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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Technical Requirements for Taking Online Courses



Desktop, Laptop, or Mac


Although you can use a tablet or smartphone device to access your course sites, it is important to consider the convenience of a PC or Mac computer for accessing course readings, taking exams, taking part in online discussions, writing papers, and more. Be sure your personal computer has Microsoft Windows 7, 8, or 10 for the PC or OS X for the Mac as your operating system. If your computer is not equipped with a webcam, consider purchasing one for communicating with instructors and classmates.

High Speed Internet

A high-speed internet connection (i.e. cable, DSL) is important, especially for watching course videos and taking part in any video-conferencing discussions.

Web Browsers

Blackboard is supported on a number of different browsers (i.e. Chrome, FireFox, Safari). To ensure that your browser will work with Blackboard, visit Blackboard’s Browser Support page. In addition, use Blackboard’s Browser Checker feature​ to ensure that your browser has all the necessary plug-ins to use Blackboard on your computer.

Bridgewater State University User Account

Your Bridgewater State Univer​sity user account to gain access to BSU email and Blackboard is automatically created for you. Be sure to log in to BSU email and Blackboard regularly. Contact Information Technology at 508.531.2555 or​ for questions about your BSU user account.

Microsoft Office Suite

excel spreadsheetInstall the Microsoft Office Suite (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint) on your Mac or PC to complete course assignments. As a Bridgewater State student, you are allowed up to 5 downloads of Microsoft Office for the Mac or PC on your personal computers from BSU's Office 365 support site​.  Contact Information Technology at 508.531.2555 or​ for installation assistance.  Video training on Microsoft Office apps is available via BSU's Hoonuit training service​.

Adobe Reader

Your instructor may be sharing PDF (Portable Document Format) files.  Download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader​ application to your personal computer, tablet, or smartphone to read PDF files.  Contact Information Technology at 508.531.2555 or for installation assistance.


If you are a Microsoft Windows operating system user, you can download free Microsoft security tools to protect your personal computer. If you are a Mac Operating system user, protect yourself with the Avast Free Mac Security application. Contact Information Technology at 508.531.2555 or for installation assistance.


Although not a requirement, many students prefer to print out course readings, e-books, and assignments and read from the printed text. If you fall into that category, consider purchasing a low-cost inkjet or laser printer.

facebookCommunication Tools

To communicate and collaborate with your classmates on class assignments outside of the Blackboard system, consider using Skype, Google Docs, and Facebook Groups. Video training on these apps is available via BSU's Hoonuit​ service.

Blackboard Mobile Learn App

Access your Blackboard course sites on the go right from your smartphone or tablet with the Blackboard Mobile Learn App.

Note-Taking Apps

Use note-taking apps like Microsoft OneNote (part of the Microsoft Office suite) to keep yourself organized and on task. Video training on this app is available via BSU's Hoonuit service.

​​​This page is maintained by the Teaching & Technology Center. Send comments and suggestions to​. Last reviewed 07/05/19.​