Remote Working and Learning - Troubleshooting Common Technical Issues

This document provides technical troubleshooting for common issues with network access, computer A/V functions, and online site access.

Get the help you need

Need help participating in your courses? Your instructor is your best resource.

Need help with a technical issue? The DoIT Help Desk stands at the ready via phone, email or chat.

Need a disability-related accommodation? Contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center for assistance.


A reliable, high-speed internet connection is required for remote learning. Students are expected to work in Canvas and check email daily, and will need regular and reliable access to the internet.

A common problem encountered during video conferences or webinars while working remotely is a poor network connection or a lack of bandwidth. Four indications of this include: freezing the video, failing to screen-share, a long delay, or choppy audio. 


Note: Please contact your instructor as soon as possible if your internet bandwidth is restricting your access to course materials and class participation.


  • Run a speed test using to confirm your upload and download speeds. 
  • Confirm and refresh IP/DNS Settings using: Wireless UWNet - Unable to Connect. While this page is designed to troubleshoot UWNet connections, the steps will generally apply to any wireless network connection.
  • Power cycle both your internet modem and wireless router by unplugging both devices from their power source for 30 seconds.
  • Try to remain as physically close to the wireless access point as possible to maintain a strong signal. Alternatively, use an ethernet cable to directly connect your device to the wireless router
  • Ensure your wireless router is running the most up-to-date firmware available. Instructions to check your router's firmware can be found in the device's user manual, or you can contact the manufacturer for assistance.
  • Confirm that your ISP does not have any outages and use the troubleshooting guides below:



  • Mac computers must be running at least OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard). 
  • Windows PCs must be running Windows 8 or 10. Users on Windows 10 will have to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
  • Please see the Basic Computer Hardware Guide for more information.


  • Make sure operating system is up to date 
  • Make sure the computer is being used on an appropriate surface so it doesn't overheat (for example, not being used on a bed or blanket)
  • Double check the computer is plugged in and the battery is charging.
  • Turn the computer on and off again 
For repair concerns directly impacting academic instruction and learning throughout the University's closure, please contact the DoIT Help Desk.

Webcam and Microphone

Audio/Visual equipment is essential for conferencing systems such as Webex or Blackboard Collaborate, and troubleshooting issues can differ depending on if the tools are built into your computer or not. 


  • Webcam: Most laptops have a built-in webcam that will work fine. External webcams may be purchased separately.
  • Microphone: Most laptops have a built-in microphone that will work fine. You can use a headset or earbuds that have a microphone, or you will have an option to call into remote meetings using a phone.
  • Please see the Cable Connection Guide for more information.


 If not using additional peripherals:
  • Make sure the computer has a mic/webcam to use. Most laptops will have them, but desktops usually don't.
  • Check the computer settings to make sure the camera and sound settings are correct. For the mic, check input sensitivity as too low or too high could cause issues. 
  • Restart the computer.
  • For Windows, check the drivers to see if they are installed and updated
  • For Mac, make sure your operating system is updated
If using peripherals (such as a headset or external camera):
  • Check the computer settings to make sure the camera and sound settings are using the correct source. If there are multiple devices plugged in, there's a chance for example that a webcam also has a built in mic and settings are defaulting to that input and not the one intended. Also for mics, check input sensitivity as too low or too high could cause issues. 
  • Check the settings in the application to make sure the application is using the correct peripherals. Also check to see if anything is muted in either the application or computer settings. 
  • Check the sound as it can reset for peripherals back down to 0 when plugged in
  • If using a headset/mic, there may be physical buttons on the device that also mute either sound or mic input, or have sound control. This will vary by device. 
  • Unplug the peripheral/s and plug them back in
  • Try another port on the computer if available
  • Restart the application 

More Troubleshooting Resources

For Windows:
For Mac:

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra



Using Blackboard Collaborate with Canvas

Adding the Blackboard Collaborate tab in Canvas:
  • In the Canvas Course Settings, go to the Navigation tab, and drag the BbC app to the top (visible) section. Alternatively, click the three dots and click "Enable".
If there's a spinning wheel or blank BbC page in Canvas:


Many professors have transitioned towards posting lectures, discussions, or other learning material in video form for their students using tools such as Canvas and Kaltura. If you are unable to access important or time-sensitive content after performing some troubleshooting steps, please remember to contact your instructor, then contact the DoIT Help Desk for further support with using learning tools.


  • Most tools are designed to function properly on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari web browsers. 
  • Be sure that you are using the most updated version of your preferred browser.


The first two steps to take when experiencing browser issues (pages not loading, not able to access certain content, etc.) is to clear cache and cookies, then attempt to access the page in a private browsing window.If you are still unable to see a video or other content, here is some troubleshooting documentation for common browsers:
ChromeSafariFirefoxEdge or IE

See Also:

Keywords:system requirements remotely clear cache cookies browser chrome safari "internet explorer" IE firefox mozilla operating system windows mac macos apple periperhal OS 10 7 8 "mac os" Work home learn vpn wiscvpn internet access desktop telecommuting telecommute working e-commuting e-work telework working from home (WFH) working at home (WAH) computer troubleshoot speed bandwidth repair webcam camera microphone settings cam mic headset headphones audio visual video sound input output bbc blackboard canvas add app enable not loading spinning web conferencing conference kaltura missing driver hdmi realtek   Doc ID:99304
Owner:Dana G.Group:DoIT Help Desk
Created:2020-03-23 15:41 CDTUpdated:2020-07-15 12:52 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk
Feedback:  0   1