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Online Computer Requirements

Online Computer Requirements

  • PC Laptop, Notebook, or Desktop computer*
  • CD or DVD Player (some courses)
  • Sound Card and Speakers
  • Microphone/Speaker Headset (required in courses that have live or Internet presentation requirements)
  • Fax machine or scanner may be required in some courses
  • A computer video camera – webcam (an inexpensive computer mounted camera will be sufficient) – required for all exams
  • Ethernet cord (this is recommended for laptops during exams to connect the laptop to the modem)
  • Microsoft Windows (Vista not recommended at this time)
  • Microsoft Office (containing Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
  • Acrobat Reader (free download)
  • Microsoft Media Player (download player)
  • Some courses will require additional software downloads during the course, these downloads may include a proctoring service access to your computer, interactive communication software, etc.
  • Java Script (can download from
  • Student version of SPSS 18.0 or 19.0 for WINDOWS (for PHC 6050). The most affordable way to use SPSS is by renting it for a semester via several online companies.
  • Recommend: McAfee AntiVirus (free to UF students at
  • Internet Access
  • Browser service via Internet Explorer (e) 8.0 or higher, or Firefox – eLearning may not function properly in some Internet browsers, check the browser recommendations via the Student Tutorial link at the eLearning site
  • Broadband Strongly Recommended, some course materials will not display properly on slower Internet services
  • Most have administration permissions on computers when taking exams
  • E-mail Address
  • Gatorlink account
  • UF ID number
* It is recommended that you work from a computer where you have permission to perform software and/or browser downloads as needed to complete these courses.

The online public health courses will transmit materials to the student in a format that can be processed by the listed software. The student must transmit materials to the instructor or college in a format that can be processed by the listed software. The minimum hardware standard is a computer that will run the listed software with reasonable speed.

Internet access and e-mail address are requirements. All students in the Public Health Certificate program are required to create and use a Gatorlink e-mail address as soon as possible for all college-related activity. This Gatorlink e-mail address must not be forwarded to another e-mail provider.

All courses are delivered on Sakai eLearning ( through the University of Florida. The college uses PC compatible tools to create video presentations and interactive content. Sakai was designed to function with a PC and may be difficult to use with a Mac. Some video lectures may not be viewable on a Mac computer.. Some content is incompatible with the Mac and with PC emulators for the Mac. The University of Florida strongly advises students use a PC computer system versus a Macintosh computer system for these courses.

iPADs and iPHONEs
Some features in the eLearning environment will work in the Apple iPad and iPhone, but due to these systems blockage of Java, Flash, and other files, students cannot rely solely on these devices for online course work.

It is recommended that you conduct your course in Internet Explorer or Firefox. In addition, this platform does not operate very efficiently within AOL due to AOL’s pop-up blocker nature. We suggest that you use another Internet provider to complete your course work. For exams you will be required to use the online proctoring service offered through ProctorU. This will be the only means by which students may access and take the exams within the online courses in this program. NOTE TO AOL USERS: If you use America Online (AOL) for Web access, you must first access the Internet with AOL, minimize the AOL browser, and then use one of the preferred browsers noted above.


Pop-up blockers on your computer must be disabled to allow Sakai eLearning to operate correctly.
~If you use Internet Explorer, here is a website to explain how to disable your pop-up blocker:
~If you use another browser, check out their help sections for browser settings.

To operate within eLearning you must have your browser set to accept “cookies.” In order to check your computer for this ability here is a website that explains this process in easy steps for most browsers:

Your computer must also have current JavaScript. When you log onto Sakai at the site, it has a built in Java checker that will notify you if your version is working or current enough, and where to go to update it.

The UF College of Public Health and Health Professions provides technical assistance for viewing lecture and accessing online course content in Sakai eLearning. Send an e-mail to or call 352-273-5822. Additional help resources are available on our Frequently Asked Questions web page or via the UF Help Desk at 352-392-HELP or

To get a Gatorlink account, log onto the Gatorlink website at and follow the directions on the site. If you need further assistance with setting up or you have problems with your Gatorlink account, call the UF Computing Help Desk at 352-392-HELP.

