There are two particular IT platforms or applications that are absolutely essential for you to get to grips with as a student at NUI Galway: Blackboard and Microsoft Outlook/Office 365 (see also Blackboard and Student email in the Getting started section of the Academic Skills Hub).

Most of your lecturers will use Blackboard to post module information, assignments, lecture notes and other learning materials. Some will post rubrics, give feedback, and return grades on this platform. Others will use additional functions such as blogs, wikis, discussion boards, and live video-streaming. It can be a bit tricky, as a student, to figure out the different ways that your lecturers make use of and organise their Blackboard pages (if they use them at all). Take some time, as early as you can in the academic year, to get a handle on this as – apart from attending lectures – Blackboard is your main link to your lecturers and the modules that they teach.

It’s also vital to ensure that you keep up to date with your NUI Galway emails. Remember that your student email is the main means by which NUI Galway will communicate with you about everything from exams to social events. Don’t let your emails get out of control – managing email is a key skill that the vast majority of us need to master in our lives and our workplaces, so resolve to get to grips with your NUI Galway email as soon as you can.

Student email is just one of the applications available through Microsoft Outlook, a personal information management system that all students can download for free as part of Office 365 ProPlus. Other applications available through Outlook include a calendar, task manager, note-taking facility, contacts list, and journal. Microsoft Outlook can be a very useful tool for managing your time, your workload and your communication with others. You can find training resources for Outlook and student email via Microsoft.