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Getting Started with Your eLearning Center
*MentorU System Site

First Time Here     Browser Configuration     Your Computer     Things to Avoid

Network Managers     Plug-Ins/Players


First Time Here? - Welcome! - Read This First:
  • Make sure you have saved the web address to return to the logon page of your eLearning Center. You can find this clearly displayed on the previous page (the main Support page) and on the Logon page.
  • You may have been pre-assigned a User Name and Password. You may change these at any time using the My Profile page (accessed from the Welcome page). Note: the User Name should normally be a valid email address, else you may not get certain notifications from the eLearning Center. You can also enter a password reminder phrase.
  • Every page in the eLearning Center has a Help link in the upper left corner, on the menu bar. Use this to get an explanation of the functions on any page.
  • Watch for notices in the Messages box at the top of the Welcome Page.
  • Your Manager or Project Leader for the purposes of your eLearning experience is also listed on the My Profile page. They will be able to answer your questions about the eLearning Center. If necessary you may also contact the Help Desk or Systems Administrator or eLearning Center Project Leader listed on the previous page (the main Support Page).
  • If you encounter a problem while using your eLearning Center, you can also reference the Problem Solver Wizard, also located on the previous page (the main Support Page).
  • On the previous page (the main Support Page) use the link to eLearning Center Status to view the systems status page, also save this web address in your browser. If it appears that you cannot access the eLearning Center, then go to this address to see if there is a status message affecting the eLearning Center.
  • IMPORTANT: Certain settings in your browser must be set correctly for proper operations. Please review the following documentation section carefully.

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Web Browser Configuration:
  • You may have installed a utility program that is intended to block web "pop-up" advertising windows, or confiured your browser to do so. In most cases this will function correctly. However, in rare cases if your media does not display, and if you have done this, try disabling that program and/or resetting your browser settings because it may be block your media from playing. Utilities that do this, among others, include: Zone Alarm Pro.
  • Certain browser configuration settings are required for a successful eLearning Center experience. Follow the instructions for your web browser version.
    • Configuration Items:
      1. Scripting must be enabled, also known as JavaScript, or Active Scripting.
      2. The browser must accept Temporary cookies, also known as per-session cookies. These are not saved onto your hard drive.
      3. Internet Explorer should display detailed information about errors [not the friendly messages] (recommemded).
      4. Extra informational Security Notification messages can be turned off (optional). These just tell you when you go in or out of a secured page, such as when we ask for a password.
    • MS Internet Explorer 7
      1. Menu Tools - Internet Options - Security - Custom Level - category Scripting, item Active Scripting, select "Enable".
      2. Menu Tools - Internet Options - Privacy - If you use the slider then any setting of "High" or below will work. Or, if you use the Advanced option, make sure "Always allow session cookies" is selected.
      3. Menu Tools - Internet Options - Advanced - category Browsing, de-select item "Show friendly HTTP error messages".
      4. Menu Tools - Internet Options - Advanced - category Security, de-select item "Warn if changing between secure and not secure mode".
    • MS Internet Explorer 6
      1. Menu Tools - Internet Options - Security - Custom Level - category Scripting, item Active Scripting, select "Enable".
      2. Menu Tools - Internet Options - Privacy - If you use the slider then any setting of "High" or below will work. Or, if you use the Advanced option, make sure "Always allow session cookies" is selected.
      3. Menu Tools - Internet Options - Advanced - category Browsing, de-select item "Show friendly HTTP error messages".
      4. Menu Tools - Internet Options - Advanced - category Security, de-select item "Warn if changing between secure and not secure mode".
    • MS Internet Explorer 5
      1. Menu Tools - Internet Options - Security - Custom Level - category Scripting, item Active Scripting, select "Enable".
      2. Menu Tools - Internet Options - Security - Custom Level - category Cookies, item Allow per-session cookies, select "Enable".
      3. Menu Tools - Internet Options - Advanced - category Browsing, de-select item "Show friendly HTTP error messages".
      4. Menu Tools - Internet Options - Advanced - category Security, de-select item "Warn if changing between secure and not secure mode".
    • FireFox 2
      1. Menu Tools - Options - category Content, select Enable JavaScript.
      2. Menu Tools - Options - category Privacy, select Accept Cookies.
      3. not applicable
      4. Menu Toos - Options - category Security, item Warning Messages, de-select most if not all.
    • Netscape 7 or Mozilla 1 (FireFox 1)
      1. Menu Edit - Preferences - category Advanced, item Scripts & Plugins, select "Enable JavaScript for Navigator" also "Open unrequested windows".
      2. Menu Edit - Preferences - category Privacy & Security, item Cookies, select any option other than "Disable cookies".
      3. not applicable
      4. Menu Edit - Preferences - category Privacy & Security, item SSL, de-select anything under "SSL Warnings".
    • Remember to click OK to save your selections.
  • IMPORTANT: You will need certain multimedia plug-ins/players/viewers to work along with your browser to watch media presentations and view optional downloadable lesson materials. Your specific requirements depend on the selection of media available in your eLearning Center, and we provide you a web link for each plug-in as required. For reference we provide a complete list of plug-ins in the documentation below, but please note you will Not need all of these!

