Introduction to Taking Classes Online

What You'll Need

Your Computer: You’ll need a proper PC to complete most of your coursework. An iPad, Android Tablet, Windows RT device, or smart phone will be useful for many things, but to post content (online discussion, assignments, etc), take tests, or participate in live classroom sessions you will need a full PC. Mac computers (lap or desktop) are fine, as are Windows 8 devices (laptops, desktops, and hybrid devices like the Surface PRO or Lenovo Yoga line).

Web Browser: Your web browser is the software you use to view the internet. We recommend Firefox or Chrome as a primary browser (Safari and Edge generally work but are not officially supported and therefore occasionally have issues). Whatever browser you use, please stay up to date with the latest set of patches and updates.

Speakers: Because most courses include an audio element, you will need speakers or headphones.

Adobe Acrobat Reader: The Adobe Acrobat Reader is an excellent tool for viewing PDF (Portal Document Format) files online. Many of your professors -- and Detroit Mercy's database vendors) -- provide documents as PDF, as these files can be viewed by anyone with a PDF reader. The Acrobat Reader can be downloaded for free from Adobe's web site. Note: on the download page, an "additional offer" is preselected for you. We recommend you do NOT install this additional software.

Program Requirements: Check your program's page on this site to see what additional hardware and software may be required. Most programs will require Microsoft Office. Others may require you have access to a scanner for digitizing hand-written assignments, or a headset with a microphone for participating in online classroom sessions.

Introduction to Blackboard - University of Detroit Mercy's Online Course Site

The set of four videos embedded below walk you through the basics of using Blackboard, Detroit Mercy's online course site.

Need more help, or looking for instruction on how to use a specific online course tool?

We've got a comprehensive set of tutorials for both students and faculty on the Instructional Design Studio web page.