Minimum Technology Requirements

eLearning technology requirements can vary significantly between courses. IT and web design classes require more powerful computers with special software not required in a history course. However, there are some basic technology requirements common to eLearning.

TCC eLearning courses use Blackboard, a leading LMS (Learning Management System) software for online education. The minimum technical specifications needed to participate in an eLearning course are listed below. See your class syllabus for additional requirements that may be needed for class.


1. The computer should be able to support one of the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Macintosh OS X

2. The computer should have the following hardware:

  • Computer Memory or RAM at or above the recommended amount for the operating system
  • Sound card and speakers
  • Web cam and microphone (helpful; may be required in some courses)
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    3. The computer should have the following free plug-ins installed to enhance the online experience:

    5. The computer should have the following productivity software installed:

    • Microsoft Word

    • Microsoft Excel
    • Microsoft PowerPoint

    • Currently enrolled Tidewater Community College students that do not have access to the above programs, can download and install Microsoft Office desktop applications at no cost. These applications include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher.

      To access Office 365 ProPlus for free:

      1. Go to:
      2. The login will be your full myTCC email address (e.g. and your password is your myTCC password.


      • You must be a current student.
      • Your desktop/laptop must be running a minimum of either Windows 7 or Windows 8 in order for Office 365 to install.
      • You can install the product on up to 5 devices at a time.

      For more information on Office 365, click here.

      For questions, contact the TCC IT HelpDesk at TCC IT Help Desk will support currently enrolled students with accessing the Office 365 software, but not the download installation of software. The Help Desk does not support student-owned devices, such as PCs, phones, laptops and tablets.


      Blackboard Browser support

      It is recommended that pop-up blocker settings on browsers be disabled.

      Blackboard SP13 Browser Support pdf icon

      Other Requirements

      Virus Protection: (accessed through Blackboard)
      Symantec Antivirus Products are Free for Students, Faculty, and Staff
      XP/Vista/Windows 7 version 12.1.RU1
      Macintosh Version 12.1.RU1 (for Lion)

      Email: Using your TCC (VCCS)-sponsored Gmail account is required to protect your privacy rights, accessible through myTCC.

      Internet Access: Broadband is recommended. (DSL, Cable Modem, FIOS, etc.)

      Basic Skills Required for eLearning

      eLearning students must have basic computer skills to be successful in a course. Your instructor may require skills in addition to those listed below:

      • ability to install programs on your computer (Computers that you share with others, such as those in a library or computer lab, will typically not allow you to install software.)
      • ability to save files to your computer hard drive and retrieve them
      • ability to perform web searches and use a web browser to navigate various websites
      • ability to access Blackboard and your college email

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