Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tip #35: Web Browsers & Java affect your Blackboard experience

Tip: Web browsers and Java affect your Blackboard experience

Here’s how to do it:
As with all programs, web browsers differ in how they work with Blackboard. Often issues that arise for users can be overcome by trying a different web browser.

The three major web browsers used are Internet Explorer (primarily on PC’s), Safari (primarily on Macs) and Mozilla Firefox.

When browsers provide newer versions, it’s considered good practice to wait until it has been released for a while before updating. This wait ensures that programs working inside the browser (like Blackboard!) will have found any potential incompatibilities and update as well.

If you’re experiencing difficulties, try downloading an alternate browser and see if the issue continues. Firefox 2.0, the most compatible version of Firefox with Blackboard, can be downloaded at

It might not be just your web browser
Blackboard depends on the use of an internet plug-in, Java. Having an up-to-date version of Java will enhance your Blackboard experience. The most current version of Java is Version 6 update 7. There are several methods of checking your java version but the Java website will do a quick check for you and display the version. You can test if Java is working and check your version of Java by going to:
If you notice Blackboard issues and you’re running an older version of Java, you might consider updating your Java version. The Java website provides free downloads of its latest version at:

When this still doesn’t help
Call the helpdesk for assistance! Be prepared to tell them what browsers you’ve tried things in and which version of Java you’re running. This will help those troubleshooting quickly identify any problem areas or trends in issues being reported.

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