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Which Plug-Ins Are Required to Run Courseware Activities?


NOTE: This article applies to Courseware activities only and applies to older courses and titles created prior to 2014. All current versions of courses do not require plug-ins.

To run Courseware activities, workstations must have the required plug-ins installed. In order to use the system and run activities properly you must install all the required plug-ins.

When plug-ins are not installed you may experience several issues. Some of the most common are listed here:

  • Unable to load Shockwave lessons on Windows 7; you are stuck at loading page
  • Mastery tests hang on spinning "Loading" wheel in Essential Reading Skills (reinstall Flash)
  • New windows does not open, window display incompletely; unable to reposition window for certain admin functions (reinstall plug-ins)
  • Student cannot log in or lesson fails to launch
  • You log in and are given a message that says your plug-ins are not loaded
  • ERROR:  "Missing Java or .jnlp file" trying to launch the Tracker Tool (download Java)
  • Red X in corner when trying to launch Shockwave lessons on Windows 7

Note: Plug-ins need to be installed individually; there is no all-in-one EXE or MSI file that will install all the plug-ins at once.


Installing plug-ins to run Courseware lessons:

Summary of plug-ins:

  • Adobe Flash Player: Required to run custom courses created to include older Plato Titles or assessment material (Please see the following article for our timeline on updating Flash Content: HTML5 and Flash Content)
  • Adobe Shockwave Player: Only in older customized content
  • Adobe Reader: Required to view PDF documents such as reports
  • Java: Required to run many applications and to view external third-party Web sites. To enable Java in your browser  click here 

    NOTE: Apple supplies their own version of Java. (For MacOS Users: Use the Software Update feature (available on the Apple menu) to check that you have the most up-to-date version of Java for your Mac.)

Detailed instructions for installing plug-ins to a single workstation (these apply to both Windows and Mac OS X workstations):

  1. In the instructions that follow, clicking on the underlined links will take you to the location where you can download and run the installation of the various plug-ins.
  2. If you have multiple computers to be used to run Courseware activities, it is recommended that you install the plug-ins on all of them ahead of time, so that Learners can log on and access learning activities right away. 
  3. If you are installing plug-ins on a Windows workstation, log in as a local workstation administrator so that you have sufficient permissions.
  4. Install the latest version of Adobe Reader to view Portable Document Format (PDF) files, including many offline activities used in Courseware lessons, reports, learner guides, teacher and curriculum guides. Install the Adobe Flash Player to be able to use the management system  learner menu, teacher and administrative functions, and most Courseware lessons.
  5. Customized content built from the following titles will require you to download and install Adobe Shockwave Player:
  • Basic Skills for the Real World
  • Beginning Reading for the Real World (including Skills Inventory)
  • Job Skills for the Real World
  • Math Expeditions (including Skills Inventory)
  • Projects for the Real World

    For more information regarding the end of Flash support reference the Adobe Website here:

If users encounter difficulty downloading or installing plug-ins, try the following:

 •  Check the rights on Windows® workstations. Windows® users must have administrative privileges to the local workstation or be set up as power users in order to install plug-ins. Check with the local network administrator for further assistance.

•  If a proxy server is present on the network, check setting that may require anonymous authentication to allow plug-ins to be installed. Once the plug-ins are downloaded, anonymous authentication can be disabled. Check with the local network administrator for further assistance.

•  Check desktop security programs or forced Group Policies that may be limiting access to the workstation operating systems. Check with the local network administrator for further assistance.


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