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Online Learning/Technology

Hardware/Software Requirements

Component Requirements
Operating System (Windows) Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, or Vista
Operating System (Macintosh) OS 9 or OS X
Internet Internet connection via Internet service provider (MSN, Charter, Earthlink, NetZero, etc.)
56Kbps modem, DSL, or cable
Browser Internet Explorer 5.0 through 6 with Service Pack 1, or
Netscape Navigator v4.7 through v7.02, or
Mozilla v1.0 through v1.2

JavaScript-enabled
Cookies-enabled
Browser Plug-ins Java
Adobe Acrobat
RealOne Player
Flash Player
E-mail You must have the ability to check e-mail from your computer.
Office Suites (Windows) Microsoft Office 97, 2000, 2003, or 2007
(These normally include at least Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Computer science courses require versions containing Access as well.)
Office Suites (Macintosh) Microsoft Office:mac, v.X
(These normally include at least Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Computer science courses require versions containing Access as well.)
Multimedia Monitor capable of 800 x 600 resolution
Sound card and speakers/headphones
CD drive, DVD drive, or CD-RW drive

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A Crucial Word about working in Desire2Learn (D2L)

For security reasons, Web access to courses in D2L is automatically terminated after 2 hours of inactivity (no movement from page to page).

This means that if you access your course, start typing (a reply to a discussion, for example), and then leave your computer for 2 hours or more, for whatever reason, and then return, your access will have been terminated and you will lose whatever text you previously typed.

We generally recommend that users first type any replies longer than a sentence or two, especially for quizzes or exams, in a text editor (Word, WordPerfect, WordPad, NotePad, etc.), and then copy and paste them into the appropriate box in the course. This will greatly reduce the loss of text due to automatic termination, as well as to crashing browsers, power outages, etc.

Many users have found it useful to save the text editor pages in a file on their machines, in order to have another copy in the event any documents are lost in their courses.

A Word about Corporate and Personal Firewalls

Many corporations and individuals have installed firewalls to protect the computers on their networks. Firewalls can serve two purposes:

  1. Prevent unwanted intrusion of the network (e.g., from hackers, viruses).
  2. Control unwanted traffic to unapproved sites.

If you are at work and you encounter a firewall-related error message, or have problems accessing restricted resources, you may need to contact your corporate IT group for assistance.

If you are using your personal computer, and have installed and/or activated firewall or security software, you will need to make sure that the course sites are not blocked, and that ports 80 (standard Web port) and 443 (secure sockets port) are open to your Web browser. Information on how to check this should be in the documentation provided with the software involved.

A Word about Viruses

A computer virus is a small program that attaches itself to e-mails, images, documents, and other programs. When an infected file is opened or executed, the computer virus is activated. Computer viruses can send themselves to people in your e-mail address book, collect and send personal information, damage files and programs on your computer, or completely erase your hard drive.

As more and more people use the Internet, the likelihood that a computer virus will infect your computer increases. If you don't already have one, we strongly advise you to purchase an anti-virus program. If you have an anti-virus program installed, it is very important to update the virus definitions frequently in order to provide yourself with the best protection available.

Desire2Learn (D2L) FAQ

(D2L is the software used to present all current online courses in which UWLI is involved.)

Q. Is there a sample course that I can view?

A. Yes. Please visit the View an Online Course page on our Web site.

Q. Is there a way to determine if my computer setup will work for D2L courses?

A. Yes. Please visit the System Check page on our Web site.

Q. I am getting an error message when I log into my course. What is causing this?

A. There are two error messages that students typically receive when logging into their courses:

  1. Invalid User Name/Password

    This error is usually a result of logging in before the course access date (courses are opened one week prior to course start date), using a one or zero instead of the letters "l" or "o" (or vice versa), or using an incorrect Web address. Your welcome letter contains all the information needed to log into your course.

  2. Unable to Open File

    This error usually occurs because a student has a message waiting on their pager (upper-right corner of D2L) and their media player is not correctly set up to play the sound for the pager. To correct this problem, students will need to set up Windows Media Player or RealOne player to play WAV files. Alternatively, students can turn the pager sounds off in D2L by doing the following:
    • Click the My Preferences link in the Welcome box.
    • Click the Pager tab of the Preferences window.
    • Select the Off option for the Pager Notifier.
    • Click the Save button.

If you still cannot get into your course after double-checking your welcome letter, or you need assistance with setting up your media player, please contact Technical Support (1-877-724-7883).

Q. When I attempt to view the course content, the pages are blank.

A. If you are using a dial-up modem connection, the page may not have completely loaded yet. Please give the page a reasonable amount of time to load.

If the page still does not load, your firewall or Internet browser security settings may be too strict. To determine if the problem is a firewall issue, temporarily disable your firewall and refresh the page. If the page appears correctly, you will need to configure your firewall to allow traffic from the Desire2Learn Web site.

If the page still does not appear, or you do not have a firewall, you will need to loosen your browser security settings. Please contact Technical Support (1-877-724-7883) for assistance with your browser security configurations.

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