an obvious choice, but other word processors that can open and save files in doc and docx formats are acceptable. Students can download Windows and Macintosh versions of Microsoft Office, which includes Microsoft Word, at a significantly reduced cost at the CUNY eMall.
5. Plug-ins and Document Viewers.
The following plug-ins are required for many of the resources available in your online courses:
• Adobe Flash Player.
• Adobe Acrobat Reader.
• Real Player.
• Windows Media Player
• Apple QuickTime Player.
• Word Viewer
• PowerPoint Viewer
• Excel Viewer
• Access Viewer
• Mactopia downloads (Converters and Viewers for Macintosh users)
6. Recommended and supported.
7. Help Desk.
• The IT Help Desk installs equipment and provides technical support for Administrative (non Lab use) computers, hardware, software and the network throughout the college. The Help Desk will assist users in resolving their computing problems, or serve as a liaison to other resources such as the ACC (Academic Computing Center) or CUNY Computing.
• For general technical questions, you can contact the IT Help Desk at (718) 631-6273; by eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; or in person: Administration Building, Room - 303.
• If your question is specific to the use of Blackboard, contact Blackboard Support at (718) 631 6624; by eMail : email@example.com ; or in person: Library Building, Room L-117.
8. Troubleshooting Blackboard.
• Blackboard issues only with Internet Explorer 8
Recent maintenance performed by Blackboard Managed Hosting included security enhancements to Blackboard and all connections to courses are now encrypted. However, this has introduced an unexpected problem only with Internet Explorer 8. When logging into the CUNY Portal and/or Blackboard using IE 8, you will receive a dialogue box asking whether you "want to view only the web content that was delivered securely." You must select NO to allow External Links to open within Blackboard. Otherwise, External Links and othe features in your course configured to launch within Blackboard will fail to open.
Alternatively, you may also configure External Links in Blackboard to open in a new window;
Enable IE 8 to simultaneously access secure and unsecure, or mixed, content with the following steps:
- Open up Internet Explorer 8 (IE8)
- Go to Tools
- On the drop-down menu click Internet Options.
- Select the "Security" Tab and then click on the "Custom Level" button.
- Scroll down until you see the option: "Display mixed content". Select "Enable".
- Click Ok. Then you will get a "Security Warning" pop-up. Click Yes.
- Click Apply, then click Ok
- You will have to close Internet Explorer 8 and the reopen it for the changes to take effect.
The problem is limited to Internet Explorer 8 and does not occur when using Mozilla Firefox.
Blackboard Student Tutorials (click here)
Your answers from the Self-Review won't be collected, analyzed or graded. The main purpose of this activity is to make you aware of the basic technical requirements needed to satisfactorily complete an online course.
Directions: For each question in the Self-Review Questions, select one answer by clicking the button next to it. When you are finished answering all of the questions, click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.