Blackboard - What is it?
Blackboard is a course management system that is maintained by Piedmont Community College. Blackboard is Web-based, so there is nothing for you to install or download. All you need is an account and an Internet connection. Blackboard works with both Windows and Macintosh computers. You can access Blackboard using most Web browsers, but it performs best with an up-to-date version of Mozilla Firefox.

You may access Blackboard by clicking on this link,
Technical Requirements


Supported Browsers

PCC recommends students use the Firefox or Chrome browser for completing course work in Blackboard using a desktop computer. Internet Explorer is no longer supported by Blackboard. A complete list of compatible browsers for both desktops and mobile devices can be found at Supported Browsers in Blackboard help.

Tested devices and operating systems

Blackboard tests browsers using a variety of devices and operating systems. Support is not limited to these specific operating systems. Blackboard supports desktop browser versions regardless of the particular device or operating system they run on. Tested devices and operating systems can be viewed in Blackboard help.

Java and other browser plug-ins

A handful of features in Blackboard Learn require particular additional software to be installed. Without these, the features themselves do not function. For this service pack of Learn, the following features have plugin requirements:

  • Multiple file uploads in Course Files and Content Collection require the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) from Oracle enabled as a browser plugin. The single file upload tool does not have this requirement. The upload applet is signed by Blackboard and includes a time-stamping authority that allows the applet to run even after the certificate has expired. 
  • The Virtual Classroom Tools in courses require the JRE from Oracle enabled as a browser plugin. The Virtual Classroom applet is signed by Blackboard and includes a time-stamping authority that allows the applet to run even after the certificate has expired. 

The Record from Webcam feature of the Content Editor requires the Flash Player browser plugin from Adobe to successfully save the recordings to YouTube.

JRE version 7 and 8 is the recommended version for features that depend on it. JRE version 6 may work, but could result in unexpected behavior. Oracle has acknowledged some security issues with JRE version 6.

Mac OS X 10.8+ Java for Original Blackboard Learn 9.1 interfaces: Java no longer ships as part of the OS install. You must download and install Java when the application/applet requests. You only need to do this once.

Adobe Flash Player version 11 is the recommended version of the Adobe Flash Player plugin, but the YouTube service ultimately determines the version required for this plugin. 

Visit Oracle’s website to download Java.

Visit the Adobe website to download the Adobe Flash Player.

Student Competencies

Students are expected to be competent in basic computer skills such as:

  • Copying and pasting material into a document
  • Saving, attaching, and printing documents
  • Composing, receiving, and sending emails
  • Surfing the web; and protecting the computer from viruses

You can access a Blackboard help-desk 24/7 by calling toll free 1-866-852-5588. This is an external support service not housed at PCC. You will be asked to provide a support service representative with your student Id number.

For help during working hours, Monday – Thursdays 8:00 a.m. -8:00 p.m., and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m., contact the Distance Learning Student Help Desk at 336-322-2138 or