NOTE 1: The criteria below are a minimum that are recommended for your use of technologies to support your curriculum and your students. Meeting the threshold applies to your use of DMU-supported tools like Blackboard, as well as your use of non-DMU, web-based tools. See section 5 below for a list of DMU technologies.

NOTE 2: The threshold is designed to ensure a level of consistency across modules, programmes and schools, alongside providing equity and meeting student expectations. It is also designed to create a high quality foundation for learning across DMU.

NOTE 3: At programme-level there should be a consistent, team-based approach disseminated to students at induction about how and why specific technologies are being used. Students should be made aware of specific resource implications for them and their responsibilities.

NOTE 4: Faculties and/or programme teams may adopt their own enhanced threshold but this should build on the requirements set out below. The Digital Learning and Teaching team can help in this process.

NOTE 5: To achieve the Threshold, headings 1 – 4 should be addressed with the follow-on bullet points providing further guidance and examples of how each area might be satisfied. For more support with achieving the Threshold, please contact your Faculty Digital Learning and Teaching Consultant.

NOTE 6: The DMU Blackboard Module and Block Shell Policy also provides additional information regarding accessibility and DMU Replay.

1. Sites are easy to navigate and provide access to core information

Having access to core module content helps students make sense of their academic work. Consistent approaches to the structure and presentation of module sites across programmes will help both students and staff to engage with effectively with their work. The following actions should be undertaken.

  • At module-level your students know why they should use specific tools and how they underpin the broader delivery of your module. [e.g. through a “Read this first” area, or a welcome Announcement that explains the purpose of the site.
  • The whole delivery team should be enrolled as instructors on relevant sites.
  • Whichever technologies you are using to support your teaching, the structure of the site should contain no empty areas. All areas should have meaningful and consistent labels, and an accessible colour scheme should be applied.
  • As a minimum the team should upload the module/programme handbooks, details of assessment tasks and criteria, and any generic feedback. These should all be made available in accessible formats.
  • Where teams are producing learning materials for contact-time activities like lectures and workshops, or for independent learning tasks, we advise uploading an accessible version of these materials for students to access.
  • Text should be used to describe each item of content that you upload, so that its nature and purpose are clear to your students.
  • Do not upload material for which you do not own the copyright, or which is not copyright cleared. You should attribute ownership as appropriate. Check copyright with your subject librarian or see:
  • External Study Links on your site should include the Library catalogue and a Resource List (which can be uploaded digitally in Blackboard for students), and support materials available from both faculty and student services. All External Links must be opened in a new window to avoid copyright infringement and to simplify navigation for your students.


2. Communication is consistent and expectations are set and met

Establish a communication strategy for the module, including alerts and announcements, and articulate how students are expected to engage with the site. The following actions should be undertaken.

  • Establish a shared approach to communication for the module e.g. how students will be told of room changes, new content, deadline reminders, events etc.
  • Where you use discursive tools such as blogs, wikis or discussion boards, your students are clear about their purpose and have access to the “DMU ELT Guidelines”.
  • There are regular updates or Announcements to signpost new content or tasks.
  • Contact details for each member of staff delivering the module or programme are available on the site [e.g. using Contacts or Staff Information].


3. Assessments and feedback are clearly presented

Access to assessment briefs and grading criteria for all assessments, alongside access to generic and personalised feedback and grades, supports student learning. The following actions should be undertaken.

  • Where you use on-line assessment, there are formative opportunities for students to understand both the process and content, including feedback on performance.
  • Teams should also make provision for the transfer of assessed, on-line, student work directly to external assessors, using a method that is secure and reliable, with a means of proving or confirming the safe receipt of the student’s work.
  • Turnitin is used for all text-based assignments, and students know why this is the case.
  • Anonymous Marking (AM) for all summatively-assessed coursework is the norm across DMU. This can be managed via a paper-based cover-sheet or curriculum teams may wish to opt-out of AM after talking to the Chair of their PMB. There is no requirement for staff to manage AM through e-assessment. However, there are three on-line solutions available for staff, which are detailed at:
  • Details of assessment tasks and criteria, and any generic feedback should be uploaded so that students have the opportunity to make best use of them.
  • Students should be informed about the process for receiving feedback on their work, and the format in which feedback will be delivered. Where appropriate Grade Center in Blackboard or its equivalent should be used to give indicative marks.
  • Please consider the “Guidelines for e-assessment @ DMU”.


4. Module Management

  • Where you are using non-DMU tools, you have considered all the issues in the Guidelines when using Web 2.0 Technologies for Teaching.
  • Clear monitoring processes are in place to ensure a comparable on-line learning experience for all students across all sites delivering the programme. This means that teams should consider the impact of their use of technologies and on-line resources/tasks on equality and diversity.
  • Where appropriate, professional, statutory or regulatory bodies should have approved the ELT elements.


5. DMU-supported systems

The University promotes and supports centrally a range of educational technologies as part of its ELT portfolio. For more information, please see our information about core learning technologies.

  • Blackboard: the core learning management system.
  • Turnitin: for originality checking of submitted coursework.
  • OurDMU: a WordPress installation that supports portfolios, websites and blogs (
  • DMU Replay (aka. Panopto): to support multimedia delivery.
  • MS Teams: webinar software to deliver real-time, face to face teaching online.
  • Zend: for securely sharing large files via a file sharing service ( Zend MUST NOT be used for student assessment.

You are encouraged to contact the Digital Learning and Teaching team for help with utilising the range of educational technologies.