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Distance Students

Welcome to the Distance Student Help Page

You might be far away, but we are still committed to making your learning experience great. Find below a list of all the things you will find helpful during your studies. Feel free to give us a call, or send us a message via email or Facebook.

The university utilises many different types of technology to improve the learning experience for all students.

Student IT is your first port of call if you are experiencing any technical issues with your personal or student computer. We can also assist by teaching you how to use or troubleshoot a particular piece of software. No matter the problem, we will do our best to solve it, or direct you onto someone who can.

Click the link below to go to our contacts page.

Student Webmail

Student webmail is your university provided email address that all university correspondence will be directed to. You will have access to your student webmail for the duration of your studies. It is important to check your emails regularly as anything sent to you will be assumed as seen. You can access student webmail by going to


Blackboard is your academic space. It is used by most University papers to convey information that is specific to your course such as; lecture slides, notices, assignment submission, lab material and grades. You can access Blackboard by going to

Free Office 365

Every student at Otago University receives a free subscription to Office 365. It can be install on up to 5 different devices. It includes tools such as Word, Excel, Power-Point, OneNote, Publisher, and Access.

Office 365 Online

Office 365 Online is a lightweight, web-browser based Office suite that includes all the tools you know and love. You can access it from any computer without a local copy of office needing to be installed. All files are saved to your OneDrive, which is 1TB of free online storage that is included with your University subscription. Office 365 Online offers tools to work as a group on a single document, share notes with your peers, and schedule tasks & calendar events.
The Student Desktop gives you access to a range of general and course specific software, and provides a consistent study environment where your files are always available to you. The Student Desktop is available to all students, both in the student computing labs and running on your own computer. Student Desktop

Can I get other software?

Students are not limited to the generic software supplied with the Student Desktop. In fact, there are two other types of software available to you.
  1. Freely available software on request. Click here for a list of available software, and information on how to request it.
  2. Software which is available to you because you are doing a course that requires it. Your course coordinator will inform you of any software that you will be using at the start of semester. This software will be located in: Start Menu > All Programs > Course Specific Software on the Student Desktop.

Library services are available to all students both on and off campus. The Library website for distance students is a comprehensive source of information if you are looking for research articles, text books, and help with referencing.

Quick Links

Zoom is a handy tool for allowing groups of people to collaborate from a distance via the internet. It is possible that this is something you will need to use as a distance student.

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