When you join the University, you will automatically be given access to duo, the University’s online learning system.

Student Services

These FAQs are related to non-duo questions but are useful

Anonymous Code and Assessment Marks

For many summative assessments (those contributing to your final degree mark) you may be asked to use a unique anonymous exam code that is assigned to you throughout your programme of study. This code is generated by Student Registry and is sometimes referred to as your Z number.

Anonymous Code: You can view your anonymous marking code by going to the Banner Self Service tool in duo. A link to the Banner Self Service tools can be found on the front page of duo once you have logged on.

Assessment Marks: You can also view your assessment marks by going to the Banner Self Service tool in duo. The most recent assessment marks will only be available after your pass/progression result has been released and the marks have been confirmed by the departments. You can, however, view all previously confirmed marks at any time. You can also download a PDF version for printing. Students who have completed their studies can only access marks whilst their IT account is still active. An academic transcript will be sent out with parchments and this will list all modules and marks.

What browsers should I use to access duo?

In a perfect world, you could use any browser. Sadly there are differences between the way web browsers interpret and display HTML code and javascript. This means that whilst most browsers will work with duo most of the time, occasionally there are some that cause problems. These can stem from the trivial – text being slightly different sizes – to very significant – online tests not displaying properly.

To help, Blackboard (the company who make the core software that duo is based on) publish a basic
Browser Checker.

Currently we suggest that you use Chrome, Firefox or Safari for best results. Edge works for most things too, but we have had reports of a few niggles.

They also provide a summary of which browser and operating system combinations they support. Use this shortcut to see the details for the October 2015 version of Blackboard (the version that we are currently using in production as of July 2016):
Supported List.

How do I change personal details shown in duo such as my name or email address?

It is important that the personal details such as your name, title, email address, home address, etc. shown in duo are correct, so that everyone using it can rely on the identity of people on their courses. As such these data are fed to duo each night from University systems – People+ for staff and the Student Record System (Banner) for students. To change any of your personal data, you need to alter the data at source and duo will be automatically updated. This ensures that the changes apply across all University systems.

 Staff – changes should be made via the People+ portal or by completing the Human Resources Change of Personal Details form.

 Students – your information is managed by Student Registry – changes can be made using the Banner Self Service link on the duo Home page.*

Note it may take up to 24 hours for the changes to be fed back to duo.

*As a student, if you define a Preferred Name in the Student Record System then this will be used to define the name displayed in duo. For example if your full name is William McGuire Bryson, normally you would appear in duo as William Bryson. If you would rather be known by your second name (McGuire) then if you set this as your preferred name in the Student Record System then you will be listed in duo as McGuire Bryson. Equally if you set Bill as your preferred name, then you would appear as Bill Bryson. Note this name is shown to other staff and students and will be the one used next to any work you submit, messages you post, etc.

My CIS Password?

Most users should log into duo using their normal CIS username and password which 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 in to 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 password page.

If you don’t know your password or have forgotten it, then contact the by email, ring 41515 or call into the Help Desk in the University Library (or Queen’s Campus Library).

Follow this link to change or reset your password:

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

How do I see my final marks?

You can view your assessment marks by going to the Banner Self Service tool on the front page of duo. The most recent assessment marks will only be available after your pass/progression result has been released and the marks have been confirmed by the departments. You can, however, view all previously confirmed marks at any time. You can also download a PDF version for printing. Students who have completed their studies can only access marks whilst their IT account is still active. An academic transcript will be sent out with your parchments and this will list all modules and marks.

Where do I find my timetable?

University timetables are not available on duo, but you can access your timetable here:

Some departments may upload timetables into duo (possibly as an Excel spreadsheet) for students to access. If you are having problems with this please speak to your departmental administrator.

Can I get software to help me with referencing?

EndNote and Zotero are both available on university student machines. For a complete list of available software, see the Durham University Desktop Environment software site.

How do I access my University email?

Undergraduate and taught post-graduate students use the Office 365 email service. For more information see Services for Students.

Research post-graduates use Microsoft Exchange to access emails. For more information see Staff Email Service.


FAQs for Students

Below are a list of FAQs for Students

Is there a Blackboard Help Guide for Students?

Yes. You can access this from within any course in duo via the Help menu. Seeing that you are here you can also access it directly from this link:

Blackboard’s Help Guide for Students

This provides a set of general help guides covering most issues. If there is something specific that you want to do look for one of our bespoke guides.

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.

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. You should only contact the IT Service Desk if something isn’t working – e.g. you can’t play a video from your course. Note that, if you are having problems submitting work close to the deadline, it is very important that you inform staff in your department without delay.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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

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:

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