Course: Help and support for online learning | Propagate Learning

  • Help and support for online learning

    Everyone who studies on our courses has different levels of knowledge and skills when it comes to the digital world. Brushing up on your digital skills will help you to get the most from your course here on PropaGate Learning.

    Scroll down the page and you will see a list of digital skills/topics. You will also see a section on using PropaGate Learning, our online learning platform. 

    Please ensure your browser is up-to-date; always use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox or Safari. An out of date browser or browser settings are the most common reasons for users experiencing problems using the site.

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  • Instructions: Clicking on the section name will show / hide the section.

  • This section addresses the common questions we get asked about using PropaGate Learning and helps with troubleshooting issues.

  • What is a browser?

    A browser is the program on your computer or mobile device that you use to access the internet. There are several browsers available but Google's Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox (Windows devices) and Apple's Safari (Apple devices) are three widely-used ones. Chrome, Edge and Safari are the recommended web browsers for use with Propagate Learning. Others such as Firefox can sometimes cause problems.

    Please ensure your browser is up-to-date; always use the latest version. An out of date browser or browser settings are the most common reasons for users experiencing problems using the site.

    Browser Settings

    The following browser settings should be selected:

    • Enable Cookies
    • Enable pop-ups for PropaGate Learning
    • Enable Javascript (Note: Javascript is NOT the same as Java. Moodle does not require Java)

    Find out more about cookies and what they do with the ICO Cookies page

    Some course activities and resources open in a new window, and may be blocked if your web browser has pop-ups blocked. If course activities do not open as you expect, the problem could be that your browser is not allowing them to. This can be fixed using your browser settings. Using the below settings, you can specify that pop-ups are allowed for

    Block or allow pop-ups on Chrome

    Website preferences on Safari

    Activities such as interactive lessons should now be available to use on all devices (laptops, mobile phones, tablets) but if you experience any problems using them on mobile devices please let us know.

    Enable Javascript for Chrome

    Enable Javascript for Safari

  • If you have little experience with computers and feel you need help getting started with IT, a basic introduction may suit your needs best.

    Below are two free online courses: the first is an introduction to computing in general, and the second is an introduction to using the internet. Access these courses by clicking on the links, which are underlined and in a different text colour.

    Introduction to computing

    The website from Digital Learn has mini lessons on computing designed for beginners, and will take you through the basics of how to use computers and the internet.

    Click on the following link to access it: DigitalLearn website.

    Introduction to using the internet

    The website from GCF Global will take you through the basics of how the internet works and how to use it.

    Click on the following link to access it: GCF Internet Basics

    A grey computer mouse.

  • A tablet sitting on top a tabletop, with the Google search engine open on-screen.

    You can use a search engine such as Google on your browser to search for information online. You can learn more about searching engines in Section 8 of the free GCF Internet Basics course.

    To browse the RBGE library catalogue and archive online, you can use the RBGE Library Online Catalogue and the RBGE Archive Catalogue. If you are looking for scientific papers, try searching using Google Scholar, which is a specialist search engine for academic literature.

    If you want to find videos on a topic, two sites with a lot of video content available are YouTube and Vimeo.

    Bookmarking a webpage allows you to save it on your browser so you can easily visit it later. Here are instructions on how to bookmark pages in the following browsers:




    If you would like to print a webpage, or part of a webpage, select the text you want to print by putting your mouse cursor at the start of where you want to print, clicking and holding the button down, and dragging the the cursor to the end of the selection. This should highlight the text you want to print. Go to the File menu at the top of the browser window or right click with your mouse. Select 'Print'. The print dialog window will come up, which will show you a preview of the document and will allow you to print. Some browsers give you the option of 'Print selection'.

  • Opening PDF files and Word documents

    To open Word documents on your device, you will need word processing software such as Microsoft Office, which contains Microsoft Word. Other free software such as LibreOffice and Google Docs can also be used to open and edit Word documents.

    These programs can also be used to create and edit your own word processing documents. You can find tips on how to create a Word document here.

    You may wish to turn a Word document into a PDF when you have finished it. To do so, instead of just selecting 'Save', select 'Save as Adobe PDF' or go to 'Save as' and choose 'PDF (*.pdf)' from the drop-down menu.

    In order to open PDF files, download Adobe Acrobat Reader DC or a similar program to your device. This will allow you to open and view PDFs.

