Tools for teaching online


In our Blackboard learning management system you can access your course materials including pre-recorded or streamed lectures, as well as self-led or interactive tutorials and links to course readings. Blackboard allows you to learn wherever and whenever they can get online.

You can log into Blackboard via the Students page  or by going directly to Blackboard (which you can ‘bookmark’). In either case you will need to have your Notre Dame login and password ready.

Please note that Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome are the recommended web browsers for Blackboard. Some Blackboard functionality may not work properly when accessed via other browsers such as Internet Explorer or Apple Safari.

If you have a tablet or smartphone you can download the Blackboard App from the Apple App Store or Google Play. The University pays for the App but you would be liable for any data costs associated with the download to your device and the subsequent use of the App (downloading and using the app on the University WiFi is free of charge).

Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you present and interact with your students, share applications and add files, use a virtual whiteboard that your students can draw on, run anonymous polls, accommodate group work, record your session and let your students download the recording, and so on. It is an excellent tool, and many Notre Dame schools and areas use Collaborate to record a live lecture and make the recording available to students or staff.

You could also create Collaborate Ultra sessions for use by students, whether it is to supplement their group work or for peer feedback sessions before presenting their work to the instructor. Just make sure that the student-led sessions are set up to allow all participants to join as moderators, so that the students have the same privileges as the instructor in this particular case (including the ability to record - especially useful to help someone who could not attend a group meeting).

You will find a number of Collaborate guides in the top left quarter of the Engagement section of our TEL website. The students have their own guides to Collaborate: Collaborate Ultra Recordings and Joining Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Session. The latter guide also explains how to join a Collaborate session using a smart phone (the students will need to download the Blackboard App from the App Store first).


Notre Dame students are encouraged to submit their assessments in Blackboard. The system is transparent, it records the exact time the submission was made and keeps the file that was submitted. Blackboard offers two main types of assessment – Blackboard-native (Blackboard assignment or test) or Turnitin (which is a similarity checking service integrated into Blackboard).

Turnitin: Turnitin is a useful tool for educating your students about Academic Integrity (AI); therefore, as a rule of thumb, you should encourage your students to submit all text-based assessments via Turnitin. This Turnitin quick guide explains the two major functions of Turnitin and outlines the steps to using it successfully, also providing the links to the guides that will help you with the task.