Introduction to duo for students

Welcome to Durham University! This page introduces you to duo, the University’s online learning system, and provides links to help guides and videos.

Introduction to duo
Help guides and videos specific to Durham
More help guides and videos

Introduction to duo


Help guides and videos specific to Durham

  Accessibility132 students named duo tools as useful for learning - Student Digital Insights survey 2019

  Language settings

  Creating your duo profile

Lecture recordings (Encore)

'duo is very useful' - second year undergrad, Student Digital Insights survey 2019  Submitting assignments via Turnitin

  Submitting assignments via the duo assignment tool

  Submitting a video assignment

  Popular apps for organisation and productivity

More help guides and videos

  Add and format content (how to add text, images, etc. in all of the tools below)

200 students listed Encore as a useful tool for learning  Student Digital Insights survey 2019  Blogs

  Discussion boards


‘the encore recordings on duo help me go back and understand the trickier parts of lectures’  Second-year undergraduate Student Digital Insights survey 2019  Journals

  Tests & surveys


 All Blackboard Help for Students

FAQs for Students

Below are a list of FAQs for Students

Is there a duo guide for students?

The Introduction to duo for students page provides essential guides and videos for Durham students.

How do I login to duo?

Most users should log into duo using their normal CIS username and password*. Currently duo uses the University’s Active Directory servers to establish your identity. This is the same username and password pair that you use to check your email and access restricted web pages at the University.

If you are having trouble logging into duo using your CIS username and password then there are several things you can do:

  1. Check you have the correct username and password by trying another University IT service, e.g. this CIS User Details page.
  2. If you can access that page, but still not duo, then your password may be about to expire – checks in duo are very strict. Try altering your password (to reset the expiry date) using this Change password page.
  3. If you don’t know your password or have forgotten it, then contact the service desk, ring 41515 or call into the Help Desk in the University Library (or Queen’s Campus Library).
  4. Change or reset your password on the Change password page.

Please remember to read the Security Advice page, follow the University Password Policy and read the How to Help Yourself guide.

*Users who are accessing duo using a different type of username and password (e.g. Summer School students or external staff granted temporary access) should contact the lecturers who teach their course or the IT Service Desk for advice.

How do I see the courses on duo linked to the Modules I am studying?

These courses should appear automatically on duo in a box called My Courses.

How does duo know which courses to display? In short, we are fed this information from Student Registry. Before you see your duo courses, you will need to use the Banner Self Service tool to select the modules you are studying this year (unless you are on a programme where they are all compulsory) and your Department needs to approve your choices. Full details of this process are available from the Student Registry website:

Once that happens, your enrolments will appear in the nightly feed of data from Student Registry and you will be enrolled automatically on the corresponding courses on duo. You may also then be enrolled on other related courses, e.g. one for all first year students in your Department or all undergraduates in your Department, based on rules defined by your lecturers and Department.

Note that lecturers prepare and update your courses over the summer, so whilst you may be enrolled on it, you won’t be able to access the course and its content until your lecturers make it available to students.

What happens if I change my Module choices?

Once the record has been updated in the Student Record System, you will be automatically enrolled on the new courses in duo and removed from (or at least hidden on) the old courses. (Your record is actually hidden rather than deleted, so we maintain a record of any work you have already completed as part of the old course). If for any reason this process is slow, your lecturers can enrol you onto the new courses at any time without affecting the automatic feed – it will recognise that you have already been added when the record is updated.

My courses have disappeared from the duo Home page!

If your module sites are not appearing on your duo Home page, this is probably a cache issue. Navigate to a webpage that is NOT duo and try emptying your browser cache:

Internet Explorer: Tools menu > Safety > Delete Browsing Data > Tick at least ‘Temporary Internet files and website files’ and ‘Cookies and website data’ > Click ‘Delete’. Close all Internet Explorer windows.

Firefox: Menu > History > Clear Recent History > Time range: ‘Everything’ > Tick at least ‘Browsing & Download History’ and ‘Offline Web Site Data’ > Click ‘Clear Now’. Close all Firefox windows.

Chrome: Customize and control menu > More tools > Clear browsing data > Tick at least ‘Cached images and files’ > Click ‘Clear browsing data’. Close all Chrome windows.

Safari: Preferences > Privacy > Remove stored cookies and data > Choose at least > Click ‘Remove’. Close all Safari windows.

Other browsers or versions: see

Is there a mobile app for duo?

The new Bb Student app

Yes, students should download the new Bb Student app.
Staff will need to download the Blackboard Instructor app as Bb Student doesn’t work for people enrolled on courses as Instructors.
There are also tablet apps designed for marking – Bb Grader and Turnitin’s iPad app.

See the Bb Student article for more details.

See the Blackboard Instructor article for more details.

How do I find out about the materials I need to read for my modules?

For any module that includes a reading list, a Library Resources link should appear in the duo site menu. This displays a series of links to library items. For items scanned under the CLA agreement, you can download PDF files straight to your computer. For other items, the link takes you to the appropriate Library Catalogue page. From here you can find out how to access the item at the library or online.

Is there an easy way to contact the staff who teach on my courses?

Every duo site should include a Contacts link in the navigation menu. If there are special arrangements for communications on your module, such as discussion boards, the instructor will let you know.

Who should I ask if I can’t find my lecture notes or where to submit an assignment?

If you have any questions about the content of your course, then you should ask your lecturers. They have devised the structure and so are best placed to offer advice. If something isn’t working, e.g. you can’t play a video from your course, it is generally better to contact the lecturers first to ensure that the problem is resolved for everyone.

If you are having problems submitting work close to the deadline, it is very important that you inform staff in your department without delay.

What is Turnitin and how do I use it?

Turnitin handles assignment submission, originality checking and online marking within duo. Most university departments require that students submit their assignments via Turnitin.

For assignment submission, see our Turnitin submission guide for students

If your lecturer uses online marking and feedback tools see Turnitin’s Feedback Studio guide for Turnitin assignments or see our article for Blackboard assignments.

Can I access duo out of term time, or abroad?

Yes, you can access duo any time and from almost anywhere while you are a student. Be aware that there are a small number of countries in which duo is blocked.

Keep in mind that, if you are not on the university network, you may need to log in to access some other websites, such as online journals.

Do I need to download everything on duo onto my own computer?

Please note that at the end of your studies, ie Congregation Date, your access will be revoked and you cannot get it back.
It is therefore advisable that you have downloaded everything you need from duo, your file space and your email account because you will not be able to get it back.

Even if you change programmes from Undergraduate to Postgraduate you can only access the materials from your programme of study so you will lose access to all your Undergraduate materials in duo.

How do I see content that requires Adobe Flash?

Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) is a format that supports animations and was widely used on many “interactive” websites. Support for this format has fallen – partly because of concerns regarding its accessibility, security and impact upon the browser (it is not-well suited for use with mobile devices and Apple prevent it from running on any iOS device – e.g. an iPad or iPhone). Adobe have announced that they will stop supporting the format by 2020 and many browser manufacturers have already stopped enabling it by default. The LTT strongly recommend you not to commission or deploy any new content created in Flash on duo – there are better alternatives (e.g. authoring in HTML5 content).

If you only have the content in this format, or come across something you need to view created by someone else, then follow these instructions:

Can I check Phd thesis chapters in Turnitin?

If you are considering running originality reports on sections of your Phd thesis, please talk to your supervisor. They can advise on the best way to achieve what you need to do. If your supervisor agrees that Turnitin is appropriate for this purpose, they can contact the service desk with any questions about setting this up for you: Self-service portal


For technical issues with duo, please use IT self-service.