    Screenshot of a blank Word document.

    Browser add-ons

    You can also open PDFs on some browsers, which will allow you to view PDFs in a browser window without opening a separate program.. You may find it useful to install the Adobe Reader browser add-on if your browser does not already have it installed. For more information about this, you can check this Display PDF in browser webpage and this Plugins in modern browsers webpage.

  • You may wish to use email to get in contact with RBGE during your course, and some courses include student forums for which you can set up an email digest that will notify you on new posts. 

    If you are not experienced or confident using email, this Intro to Email mini course on DigitalLearn will take you through getting an email address, creating emails and sending them.

    Learners on some courses may be given RBGE email addresses. If this is you, for simplicity, we recommend Outlook on the Web for RBGE email access. 

    1. Sign out of any existing Microsoft accounts, or start a Private browsing session
    2. Visit 
    3. Sign-in with your RBGE credentials
    4. Choose Outlook from the left-hand menu.

  • In some courses you may be creating your open images and uploading them, but if you want to find images to use online, where can you find free-to-use images, with appropriate copyright and reuse licenses?

    Here are a few:

    Wikimedia Commons - images, videos and audio files licensed under Creative Commons licenses and the public domain dedication.

    Flickr Commons - images from public archives, generally with no known copyright restrictions. - images here are licensed under a custom license, which is very similar to a CC0 license.

    Search the Creative Commons website

    Find images with reuse licences on Google search

    Screenshot of the home page.

  • Moving images from camera to computer

    If you have taken photos on a camera (rather than using your phone), you will have to move them from your camera to your computer in order to upload to your course or edit them.

    If you have a PC, this Complete Guide to Importing Your Photos in Windows 10 will show you how to do this; if you have a Mac, this  Transfer images in Image Capture on Mac page will show you how.

    A digital SLR camera.

    Using a scanner to upload images to a computer

    This WikiHow page on 'How to Scan Photos' gives a simple run-through of how to scan and save an image using a printer and computer. Each type of scanner is slightly different, but this is a useful general guide.

    If you don't have access to a printer, this Google Photos help page on 'Scan your photos' gives a step-by-step guide of how to scan and save printed photos using a photo scan app.

    Resizing images

    Once you have your photos on your computer, you may want to resize them to make them smaller, or manipulate them in other ways e.g. adjusting the brightness. 

    Edit photos and videos in Windows 10 gives you a walk-through of how to edit images on a PC and  Resize, rotate or flip an image in Preview on Mac shows you how to do it on a Mac, using their standard software. Mobile devices often come with their own image editing software, and you can install programs of your choice, if you wish.

    Inserting/manipulating images in word processing docs

    This video and description gives you a quick walk-through of how to Insert pictures into a Word document, how to resize them and how to change the layout.

  • Microsoft Teams and Zoom are programs that enable video calls and video meeting between people. In some of our courses, there may be live sessions or tutorials that use these programs.

    Your Course Supervisor or Tutor may advise you to connect to Microsoft Teams as part of your course.  You can find Teams at, where you find all your other Microsoft apps. Watch this very short video for an introduction on how to use Teams.

    Again, as with email if you have an RBGE account/email address (this is different from a PropaGate account and applies to MSc students, BSc/HND and some Diploma courses)

    1. Either sign out of any other existing Microsoft accounts, open a different browser or start a 'Private browsing' session (sometimes called incognito) in your current browser. e.g. if you are signed in with a personal Microsoft account or with an SRUC Microsoft account. You cannot be signed into two Microsoft accounts because the browser has saved your current login credentials.
    2. Visit 
    3. Sign-in with your RBGE credentials
    4. Choose Teams from the left-hand menu

    If you do not have an RBGE account, you may attend a Teams meeting as a guest.

    If you are required to use Zoom, the Zoom website help and support will explain how to download and use the app, or join a Zoom meeting from your browser.

  • If you are happy to do so, please fill in this short form to let us know what sections you looked at. This lets us know which areas of IT our learners may struggle with and helps us improve this page.

    We hope these resources will be useful for you and will increase your confidence online. Please note that some of the resources listed here are external to RBGE and we do not control them. If you would like to revisit any of these resources in the future, just bookmark the webpage. If you would like instructions on how to do this, please look at the 'Bookmarking a webpage' section, which will show you how!