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SLIDE: Student Learning in a Digital Environment: Access your learning online

How do I access my learning material?

What do you need to access all your learning materials?

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Once you log into Blackboard you will see the landing page with the following main points:

  • Tools
  • Useful Links
  • Announcements
  • Units and Communities
  • Home button (as an escape)

Click a unit title and you will leave the homepage and enter the site for that particular unit. Your units may look different to the example in the video, there will be some common areas and tools you’ll need to explore:

  • Start Here - make this your very first stop as it will contain a downloadable Unit Plan document, which you will need to refer to regularly as it contains an overview of your activities and assessments for this unit.
  • Study Zone - here you’ll find your lecture notes and recordings, tutorial documents and digital readings/library texts.
  • Assessment - go here for assessment outlines and information. This is where you will submit your assessments online (eg via TurnItIn), and where you can check out grades/feedback.
  • Getting Help - this sections contains links to all kinds of helpful resources and services, including:
    • Your lecturers’ contact details o ECU staff dedicated to helping you develop your study skills (eg essay writing)
    • Technology support
    • Student Services

There are a number of ways to engage and stay connected while learning online. Your lecturers may conduct tutorials and workshops using Blackboard Collaborate.

Please note:

  • Using Google Chrome™ with Collaborate will provide the best virtual experience.
  • It is useful to have access to a microphone and a webcam, but it is not essential for participation.


Where can I find Blackboard Collaborate and what can I do with it?

Your lecturer will create a link in your Blackboard unit to access the Collaborate session.

Please note:

  • When you join a session your microphone and webcam will be automatically turned off. Click on the share audio and share video icons to turn these tools on.
  • To ask or answer a question or get the moderator’s attention, you can Raise your hand.
  • To chat with fellow participants and your moderator, open the Chat from the panel to the right.
  • Your lecturer may make you a captioner during a session. You will see an alert letting you know you are the captioner and when you can start typing. Other attendees can view what is being typed in real time.

You can view the recordings of your session from the menu in the Blackboard Collaborate Sessions’ page. You may be able to download recordings if your lecturer has allowed participants to do so.

It is important that you check your announcements daily for information on changes to your lecture, tutorials and workshops.

Once you log into Canvas you will see the dashboard with the 'course' (aka unit) cards and the blue global navigation menu with the following main items:

  • Account
  • Dashboard (home page)
  • Courses (list of your units)
  • Calendar
  • Inbox
  • Help
  • Library (link to the Library homepage)
  • Student support

Click on a 'course' card and you will leave the homepage and enter the site for that particular unit. Your units may look different to the example in the video, there will be some common areas and tools you’ll need to explore:


What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is the most common assessment submission and feedback tool that we use at ECU. Turnitin is a text-matching tool that checks the work you submit and compares this against a large selection of journals, websites and other students’ submissions. Turnitin creates an Originality Report that shows you and your instructors any parts of your assessment that match other existing texts out there. Just because parts of your assessment have been matched does not mean that this is plagiarism - you might have quoted a journal or simply used a commonly used phrase. When checking your own Originality Report do not get worried on the overall percentage - rather, use your judgment as you read each highlighted text match and ask yourself "would I or my lecturer consider this to be plagiarism?"


Why do we use Turnitin?

Turnitin’s Originality Reports reduces unoriginal content and encourages scholarship by helping you to find places where you have not referenced or paraphrased correctly and allowing you to refine your writing skills and style.

Not only does Turnitin create Originality Reports, it also allows your instructors to give you personalised and timely feedback while helping identify areas for your own growth and improvement.


Feedback from Turnitin

If your instructor has used Turnitin for your assessment, you can view your grade in the My Grades tool in Blackboard. However, to view your feedback you must click on the same link that you used to submit your Turnitin Assessment.

What is Panopto?

Panopto is a video capture service supported by ECU. With Panopto you can create, edit and submit video assessments using a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. If you want to view Panopto recordings in Blackboard you do not need to install the software.


