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.


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

Blackboard Learn Ultra

Access to Blackboard Learn Ultra is made available to you at your instructor's discretion. If your instructor has informed you they will be putting your online coursework on Blackboard Learn Ultra, then the following information will get you oriented quickly. 

Access Blackboard Learn Ultra by going to myDrake and clicking the Blackboard button.

About Your Course List

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

Tools and Content Commonly Used in Blackboard Learn Ultra Courses

Microsoft Teams

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

OneDrive (Cloud Storage)

Do you need a cloud storage solution for your files? You can access your OneDrive 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 clicking on My Email. You will 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 section labeled Learning Resources and choosing Cowles Library.

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 Learn Ultra 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 difference between being succeeding and not succeeding. Start early so you have time to ask questions via online tools before due dates arrive.
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Article ID: 100398
Mon 3/9/20 3:14 PM
Thu 5/23/24 8:59 AM