Admin Staff

FAQs for Administrators

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

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

Individual departments organise staff enrolments onto all of their duo sites. Your department’s administrative office will be able to add staff members onto the required sites. If you cannot find anyone who has access to the duo site that you need, please request assistance via the service desk.

Once someone is enrolled as an Instructor on a duo site, they can then enrol anyone else as necessary.

Keep in mind that students are automatically enrolled on duo module sites, so staff do not need to take any action regarding student enrolments.

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 staff problems when enrolled on lots of courses. Here are a few recommendations to find what you need:

Customise your view:

  1. Click on the cog wheel that appears when you hover over ‘My Courses’.
  2. Tick ‘Group by Term’ (this will organise your list into academic years that you can expand and minimise).
  3. Rearrange your list of Terms by dragging and dropping so that the newest Term is at the top.
  4. Under EDIT COURSE LIST, drag and drop individual courses to rearrange their order (or click the up-and-down arrows for a better way to rearrange a large number of sites).

Expanding the list:

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 see the full list.

Searching:

Use your browser’s Find function (e.g. Ctrl+F) to find the site you are looking for.

Accessing your recently visited sites:

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 get their names from the official module outlines held by the Academic Office. The module name in duo must correspond to the module outline.

If the name is incorrect in the module outline, please contact the Academic Office. If the name differs between the module outline and the duo site, please create a call via the service desk.

Changes to the names of other types of duo sites can also be requested via the service desk.

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:

With Edit Mode ON, click the red padlock icon at the upper right.

Or go to: Control Panel > Customisation > Properties > Set Availability > Yes > Submit

To make a course Unavailable:

With Edit Mode ON, click the grey padlock icon at the upper right.

Or go to: 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?

Hiding and showing tools in the Tools section
If you have a ‘Tools’ link in your duo site menu, there is an option to click a button next to each tool to ‘hide tool from students’ and ‘unhide tool’. This should tailor your list, but keep in mind that, by default, only standard tools should be set to be available.

Showing tools in the menu
You can link to individual tools in the duo site menu by hovering over the + in the top left corner of the menu and selecting ‘Tool Link’. Give the link a name, choose which type of tool to link to, set availability and click Submit.

Making tools available on your duo site
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:

1. Go into your duo site
2. Make sure that ‘Edit Mode’ is turned ON
3. Next to Edit Mode, click the red padlock icon
4. The icon will change to a grey, unlocked icon–this means your site is now available to students

Alternatively:

1. Go into your duo site
2. Go to the Control Panel
3. Expand Customisation
4. Click Properties
5. Under Set Availability, tick Yes
6. Click 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

Can I email students via duo?

You can email individuals, groups, people with certain roles or everyone enrolled on a duo site. Please be aware that attachments over 5 MB may stop the email from being sent. (For large files, upload to duo and direct students to your site.)

Guides and videos on emailing

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.

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/

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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