Answered By: Sarah Purcell
Last Updated: Jan 17, 2018     Views: 76

The short answer is: take a look at the Cite Them Right Online website - this page will tell you how to reference lecture materials, including those held on a VLE like Blackboard. 

If you are unsure who the author is, this is more tricky for us to answer. It depends on what the material is. If it is a document, image or handout then it might not be your tutor's original work, they may have downloaded it from elsewhere. So you need to ask your tutor for the reference details, if you can't locate it yourself on a search engine like Google. If it is a discussion forum, then it may be the words of another student - it may be appropriate to keep their identity anonymous, so check with your tutor if unsure.

If you want to reference the lecture Powerpoint itself, then chances are it is safe to put the module leader's name as author. Again though, if there is something specifically in the Powerpoint you want to reference, and it is the quote or idea of another person like a theorist or researcher, then you would be expected to locate and read the original source for yourself and cite that, rather than the tutor's interpretation. See if they've put a reference list at the end of their slides. 

This brings us on to the final, most important point. Bear in mind that your tutors may not expect or even want you to reference their own lecture notes unless there was a very good purpose for doing so. Your lectures and the discussions which often go with them e.g. seminars are usually intended as an introduction or overview of a topic or particular aspect of your subject. When you aren't in lectures, you should be reading for that degree! It is what you have been reading and your understanding of it in the context of your assignment that your tutors want to see, not their own words, ideas and notes repeated back at them. (It certainly makes for a more interesting read when it comes to marking all those assignments!)