Human Resources

Universal Technical Requirements for Participation in SHRM Online Courses

PC Platform:

  • Operating system: Windows 7, XP (service Pack 2) or Vista
  • Processor: Pentium 4, 2.33 gigahertz (GHz) or better
  • RAM: 512 MB or greater
  • Free hard disk space: 200 MB required
  • Audio: 16 bit sound card and speakers or headphones
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better, OR ATI Radeon 9500 or better, OR Intel 945 chipset
  • Software: Internet Explorer 7.0 , Firefox 3.6 (or higher), Google Chrome, Acrobat Reader, Flash Plugin (10.1 or better)

Platform: Macintosh

  • Operating system: OS X version 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7.2 or better (Intel); Mac OSX 10.4 (PowerPC)
  • Processor: 500 MHz PowerPC or faster; GHz Intel Core Duo or faster
  • RAM: 512 MB or greater
  • Free hard disk space: 200 MB
  • Video: ATI Radeon 9200 and above, OR ATI Radeon X Series, OR NVIDIA GeForce 2, GeForce 4, OR NVIDIA GeForce 5000 Series and above
  • Software: Safari 4 or 5, Firefox 3 or better, Google Chrome, Acrobat Reader, Flash Plugin (10.1 or better)

Supportive Systems
This program has been designed with strong focus on providing a highly interactive, engaging experience with the flexibility of online courses. You will use three primary support technologies to manage your activities, interactions, and learning: Blackboard, the SHRM Learning System and Adobe Connect. Each of these technologies has a specific role to play in this program. It is important not to be overwhelmed by these systems. We will introduce them carefully and technical support will be available to ensure all students have a quality experience.

Systems Logins
You will receive usernames and passwords for both the Blackboard and SHRM Learning System. You will be required to change your Blackboard password, but your SHRM Learning System password will remain the same. You will not need a username and password for the Adobe Connect system. If you have any problems with your IDs and passwords, you can email Barbara Coulter at

Blackboard is NIU’s learning management system (LMS). You will use Blackboard to view announcements and assignment guides, participate on discussion boards, review audio slideshows, launch the Adobe Connect meeting, and access grade information. Your Blackboard password is temporary. Prior to accessing Blackboard, you will need to change your password. Once you have set your security questions and changed your password, you can log into Blackboard with your Blackboard username and new password.

SHRM Website
As part of this course, you will use the SHRM Learning System to access supplemental online study aids and activities that will help you prepare for the certification exams.  Features include pre and post tests, e-flashcards, a glossary of key terms, and a resource center. You will log into the SHRM Learning System with the username and password that was provided to you.

Adobe Connect
As part of this course, you will participate in real-time web-based meetings via Adobe Connect.  Adobe Connect will allow you to see and hear your instructor, communicate via chat with your instructor and your classmates, collectively view materials, ask questions, and share documents. You will launch the Adobe Connect meetings by simply clicking a link in Blackboard at the time the meeting is scheduled and logging in as a Guest.

You must have a USB headset to participate in the Adobe Connect sessions. If you do not already have one, you must purchase one. Any quality USB headset/microphone will work fine. 

Getting Ready

After you register for the course, you will be sent an NIU username  and initial password for Blackboard, and a username and password for the SHRM Learning System website.

You will also be invited to schedule a one-on-one technical support session during which our support staff will assist you with technical issues related to your participation in this course. Topics covered during this session include the following:

  • Logging into Blackboard
  • Changing your NIU password
  • Accessing Adobe Connect
  • Installing and using your USB headset (see technical requirements for examples)

BEFORE the first day of class, please make sure:

  • Your computer meets the technical requirements (see above)
  • Your USB headset microphone is installed and functioning properly (this is REQUIRED to participate in the course)
  • Your one-on-one technical support session is scheduled (an email invitation will be sent to you)

If you are unable to schedule a technical support session, you can make sure you’re ready to go by completing the following steps:

  1. Log into Blackboard at to test your ID and password.
  2. Log out of Blackboard.
  3. Change your password by going to and selecting the “Change Your Password” link. Follow the on-screen instructions to create a new secure password.
  4. Check your computer’s readiness for Adobe Connect by clicking
    • Install any plugins required by this readiness check.
  5. Log into the SHRM Learning System at with your SHRM username and the group password you were assigned (NOT your NIU password).