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Your Computer System Considerations:
  • Browser Version: FireFox 1.0 or greater; Internet Explorer 6.0 or greater; Netscape 7.0 or greater; Mozilla 1.0 or greater.
  • Screen Resolution: Minimum 800 x 600 for best results. Higher resolution will work also.
  • Internet Connection: Most lessons with audio will be satisfactory using a 33.3Kbps modem connection. Some media will detect a high speed connection (DSL or cable modem) and automatically send higher quality content. Some content will offer you a choice of playback formats where you can pick the one most suitable for your connection speed. If you have any questions, contact your Systems Administrator.
  • Hardware Requirements: In general any computer purchased within the last several years should work fine. In particular, most lessons have audio content thus you need a sound card and either speakers or headphones - be sure to check this in office environments which may sometimes lack these. The eLearning Center does not use space on your hard drive, except for any lesson materials you may download.
  • You may need access to a printer for any downloadable supplemental materials.

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Things to Avoid:
  • Do not use File - New - Window to open another browser window and try to look at two different pages at the same time. This will cause unexpected results.
  • Do not log on to the eLearning Center a second time on another computer, this will simply disconnect you from the first computer.
  • Do not try to save a web address from within the eLearning Center, and directly jump to it at a later time, in general this will not work as we track your logon status, always come back through the Log On page.
  • Avoid the browser's Back and Forward buttons, and use our navigation links. Each and every page is customized for you each time you view it, and sometimes your browser may not display the most current page to you if you use those buttons.

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For Network Managers:
  • At the risk of being too obvious, all office computers intended for eLearning Centers need Internet access.
  • Review documentation sections above "Web Browser Configuration" and "Your Computer System Considerations" for necessary operating parameters. NOTE: Users accessing the eLearning Center from home will need their home computers configured similarly.
  • Internet access is needed to domain www.mentoru.com, which includes all eLearning Center web pages, graphics, most media, and downloadable supplemental materials.
  • The eLearning Center Status Page is on a separate server and provides notices of any system downtime. This should be accessible to all students. The address is http://www.ebroadcastcenterstatus.com/
  • Some eLearning Centers may utilize an external testing service. This Learning Center currently has no external test servers defined.
  • Internet Protocols Used in the eLearning Center:
    1. TCP Port 80 - HTTP standard web access.
    2. TCP Port 443 - for certain SSL secured pages.
    3. TCP Port 554 - RTSP preferred port used by Real Player, if you have courseware using that format.
    4. TCP Port 7070 - PNM used by Real Player for compatibility with older Real Player clients.
    5. TCP Port 1755 - MMS preferred port used by MS Windows Media player, if you have media content using that format.
  • Firewall/Proxy/Cache Server Configuration:
    1. See above for list of necessary domains and ports, depending on your available media.
    2. See below for domains used to install plug-ins, depending on your available content.
    3. Graphics, documents (lesson materials typically .pdf or .doc), and most media files (e.g. Flash .swf, Quicktime .mov, plain .html) can be cached, as long as the server checks for updated versions periodically.
    4. Almost every web page in the Learning Center is scripted (.asp, .aspx) and customized for each client, and reflects system status that can change on each page request. Consequently these must never be cached. Additionally we set HTTP page header information on all such pages as follows:
      • "Expires" = -1
      • "cache-control" = "private, no-store, must-revalidate"
      • "pragma" = "no-cache"
  • Students may need access to a printer for supplemental materials.
  • In an office environment, headphones may be a good alternative to speakers.
  • MentorU has a facility for bulk-loading students into the database if you can provide a list with appropriate information. Contact MentorU if you would like to discuss this further.
  • If your organization will be the owner of the eLearning Center, we have a detailed document available for setting up custom graphics images and color selections. A web graphics professional can provide us the necessary files and parameters very quickly so we can get your eLearning Center operational.
  • Most media utilize a multimedia plug-in/player. Some downloadable supplemental materials may need a plug-in/viewer. Your exact requirements will depend on the specific content selected by your organization. We provide page links for the users so they can install plug-ins as necessary. The full range of possible plug-ins is shown in the following documentation section for reference.

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Courseware Plug-Ins/Players:

The multimedia content will typically require a plug-in or player application to help the browser present the content. Also, the presentations may have supplemental materials available to download, and depending on the format and what software the user has installed on their machine (in the office, or at home), they may need a viewer for those documents.

The following is a list of all the media types that potentially could be used. But remember your eLearning Center and your content will not need all of these, so do not rush to install all of them! Each time the eLearning Center presents either media content or a Document, we will also identify the medium type and provide a link to a viewer if needed.

Adobe AcrobatAdobe AcrobatAcrobat Reader
http://www.adobe.com/
Learn2 PlayerLearn2 PlayerLearn2 player for ITI and other courseware
http://www.tutorials.com/
Macromedia FlashMacromedia FlashFlash Player
http://www.adobe.com/
PowerPoint Slide ShowPowerPoint Slide ShowPower Point Viewer
http://office.microsoft.com/
Quicktime MovieQuicktime MovieQuicktime Player
http://www.apple.com/
Real AudioReal AudioReal Media Player
http://www.real.com/
Real SlideshowReal SlideshowReal Media Player
http://www.real.com/
Real VideoReal VideoReal Media Player
http://www.real.com/
Windows MediaWindows MediaWindows Media Player
http://www.microsoft.com/
Word DocumentWord DocumentWord Document Viewer
http://office.microsoft.com/
Zip Compressed FileZip Compressed FileUncompress Zip File
http://pkware.com/

Note: non-MS Windows users may have to search the referenced web site for the appropriate player download.


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