Admin Staff

FAQs for Administrators

Below is a list of FAQ's aimed at Administrative Staff

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 https://duo.dur.ac.uk > Click ‘Remove’. Close all Safari windows.

Other browsers or versions: see http://www.refreshyourcache.com/en/home/

I am teaching a brand new module. How do I get access to the corresponding duo course?

When a new module is created it will be blank of content and staff. Departments need to ask for at least one Administrator to be enrolled on each new module by contacting the itservicedesk@durham.ac.uk with a list of all new modules for the upcoming academic year. They in turn will look after adding individual staff to the new modules, so if you haven’t been added then please speak to the Admin team. They will normally give you an ‘Instructor’ role which means you have complete control over add and updating content.

I can’t see all of my courses on duo, or find the one that I want.

The number of courses that can be displayed in the Current Courses module is limited and can cause Academics and Administrators problems when enrolled on lots of courses.

We advise firstly that you click on the cog wheel that appears when you hover over ‘My Courses’, then edit the settings so that your Current Courses list is shown by Term. Now you can rearrange this list of Terms by drag and drop so that the newest Term is at the top. You can also drag and drop individual courses to rearrange their order.

If you are enrolled on a very large number of courses, a link will appear at the bottom of the My Courses list. Click here to search for the course you want.

A quick way of viewing a list of your most visited courses is to click on the drop down chevron next to the Home (House) icon at the top of each course menu.

How do students get enrolled onto duo modules?

This is an automated process that links the Student Registry details via Banner directly to duo. So if the students have registered for courses/modules then they will show up in duo (please note that there can be a overnight delay to implement additions and changes).

Why can’t I delete certain students from my duo course?

If you use the Manage Users tool in your duo courses, you can remove specific students if there is a tick box next to their name. If, however, Student Registry determine that these students are active students then in the overnight snapshot feed the students will be re-added.

If a student during the first few weeks of term changes modules you may find them in your course listing but set to Unavailable.

If a student for any reason has their total access blocked from duo then you will see them in your list but they will be shown as blocked with no tick box next to them – you cannot remove these students but they should not cause any problems.

You can tailor your ‘Preferences’ in the ‘Manage Users’ tool to only show ‘available’ students and you won’t see any of the blocked or unavailable students.

How do I add External Examiners to duo courses?

External examiners can be added to duo courses but they need a full CIS IT account. There is a form to be completed by the Department and the External Examiner which can be obtained via the itservicedesk@durham.ac.uk. Once an IT account has been created then the external examiner can be added to the appropriate duo courses using the Manage Users tool.

How do I change the name of my duo course?

duo courses are named via the corresponding module name given by the Academic Office. The Module Name is what the student signs up for so it is important that they find a matching duo course.

If you feel the name is incorrect (it has been known for some names to be out of sync) then you need to ensure that the Academic Office has the most up-to-date name and then send an email to itservicedesk@durham.ac.uk and ask for it to be updated. This name change is not something you can do for yourself.

Slight changes may also be made if it helps identify a duo course better, but again this needs to be requested as above.

How do I work on a duo course without making it available to Students?

By default all new and rolled over duo courses are set to ‘unavailable to students’ which means that all instructors have access but the students don’t. Make any changes and additions you wish whilst the course is unavailable and at the start of term make the course available.

To make a course Available: Control Panel > Customisation > Properties > Set Availability > Yes > Submit
To make a course Unavailable: Control Panel > Customisation > Properties > Set Availability > No > Submit

Can I change the Course Entry point in my duo course?

Yes this is possible from the Control Panel. However, before you do this please speak to your Departmental Admin team. Each Department/School should have a minimum standards policy in which a standard set of menu items and tools should be made available within duo courses. It may be that they have set a default entry point on purpose to standardise all of their duo courses to provide some consistency for the student experience.

The Course Entry point can be changed from:
Control Panel > Customisation > Teaching Style > Select Course Entry Point (from drop down list) > Submit

How do I show or hide tools on my duo course?

If you have a ‘Tools’ link in your menu and it lists tools available, there is an option to click a button next to each tool to ‘hide tool from students’. Note if you hide something that is needed you can also click on the same button to ‘unhide tool’. This should tailor your list, but keep in mind that, by default, only standard tools should be set to be available.

If a tool that you would like to use is not showing on your duo site at all, you may be able to add it to your site. Go to Control Panel > Customisation > Tool Availability. Tick the box(es) next to the tool and note where it will appear (e.g. in a Content Area, as a Mashup, etc.). Click Submit.

I’m ready to teach. How do I make my duo course available to my students?

So it’s the start of term – please remember to make your duo course available to students otherwise they won’t be able to access the materials you are providing.

To make a duo course available: Control Panel > Customisation > Properties > Set Availability > Yes > Submit

Are there any things that must be part of my duo course? Think Minimum Standards

Yes there are. University Education Committee have agreed a list of minimum standards. Details of this can be found here:

https://www.dur.ac.uk/learningandteaching.handbook/3/9/3/

Each department then has a nominated representative to come up with a set of standards for all their duo courses. This can include the look and feel of each module as well as what should be contained within each duo course. So speak to your Departmental Admin team about their ‘Minimum Standards’ policy.

Is there a Blackboard Help Guide for Staff?

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 Instructors

This provides a set of general help guides covering most issues. It won’t provide details of any of our custom tools that have been developed in-house – e.g. Manage Users, Library Resources, SignUp Lists or Module Outlines. To find out how use these, access the bespoke guide.

Note that if a student clicks the same Help link, they will be taken to a similar Help page, but one designed for Students

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:

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