Sakai eLearning is the virtual classroom for all Certificate courses. Here are some tips for saving information from Sakai that you may want to keep:

  • You can save files (such as Adobe PDF files, MS Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations) by right-clicking these items and saving them to your desktop
  • You can print out your gradebook pages
  • You can copy and paste discussion board postings or announcements from Sakai into MS Word documents – or print them out

It is recommended that you log onto Sakai eLearning as soon as you can and thoroughly explore the homepage for the course(s) in which you are registered. There are tutorials posted in the eLearning site and every course has a folder with helpful information. Note: courses do not open until the first day of the semester.

The University of Florida’s official computer policy can be found at

McAfee AntiVirus
This program is available for free via the Internet at . You can use a different program of equal quality such as Norton if you already have it. You must keep your virus definitions up to date.

A broadband Internet connection, defined as Cable Modem, DSL, or Satellite of at least 256 Kilobits/second, is recommended for all students participating in a distance online course. You can search for a suitable service provider on the following lists.
Dell Premier Discounts
Dell offers special benefits to UF students, faculty and staff. This is not an endorsement of a particular brand of computer; it is simply a courtesy link.

Special Note about computers
Students enrolled in an online public health program are not required to purchase or use a portable computer. A desktop computer may be used for our program. Students may find a portable (laptop or notebook) computer with a wireless network card helpful. However, it is not required. Students may complete online course work on a public computer, such as at a library or work, but be sure to save any of your work on a removable storage device (CD, floppy or stick), and ALWAYS LOG OUT of Sakai eLearning AND close the Browser screen. If someone were to access your course from a public computer, you are responsible for any material created, sent, or corrupted under these conditions.  Libraries computers may not be able to be used for exams if the student cannot allow for the proctoring system to remote access the computer screen.  Check with your library for guidance.

Technical Support

You may experience technical difficulties from time-to-time when taking an online course. Technical assistance is available from the college and the UF Help Desk. Many students find it helpful to test out various features of their systems during the hours this service is available. When you do need help, here is the list of contacts to use:

  • Problems with coursework: For questions about assignments, the first step is always to check your eLearning course site. Your course web site is the place where you will see announcements, emails, and information from your faculty. Other types of messages at the web site include: Assignments, Announcements, Learning Modules, Calendars, Discussion Boards, and E-mail. E-mailing within eLearning is easy as it contains an internal e-mail system that allows users to send e-mails to other users in the class, and discussion boards for posting questions for your professor or fellow students. Fellow students are often a quicker source of information and may be online and available for chatting. You may e-mail your faculty or the TA (Teaching Assistant) if you need additional information or have questions. Faculty often will set up times to be available online, particularly before exams or major assignments. You may set your preferences in Sakai to send a copy of course emails to your personal email account (you will not be able to respond from this copy, but must go to the course to respond).
  • Difficulties logging onto eLearning: Contact the UF Computing Help Desk at 352-392-HELP, See their website for types of assistance and hours of operation During peak use, you may be asked to leave a message for someone to call you back, so plan accordingly. Please note that your Gatorlink password will need to be updated periodically. UF will send you an email via your UF email (check it at to update this password. An expired password will prevent you from entering the eLearning site.
  • Courses not listed after logging onto eLearning: Follow the following steps:
    1. Verify your registration in the course via ISIS or, all you need is your UF ID#.
    2. If you ARE registered, contact the online advisor, or 352-273-5367, and ask to be added to the course roster for the course at eLearning.
    3. If you find that you are NOT registered, email or call 352-273-5367
  • Need guidance with navigating your way through eLearning within your course: There are tutorials available at the eLearning website  Or you may contact the online coordinator at 352-273-5822 or

Close this screen to return to the Online MPH website or Online Certificate website.