eLearning Portal Known Issues
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What computer hardware do I need to access the eLearning Portal?

The eLearning Portal is a browser, or web based application and so you should be able to access it from any computer with internet access and web browser software installed. However, the use of some features may depend on third party software or plug-ins on your computer and these may have certain hardware requirements. Please refer to the section What additional software may I need in order to access all features of the eLearning Portal? below for further information.

Which web browsers can I use to access the eLearning Portal?

A web browser is a piece of software which allows computers to view web pages and web based systems such as the eLearning Portal.

The Technology Enhanced Learning team endeavour to make sure that all of the most common web browsers will be fully compatible with the eLearning Portal, but due to the rapid pace of technology we cannot always ensure compatibility with the latest browsers, or backwards compatibility with very old browsers.

Northumbria University's preferred web browser is Microsoft Internet Explorer 9. If you have any problems accessing the eLearning Portal using a different web browser we recommend that you switch to Internet Explorer 9.

As far as possible we try to fully support the following web browsers:

Chrome and Opera: Google Chrome and Opera should be compatible with most features of the eLearning Portal but we do not test these browsers, although we will try to support you if you have problems accessing the eLearning Portal with them.

What additional software may I need in order to access all features of the eLearning Portal?


In order to use the eLearning Portal's Collaboration Tools (Virtual Classroom) you will need to have the Java plug-in installed on your computer. This is not the same as Javascript, it is a separate piece of software which needs to be installed. Java is compatible with most web browsers and is available for both Windows computers and Apple Mac's from - http://www.java.com/en/download/index.jsp.

Office Software

Many tutors will post Microsoft Office documents on to their eLearning Portal courses. If you do not have a copy of Microsoft Office installed on your computer there are a number of ways you can still access these files:

PDF Viewer

Many tutors will add PDF documents to their eLearning Portal courses. You will need Adobe Reader software to view these files. Adobe Reader is available to download, free of charge, from this website - http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/. Note that Mac OSX since version 10.3 (Panther) has included an application called Preview which can open PDF files.

Media Players

Some tutors may post audio and video files on their eLearning Portal courses, to open these files you may need to have the following media players installed on your computer:

All of these media players are free to download.

Is there anything else I need to access the eLearning Portal?

In order to log in to the eLearning Portal you will need your computer username and password as supplied from IT Services. If you have any problems with your computer username or password, please contact the IT Helpline on 0191 227 4242 (Free Phone: 0800 923 4242), or email it.helpline@northumbria.ac.uk

Student Note: The difference between your computer username and your student registration number is that the computer username begins with a letter, and this is the one you need to access the university's IT systems, including the eLearning Portal.

What can I do if I am still unable to access the eLearning Portal on my personal computer?

Northumbria University's IT Helpline and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team will do everything possible to help you access the eLearning Portal from your personal computer using your preferred web browser, but if you continue to have problems you can access the eLearning Portal through Simply Web. If you need help to access Simply Web, again our IT Helpline are here to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The IT Helpline can be contacted on 0191 227 4242 (Free Phone: 0800 923 4242), or by sending an email to it.helpline@northumbria.ac.uk. Please see the IT Helpline's web page for further information and full contact details - http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/central/its/about/helpline/


Neither Northumbria University nor the Technology Enhanced Learning team can accept any responsibility for any damage or data loss to your personal computer should you install or attempt to install any of the software listed in this document. We will always, however, attempt to help you access anything on the eLearning Portal or with any IT problems which you may experience. If you require any assistance please contact us through the IT Helpline.

Remember to always save and back up your work.