Learning Online or Distance Learning (Best Practices)

Sometimes we need online tools to learn rather than meeting face-to-face. You can access many Drake services, including online learning tools, by going to myDrake from any Internet browser.


myDrake is Drake's campus portal, a website that serves as a launch pad to access other sites, online tools, and university content. You can access myDrake, and all of its connected sites/tools including email, Blackboard, Self Service, and Microsoft Teams from anywhere with a web connection by going to my.drake.edu.

Blackboard Learn

The use of Blackboard Learn for your course is only made available at the instructors discretion. If your instructor has informed you that they will be putting your online coursework on Blackboard, then the following information is available to get you oriented quickly. 

Access Blackboard by going to my.drake.edu and clicking the Blackboard button in the Commonly Used Apps section.

About Your Course List

Your Blackboard course list will only show courses that instructors have made available to you. It is not expected that all courses for which you have registered will be available to you via the Blackboard course list. If you are expecting a course to be available, but is not showing on your course list, please reach out to your instructor first. 

Commonly Used Tools in Blackboard Courses

Microsoft Teams

Everyone with a drake.edu email account has access to Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is a product that combines tools and resources including virtual meetings, group chat, person to person chat, and file sharing into one location using the Office 365 platform. You can access Teams from the waffle menu of myDrake.

When you use Teams online, you can create, update, work collaboratively on, and save documents directly to the cloud regardless of what device you’re using. Microsoft Teams also has apps for iOS or Android devices. Teams can be used to hold virtual meetings as well as individual or group chat, no matter where everyone is located.

NOTE: To participate in a Teams meeting you'll need to use the Teams desktop app, the web version of Teams in a Chrome or Edge browser, or the app for your iOS or Android mobile device. Teams meetings don't work in Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.

OneDrive (Cloud Storage)

Do you need a cloud storage solution for your files? You can access OneDrive for your cloud storage from myDrake by going to the section labeled Campus Resources and choosing OneDrive. This will give you the basic tools from the Office 365 suite such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. OneDrive files can also be accessed via Teams.


You can access your email from myDrake by going to the My Email button in the Commonly Used Apps section. You’ll be able to use your email and calendar through the online version of Outlook. Email is the official channel of communication, so please check your email regularly to stay informed.

Accessing the Library Online

You can access library resources from myDrake by going to the Cowles Library button in the Commonly Used Apps section.

About Learning at a Distance

If you have never learned at a distance before, transitioning can be a bit tricky and requires a few new skills. 

  1. Added Technical Skills: Using online tools like email, Microsoft Office 365, and Blackboard are required. Please see the information above in regards to each.
  2. Communication Expectations: Open communication between you and the rest of your class is imperative. You will need to keep up with communications during your online learning experience.  Success is usually dependent on how often you communicate with your instructor.  If you have questions about your course, your instructor is the first person to whom you should reach out.
  3. Managing Time: Online learning adds flexibility to the way students interact with their course content and their classmates. Managing your time appropriately to meet these needs can be the different between being successful and unsuccessful. Start early so you have time to ask questions via online tools before due dates arrive.


Article ID: 100398
Mon 3/9/20 3:14 PM
Fri 4/5/24 4:05 PM