Recording with Panopto

Recording with Panopto is only available for video assessments. You will find a link to the PC or Mac recording application within the video assignment instructions on Blackboard. Recordings can also be made from the Panopto mobile application for a video assignment.

What is PebblePad?

PebblePad is the learning ePortfolio used by ECU. You can use it across all of your units and allows you to control which parts of your account your fellow students or lecturer can see. You can also take it with you after you graduate.



  • Provide you with a space to record a number of experiences;

  • Allows you to make sense of your learning and collect your skills into powerful presentations that reflect your growth, knowledge and capability.

Log into Pebble+ through the Student Portal, select Learning Portfolio under the Easy Logins section on the left hand column.

Microsoft Teams is a video conferencing tool that lets you chat instantly and share files.

Your lecturers may run tutorials and workshops using Microsoft Teams as an alternative to or in combination with Blackboard Collaborate. Teams is also an excellent tool to use for group assignments and online communication with your peers.

Zoom is a real-time video conferencing tool that can be used for live, online tutorials. It allows you talk with students, share screens, text chat and capture a recording of your session.

Blackboard Reading List 

Sign into Blackboard and select a unit. In your unit on the menu is Library Links and/or Reading Lists click on this to view the reading materials for the unit. You may also find a list of readings in the unit outline.  

ECU eBook Collection Content details Access/Format Printing/ Downloading

EBSCOhost eBook Collection

All subjects
  • Search for individual titles in ECU Worldsearch
  • EBSCOhost

Limited concurrent user access. 

To download EBSCOhost eBooks to your device you must create a personal My EBSCOhost account. For more information please see the eBook Library Guide

EBSCOhost eBooks can be downloaded to your mobile device and read with the Bluefire Reader app. You need an Adobe ID to use the app.

ProQuest Ebook Central  All subjects
  • ProQuest Ebook Central

Printing is restricted to 40% of each eBook, and copying is 20%. 

Chapters can be downloaded in PDF format. 

Downloading the whole book requires Adobe Digital Editions – this is available on ECU computers. For off campus you need to download the free Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software. 

The download period varies, from 1 day to 21 days. 

Students using iPads, iPhones or Android devices can download and read ProQuest Ebook Central content via the free Bluefire Reader app. You need an Adobe ID to use Bluefire Reader. 

ScienceDirect ebooks  Various subjects
  • ScienceDirect Journals & Books
Available content (green full-text icon) is accessible via ‘PDF’ links to print or download. Use ScienceDirect Document Download Manager to download up to 20 PDFs. See their Help link for further details.

Learning Environment Accessibility

Learning Environment Accessibility refers to making the internet and resources available online clear and easy to use for any user, regardless of any physical, mental or any other difficulty. Learning Environment Accessibility for a university refers to the public website, the student and staff intranets and the units available online.


Lecture Capture Panopto Recording Accessibility and Captioning

The following strategies can be applied to improve the accessibility of your videos:

  • Manual Captioning in Panopto
  • Automated Captioning in Panopto

To view a captioned enabled video, you need to access the video in full screen Panopto view.


Microsoft PowerPoint Captioning and Subtitles

Make your presentations more inclusive with live captions and subtitles in PowerPoint. View the following instructions on how to add captions and subtitles in real time to a PowerPoint slideshow.


Website accessibility

ECU is committed to making our webpages meet accepted web accessibility standards.

We have a commitment to providing accessible web content on the main ECU website that complies with the W3C Web Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 AA (Priority 2). Our webpages have been constructed in accordance with these guidelines, making them accessible to a variety of people, including those using assisted technology.

If you experience any difficulty accessing information, resources or services on any ECU webpage, please contact us via the Site feedback, or the Report errors links present on each webpage.


Reading support

ECU has a licence for BrowseAloud software. BrowseAloud adds speech and reading support tools to online content on our public website and intranet. It extends the reach of our websites for people who require reading support, including those with dyslexia, learning difficulties, mild visual impairments or where English is their second language. For further information regarding BrowseAloud, or to download the required software for your computer, please visit the BrowseAloud website.

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