Information Services

Guidance for students: Using online learning tools

Digital tools for students for effective online study.

Blackboard Learn

The online resources for most courses are located in our virtual learning environments (VLEs), the online heart of teaching for your course. Our main VLEs are Blackboard Learn and Moodle, with the vast majority of courses using Learn. Moodle is only used for online distance learning courses, so students using Moodle should already be prepared for online learning. While you might be used to using Learn, there may be elements of the virtual learning environment you have not come across yet. Take time to explore the different features which you may be expected to use for your studies.

Tips for using Learn

Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate is a live, interactive online classroom space that you can access via your courses in Learn. Collaborate will likely be used by your lecturers and tutors to run online seminars and tutorials. It allows tutors to host a virtual classroom, and for staff and students to present, discuss and debate topics. 

Collaborate is also available to students to run online meetings; for example, this is also a handy way to collaborate with your fellow students on group projects. Your tutor may create seminar groups for you as part of your course. However if you wish to set up your own group, or if the people in your group aren't all on the same course so don't have access to the same Collaborate space via Learn, you can do this by accessing Collaborate using the MyEd portal.

Tips for using Blackboard Collaborate

How to create and access a virtual meeting space as a student (482KB PDF)

LibSmart: Your research starts here

LibSmart is a self-enrol Learn course to help you get started using online library resources at the University. LibSmart is designed to be studied how and when it suits you. It has five modules that will take you step by step from starting to use the library to researching a topic for a report or essay. You can choose to work through every module or just the one or two most relevant to you, and you can revisit the course at any point during your studies, and use it as a hub of resources to support your personal and academic development.

LibSmart | The University of Edinburgh

Media Hopper Replay

Media Hopper Replay is the University’s lecture recording service that tutors use to publish lectures online for you to access. As lectures have moved online, use of Media Hopper Replay has increased substantially.

User guides for students using Media Hopper Replay

Online services for digital skills development

We are all learning and collaborating online, and technology forms the backbone of these activities. If you need to develop your digital skills to help you do this effectively, the Digital Skills Framework can help you evaluate your current digital skills, use toolkits to plan your digital skills development, and find online digital skills courses and development programs. All University of Edinburgh students and staff also have free access to LinkedIn Learning, an online educational platform of expert-led video courses.

Digital Skills Framework for evaluating, planning and developing your digital skills

Find out more and set up your LinkedIn Learning account

Staying safe while studying online

Digital safety and wellbeing are more important than ever with so much of our day-to-day activity being online. Find resources and guidance on building digital resilience and preventing Coronavirus-related fraud, as well as digital self-care and video conferencing etiquette tips, via the link below.

Staying safe while learning and teaching online