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System Requirements

Computer Hardware Requirements


In order to access and use the online resources of the College you will need a reliable computer meeting the specs as shown before. 

Hardware Specifications

Entry Level (OK)

Business Level (Preferred)

Processor Intel I3 – 10 or 11Generation processor or equivalent Intel I5 - 10 or 11 generation processor or equivalent


Storage/Hard Disk* 256GB 512GB
Wireless 802.11b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 802.11/b/g/n/ac/, Bluetooth 4.2
Operating system Latest version or see Software Requirements for details Latest version or see Software Requirements for details
Ports required USB, Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack USB, Headphone and Microphone Jack or Combo Jack
Display port HDMI 1.4 HDMI 1.4
Screen size 13” or up, (recommend 15.6") 13” or up, (recommend 15.6")

*Attending Classes requires at least 100GB of hard drive storage space available for use.

A headset with noise cancellation technology is recommended, Speaker and Microphone also work. Installing a HD webcam is also recommended.

Computer Software Requirements


Software for Desktop Systems

Software for Mobile Devices

Operating Systems
Windows 10, 11
MacOS® 11, 12

Internet Browser
Chrome: 64 bit is Certified and the preferred browser to use
Safari or Chrome: 32 bit are Compatible and work 

Operating Systems
IOs or Android - latest version

Internet Browser
Safari on IOS devices, Chrome on Android Devices

Other Apps used on mobile devices:
Safari® 11 and Safari® 12: Certified

AntiVirus/Anti Malware - All computers should have an Antivirus or Anti malware program running the latest version and being automatically updated regularly.  

Use of Chromebooks, Ipads or Android tablets for basic word, email and excel will work but are restricted in applications and our ability to provide support therefore not recommended at this time.

Other Software and Plugins
Moodle: Moodle is an acronym for "Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment." It is an online educational platform that provides custom learning environments for students. Educators can use Moodle to create lessons, manage courses, and interact with teachers and students

Collaborate Ultra: Blackboard Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate with the Ultra experience opens right in your browser, so you don't have to install any software to join a session.

Office 365: Office 365 Education is a collection of services that allows you to collaborate and share your schoolwork. NLC students use Office 365 to logon for online class. Microsoft Office 365 student edition is available online and to download for all students registered in a College program.

Chrome: is an open source program for accessing the World Wide Web and running Web-based applications.

Internet Connection Requirements


NLC recommends high speed, consistent connection with at least 1 Mega Bits per second (Mbps) (required),  greater than 5 Mbps is recommended for a smooth online experience. This connection should be dedicated to your online use only if possible. See guide for Wifi Connection Tips for more information.

A high speed connection with wired internet connectivity (Fibre Optic, Cable) is preferred for Optimum Online Audio and Video experience. Stable Internet access is required, Wireless ISP connections need a strong signal strength  and can be problematic in areas. Dial-up connections are not supported as they will not allow for a good user experience. Poor connection speeds slow screen updates, may distort the sound and cause drops in connections.

Test your connection speed using, Speedtest by Ookla ( or CIRA ( Test your connection multiple times around the time you expect to participate in online courses. Compare your results (averaged) with the chart below as a guideline. The chart gives approximate values only, a number of other factors not listed affect your internet connection quality as well.

Connection Speed Comparison Chart





Speed in Mega Bits per Second (Mbps), the higher this bit count is the better

1 Mbps Download.

0.200Mbps Upload

5 Mbps Download,

1 Mbps Upload

50Mbps Download,

10Mbps Upload

Ping Time in Milli Seconds (ms), The lower this time count is the better

Less than 120ms  

Less than 90ms

Less than 40Ms

Latency – The lower this rating number the better.

Less than 150

Less than 120

Less than 80

Screen shot of a “Better” connection using

Online Class Participant Information


In order to attend online classes, you will be required to have a microphone and speaker or headset. It is recommended you use a good headset that has noise cancellation and is comfortable to use as you will be wearing it for a significant amount of time. A web cam may be required for online testing. See Hardware and Software requirements above.

