Tips for using the course materials for Ecology

Access codes for course materials To access the course material - when prompted

Enter your UI NetID and VandalWeb password

Blackboard course system: Issues related to logging in

Please be sure to check the following:

NetID: Use your official University of Idaho NetID (username) that is composed of 4 letters and 4 numbers (the first part of your UI address, before the @ symbol): Do not use the ad\ prefix before your username

Password: Your VandalWeb password.

Verify that the following programs are not blocking your log in:

Norton Security, including firewall settings

Pop-up blockers in Internet Explorer (or other internet browsers you use), Google and/or Yahoo tool bars

You have the correct version of JAVA installed (the Blackboard system can check this)

Also, you can consult the Student Help on the Blackboard page.

Please contact the UI Help Desk (208-885-4357 | for additional assistance regarding log in problems. If you email the UI Help Desk, please be sure to supply a very detailed description of the log in problems you encounter. The staff at the UI Help Desk are very good at diagnosing log in issues and so please do contact them as soon as possible.

Tutorial on setting up your Internet Explorer browser
The interactive lesson does not appear on your screen

If this page (right) is displayed and the interactive lesson is not displayed, then your computer system is blocking the pop-up window in Internet Explorer.

Disable all pop-up blockers in your Internet Explorer browser and secondary programs (e.g., virus security programs). You may be able to set up your system to selectively allow pop-up windows from the course site only.

Clearing the memory cache ("temporary internet files") on your browser, Internet Explorer
  As a matter of normal computer maintenance, delete your temporary internet files from the Temporary Internet Files folder. On the browser menu bar, select

1. Tools
2. Internet Options
3. Select Delete button on General tab
4. Select Temporary Internet Files (a check box)
5. Select Delete
6. Close browser and run the interactive lesson again
(In some cases the Windows will have to restarted)
Internet Explorer browser setup These principal settings must be changed in your browser setup: Security and Privacy.

Summary of setup steps

Be sure to allow "pop up" windows for this course internet site. Your browser can be set to allow this: (1) Tools, (2) Internet options, (3) privacy settings, (4) Settings, (5) add the site address to allowed site. The setting can also be selected at the time the browser prompts you.

The complete site address,, must also be added to "trusted sites" under the "Security" section of your browser setup. Note. Be sure that the box for "https" is not checked before you add the internet address.

The interactive lessons require the following setting. Set (enable) your browser to "Allow websites to open windows without address or status bars." (1) Internet options, (2) Security tab, (2) Custom level button, (3) scroll down to the selection shown above in red text, (4) select "enable." All pop-up blockers must be turned off.

Only use MS Internet Explorer (version 9 or higher) This course Internet site and the interactive course material will only work properly with this browser.

If you use FireFox, Chrome, Safari, Netscape, Opera or another browser, the course material will not display or work properly.

Lessons using JAVA applets or other JAVA programming does not work New computers or new installations of MS Internet Explorer do not include the JAVA engine. You must download and install the JAVA engine separately from Sun Microsystems before your browser will run any lessons or other internet sites that use JAVA.
Check your monitor resolution Set you desktop resolution to at least 1024 X 768 and at least 16-bit color

Right-click on your desktop and click on "properties" to set the resolution

Maximize your browser window Depress the "F11" key on your keyboard to maximize (and to return to previous view) the browser window
Apple computers The interactive course materials will not work on Apple computers. The course materials only work on computer running the MS Windows operating system (versions 8, 7, and Vista)

Although the interactive lessons are not fully compatible with Apple OS computers (some other portions of the lessons may not work properly on Apple OS computers), the incompatibility is mostly related to the audio portion of the interactive lessons. For Apple OS desktop and laptop computers, it may be possible to install a plug-in called Flip4Mac to allow Windows Media files to play.

Technical support for the software I use to create the interactive lessons provides the following tips:

Microsoft recommends the plug-in, "Flip4Mac," which redirects any attempted use of the Windows Media Player (e.g., by Safari on Mac computers) to be answered by the QuickTime player instead.....and it teaches the QuickTime player how to play Windows Media Player audio and video files).

Flip4Mac from: Microsoft | Telestream | Test Flip4Mac after installation


Optimize your browser window space Minimize toolbars, icons, and icon help text. These are configured in your browser settings.
If you have installed a "pop-up" blocker program on your computer Disable the pop-up blocker function or you will not be able to access certain portions of the course material.
Audio problems on lectures Be sure to have the most current version of the RealAudio and MS Windows Media players installed on your computer system.