The college uses Blackboard Collaborate to deliver online classes, to attend classes you will be emailed the pertinent information or you can access a link to the that class through the College’s Learning Management System either D2L-Brightspace or Moodle. To connect into the class you will use your internet browser to connect and log in. No special app installation is required. You should always connect to your session early and test your audio and video. Blackboard App for mobile devices can be downloaded by clicking here: Blackboard App. For more information click here. Tips: Best Practices for Mobile-Friendly Courses. To learn more about Blackboard app before downloading click here.

Note: If you are attending classes from a company network you may need to get your company IT department to adjust the firewall settings for this to work properly. See Blackboard support document link click here.

For more information regarding support click here.

What happens if I forget my Password?


​Strong​ Passwords are your first line of defense!

Create a password that is at least eight characters lo​​ng, is a combination of letters and characters​, and contains at l​​east one uppercase letter and at least one special character – for example AbGr#3​​​​​​​8​​n. Do not use family names, birthdays or common words found in the dictionary. Consider using a mnemonic to help you remember.

How do I scan documents to my email account?


If you have a Xerox copier at your campus, then you will be able to follow these steps:

  • From the Xerox main screen, choose the touch screen option of 'E-Mail'.  Depending on your model of Xerox copier, the screens may be slightly different.
  • Touch the "TO" field then touch the SEARCH function.
  • Type in the first 4 or 5 characters of your name (or the person you are sending this to) then find the name from the search results. Touch the correct name and it will populate the "TO" field.
  • Insert the document into the copier tray (just like photocopying) or lay it on the glass and close the cover, then press START.  The document will be scanned and emailed in a PDF format.
  • Click on the Clear All button on the Xerox copier. This will clear out the name in the "TO" field. 
  • When you return to your computer, your email Inbox should have an email from the Xerox copier. Open the email and the document you scanned will be an PDF attachment. The name of the document will be a computer generated generic name with letters and numbers. The last step is to save and rename this document

How do I log in to my NLC email account?


In order to log into the College’s e-mail system using web access follow these steps. Method 1:  Go to the website “” using Internet Explorer or similar product.  On the main page click MyNLC  On the MyNLC page click the My Mail link  You will see a page with a login section as seen below. Enter your username and password to access your email. Once you are in, you can send, read and edit email messages. Method 2:  Go to the website “” using Internet Explorer or similar product. Hint: Save this as one of your favorites for easy access in the future.  You will see a page with a login section as seen below. Enter your username and password to see the list of courses you have access to (one of which is a tutorial on how to use Moodle). You must log into Moodle at least once before your instructors can register you into other related courses.

"Connection failed" error message when trying to get into Blackboard Collaborate session


There are many causes for a failed connection we will list a few common problems associated with these.

1. Internet connection is unreliable or very slow.
A bad or very slow internet connection will cause pages to not load properly or take a very long time to load. In order to run Collaborate you need a high speed internet connection with ping times less than 150ms, download speeds greater than 700kbps and upload speeds greater than 300kbps. Run some tests to find out what your connection performance is using either of these tools.,,

2. Internet Firewall setting need to be adjusted.
Communication ports used by Blackboard Collaborate to communicate between your PC and the Server are unavailable.
Blackboard Collaborate software uses 3 communication ports to talk to the server for a session to operate normally. The ports are 80, 443, 2187. By default most firewalls allow traffic on these ports but many company's may lock one or more of these ports for security reasons if they are not used for company business. If you are taking a Course using a company internet connection or Computer the ports maybe closed. Please talk to your company's IT team they should be able to help you get access.
Below are links to FAQs on the Blackboard Collaborate support site that contain more detailed information.

Troubleshooting Session Connection Issues:

Common Connection Issues:

One of the typical error messages is shown below.




I cannot connect to a Blackboard Collaborate session


If you are a first time user you will need to install the Blackboard Collaborate launcher application on your computer otherwise your computer won't know how to handle the session file as it has a .collab extension. Install the launcher app first then try the connection link again.

NOTE: Some companies do not allow staff to install software. So if you cannot install the launcher application please talk to your IT department and get permission to install the application or have them install the app as an administrator under your computer profile. The app has to be installed in your profile on the computer not the administrators.

1: Verify the link is correct. Contact your instructor or Northern Lakes College.

2: Try connecting from home on your own computer if you have a good Internet connection. Typically the security is less stringent and you have full access on your own computer.